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Emily King’s Chemo Tips & Tricks

Emily King is a stage IV colorectal cancer patient who has turned her journey with cancer into a blessing for other patients. The Colon Cancer Coalition is proud proud to partner with Emily on her mission to support others experiencing chemotherapy and cancer treatment through the FightingWithHope Chemo Box program.

In addition to a long list of practical and helpful goodies sent in every Chemo Box (including candies to help with nausea, candles, essential oils, water bottle, mug, tea, etc.), Emily also includes a list of tips and tricks she’s picked up after more than 30 rounds of chemotherapy. We are honored to share them here with you today.

Take a look at Emily’s tips, and share yours in the comment section!

Emily King’s tips and tricks for managing chemotherapy:

It’s your body going through chemo. Ask what you need and want! Stand up for your health. There’s no dumb questions in the cancer world.

Hydration is key. When I get my chemo pump disconnected on Wednesday I get a liter of hydration and IV nausea meds. If I have a really bad week I go back in Thursday and maybe even Friday to get hydration and IV nausea meds again. As you probably know IV meds work faster and it’s great for bad nausea.

If you get headaches tell your doctor because it could be your nausea medicine. Zofran is a popular non-drowsy nausea medicine, but Zofran gave me migraines.

Chemo brain and fog is real! I write down every side effect on my phone on the day I have the side effect. Chemo is so strong and it can hurt other things in your body. Even the littlest pain I told my doctor because it’s usually something he can fix, including nausea!

Take a nap and rest. I’ve learned to listen to my body. Sleep, even if it’s for 30 minutes, I feel so much better!

Don’t be afraid to over-communicate with your doctor and tell them what you need. They can’t read your mind, but they are so helpful if you tell them what’s wrong and how you were feeling!

Peppermint oil in the diffuser. This helps my nausea!

Use your port cream generously! 

Ask the nurse to push the flush slowly so you don’t get a rush and feel nauseous. I also put Starburst candy in my mouth before the flush. I have tried a lot of different candies and I still taste the flush. But with Starburst I don’t taste the flush at all!

Exercise helps with chemo brain and to get over the chemo slump faster! I didn’t exercise my first 24 rounds but after that I started exercising and saw a huge difference!

And finally, here are some of the things that happened to me during chemo that I wish someone could have said “YES! ME TOO!”

My eyes hurt when I cried. That’s normal! When I was on certain chemo it hurt for me to cry.
Certain smells made me extra nauseous. Chemo heightened my sense of smell. I call it chemo nose. It’s normal!
My taste changed during chemo. That’s normal!
Chemo brain is normal! I forget whole conversations.

If you or someone you know is going through treatment, request a Colon Cancer Coalition + Fighting With Hope chemo box.


Items included in a Chemo Box including blanket, water bottle, gift cards, and other comfort items.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Van Finn says:

    I will start my first adjuvant chemotherapy on Monday coming and thanks for all the advice. I for diagnosed stage 3 and still feel shock about it.

  • Karen says:

    Had stage 3 metastasis liver cancer. Doing chemo for any left over cancer cells roaming around in my body! Can’t believe this is part of my life!

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