You may experience changes in your appetite, such as not being very hungry. This symptom may begin the first week of treatment. Your appetite should return to normal two to six weeks after your last treatment. Try eating five to six small meals and snacks throughout the day. If you begin to lose weight, try nutritional supplements between meals such as Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ensure, etc. For more information see the "Nutritional hints and eating hints" pamphlet.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea is a sick or uncomfortable feeling in your stomach, like you are going to throw up. You may notice this one to two hours after your treatment. It may last several hours after treatment, then gradually decreases. Let your nurse or doctor know if you have nausea and/or vomiting. There are medications to help these symptoms. You may be instructed to take the medication one hour before your treatment to prevent nausea.
Try eating bland, easy-to-digest foods and drinks such as toast, crackers, chicken, sherbert, clear liquids, jello, etc.
You may notice that you feel unusually tired during the last weeks of your treatment. This is an expected side effect. We recommend you pace your activities and include frequent rest periods, to avoid becoming overtired.
For more information see the pamphlet "Caring for yourself at home while receiving radiation therapy" skin care.