5 Lifestyle Tips For Living With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

It is estimated that there will be 8,950 new cases of men and women that will be diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and the risk only increases with age. There may not be a known way to prevent most cases of CML, however, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help make living with CML a little better. These changes can even begin during treatment to not only start taking advantage of the benefits, but to also help ease potential anxiety associated with CML.

Eat Better

Adapting to a new diet that includes more wholesome foods can be quite difficult for anyone, and especially difficult during and after cancer treatment. Treatment can make this transition problematic because it can change your sense of taste, cause nausea, weight fluctuation and you may have developed moody eating habits. While all of this can be frustrating, putting healthy eating habits into place can create simple, yet, long-term benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating more colorful and healthy foods, increase in your energy levels and help you endure side effects of CML. If you experience nausea or moody eating habits, try eating small meals every two to three hours until you feel better.

Some foods to include in your diet are at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, water, tea and coffee. It also helps to reduce your alcohol intake. If you’re unsure of where to start with your diet, talk with your doctor about referring you to a registered dietician that can help you create a personalized meal and nutrition plan. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also offer a free one-on-one consultation for patients and caregivers.

Get Adequate Rest

One of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and its treatment is fatigue. Fatigue from cancer treatment is often more intense than the average feeling of being tired we occasionally feel. During these moments, it’s important to listen to your body in order to allow yourself to heal properly. Balance between rest and your activities is also a key factor in the healing process. Schedule your activities throughout the day rather than all at once and schedule your most important activities for when you have the most energy.

Short naps or rest breaks scheduled for 30 minutes or less can be more beneficial than one long nap during the day. Remember, fatigue caused by cancer treatment is short term and your energy typically slowly returns after treatment has ended. Be sure to let your doctor know if your exhaustion isn’t slowly improving, as it could be a sign of something else.