Cancer treatment is an emotional rollercoaster. Some days you feel strong, confident that you can beat it while on some days, you feel fear, and you wonder what the future holds. There are numerous forms of cancer treatment and the kind received largely depends on the type of cancer you have. Usually, cancer treatment involves a combination of various methods such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. All these treatment methods have their side effects and management of these side effects is important for a better quality of life. So many hurdles are faced during cancer treatment, a major one being the side effects experienced in the course of treatment.
Cancer treatment requires you to take a variety of medications, both for cancer itself and the side effects of the cancer treatment. At a given moment, you can be taking up to 10-15 pills at once! This poses a challenge of keeping track of your medications. Here are a few tips that can help you.
Make a List
This is very important in keeping track of all the medications. This can be done by yourself or by your caregiver. This list should contain
- Name of all your medications
- Their appropriate dosing
- When you started taking them
- Last refill and next refill
- Color of each pill (for easy identification)
This will be helpful if you or your caregiver forgets a medication. This list should be taken to every doctor’s appointment as it gives your doctor the information required to review your medications.
Organize your Medications
This can be done using various means. If a pill organizer is available, it’ll be perfect for this. The pill organizer has different compartments for different times of the day. If a pill organizer is unavailable, Ziplocs can be used as an improvised pill organizer. Different Ziplocs labeled for each time of the day the medications are to be taken. A tech-savvy method of organizing would include using smartphones to set alarms and reminders for the times of the day and what medications to take at those times. Another method involves the use of sticky notes, attach a time labeled sticky note to the pillbox to know what time of the day it should be taken. Place sticky notes at strategic places to serve a reminder to take your medications.
These are different tools that can be employed in organizing multiple medications. None is superior, you just have to pick the right fit for you. These tools remove the added stress of keeping track of these medications all by yourself. Once you find a system that works for you, it makes it easier for you and your caregiver to keep track of your medications.
Get a Checklist
In taking these many medications, there is a chance of taking one medication multiple times by error. To prevent this occurrence, the use of a checklist can be employed. By simply ticking the boxes as you take the pill, this error can be avoided. Taking too many medications is very challenging, but has to be done right to maintain drug compliance and prevent untoward effects.
Do you still have more enquiries about cancer or need further clarification? Please drop it in the comment box. You can also book an online video consultation with our clinical oncologists and psychologists or use our free chat platform to talk to a healthcare professional. You can also join our cancer support group (Pearl Support Group for breast cancer and Mankind Support Group for Prostate Cancer) whilst on this journey to beat cancer. We would love to hear from you.
Until the next episode. Remember: “Chemotherapy can make you feel super tired but you will find that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been”…#Keepupthefighttilltheend.
Loads of Love