Huffpost Healthy Living

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jennifer Giuffre-Donohue Headshot

Here's Your Cancer Medal

Posted: Updated:

This blog is excerpted from a book that I'm writing called Cancer, With a Twist.

Here's a newsflash: they don't give you a medal for going through childbirth without any drugs and they don't give you a medal when you finish chemo or any type of cancer treatment. (I didn't have to go through radiation or surgery but from what I hear you don't get medals for that either!) Can you believe that? It doesn't seem right does it? There are no medals for "being brave." What does that mean anyway?

When you're literally faced with dying, you're allowed to be scared a little shitless, it's OK. If you're currently going through cancer treatment or you know someone who is, here's one of the best pieces of advice that I can give. Take your anti-nausea medications! Because there are no medals for anyone who thinks they have to "suck it up." I used to be one of those people who would always say "I don't like to take medicine" and now I realize how dumb that sounds because honestly, who does like to take medicine? Oh yeah, everyone's lining up to say I don't want to be healthy, so give me lots of different medications that will give me lots of different side effects. Then I'll have to take other medications in order to combat the side effects of the medications that are supposedly helping me!

When I went through treatment one of the nurses told me that in addition to having more anti-nausea drugs than they did even five to ten years ago, they also work so much better than they used to. Thank you research and technology! But there are still people who don't want to take them and I can understand that... to an extent. You feel like your body already has so much crap running through it that you don't want to add anymore crap to the mix. But if the crap you're taking has the potential to make you sick then why not take something that can help combat that feeling?

Cancer treatment is bad enough without having to feel worse than you already do. Hell, if the anti-nausea medications I had didn't work so well I would have been puffing up a storm. You know what I mean. All joking aside, I don't understand how medical marijuana is not legal everywhere. After all is it really worse than any of the other prescription drugs that we take and that people are addicted to? I think if the politicians who block medical marijuana had to go through one chemo treatment the laws would be changed quickly. But I digress...I was never into drugs but I don't know how I would have been able to function without my anti-nausea meds. Chemo has so many side effects besides the nausea so if you can take something that will ease one of your symptoms do yourself a favor and take it. Taking your anti-nausea meds will make a miserable experience a little bit easier.

While I was going through chemo my pocketbook looked like a pharmacy. I had my anti-nausea meds just in case I felt like I was going to toss my cookies, then I had Tums and Zantac to deal with the indigestion and reflux caused by the chemo itself and the meds. Remember, not everyone has the same side effects, some people have very minimal side effects and that could be you. Definitely think positive and don't stress about what side effects you may or may not get. But if you do experience them, take the medications that will help if you need them. In the meantime I'll work on seeing how we can get those medals.

From Our Partners