Advice #10

Stock photo. Posed by model.

Taking an active role in your health care – find out about your condition, your treatment, the side effects and be involved in your treatment decision-making process.

Maintaining a strong support system – talking to your friends, family, colleagues about your CLL, your treatment and how they can support you will help you develop a support network. You may also wish to contact CLL patient support groups or online support communities.

Staying active and setting reasonable goals – setting yourself realistic goals can help maintain a sense of accomplishment and a sense of purpose.

Reward yourself - it can sometimes be tempting to focus on what you should be doing instead of something you enjoy doing. You can combine both by rewarding yourself each time you achieve one of your goals: go out for lunch, meet a friend, cook something you like.

Making healthy choices – ensuring you eat well, exercising regularly, relaxing, getting enough rest and minimizing infection risk will benefit your overall physical and mental wellness.

Find some exercise you enjoy
- light exercise can help reduce the symptoms of fatigue. It’s never too late to start exercising. It can make you feel better physically and emotionally, and help you cope better, too. Remember to talk to your health care team before starting any new exercise routine.

Try to keep your weight within the normal range for your height - if you don’t know what your normal weight range is, you can ask your nurse or doctor. If you can’t face big meals, try eating small meals more frequently. Or try nourishing drinks, which boost your energy intake without having to eat. If you’re concerned about your weight, your doctor can give you advice and support.

Thinking of traveling? - You can talk to your health care team about your plans. They will be able to advise you if you need to take any special precautions (for example, against diarrhea or coping with hot climates). They can also give you practical information and tell you where to find local sources of help for any unexpected medical emergencies.

Your condition may increase your chance of developing infections - strong immune system helps to fight infections. Support your body’s immune system by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and try to avoid participating in activities where there are large groups of people.

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