A pamphlet courtesy of The Gabriel and Marguerite Coxswain Memorial Cancer Center

Managing the side effects of chemotherapy may sound intimidating, but remember, chemotherapy is simply poisoning the cancer and your body at the same time with toxic fluids. Managing its side effects is equally simple.

Chemotherapy obliterates fast-growing cells, like cancer cells and hair follicles. In about a week, you’ll notice your hair shedding more than your aunt’s 16-year-old St. Bernard, Dr. Zhivago. For this, you can:

  • Cash-out your 401k to afford a wig that looks like your own hair.
  • Wear hats, beanies, and headscarves in ways that are hopefully not culturally appropriative.
  • Grow a chia pet in the shape of your head and subsequently transfer the grown chia to your scalp. Repeat weekly.
  • (If you are a man, disregard) Shave your head. You’ll actually look better than before.

Because this treatment eradicates billions of white blood cells, your immune system will be less effective than an in-utero fetus’s. For that, you will take the following:

  • An antibiotic
  • An antiviral
  • A giant plastic bubble with filtered ventilation — this human-sized plastic spherical barrier will ensure no germs reach your fragile biome, which, much like a soap bubble, will perforate upon the slightest impact.

Chemo also shreds the delicate lining of your intestines. So, you will need all of the following:

  • An anti-nausea pill
  • An antacid
  • A stool softener
  • Four more stool softeners
  • A laxative
  • A Japanese heated-seat toilet with rainbow light and bidet features — trust us on this one.

After chemo, you may feel some muscle aches and soreness, since a significant portion of your body has been ruthlessly slaughtered. For that, take:

  • One Children’s Tylenol, as needed, no more than twice a day.

Just like regular therapy, after chemotherapy, you’ll spend a lot of time crying while lying down. This is due to the emotional and physical fatigue of carefully and calculatingly massacring your insides. We recommend:

  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises
  • Yelling at a loved one, “You decide!” about dinner, TV show choice, and when you should go to the bathroom.
  • If all else fails, try meth. What’s the worst that could happen? You already have cancer.

At home, you will receive a hormone injection to stimulate the growth of new white blood cells. Why? So that, for your next round of chemo, we will have more cells to hunt down one by one like in a microscopic version of The Hunger Games.

Since your body doesn’t typically re-grow white blood cells rapidly, this injection often causes “bone pain.” You know the phrase, “I could feel it in my bones.” Now you will know it literally. To counteract the bone pain, take:

  • One Children’s Tylenol, as needed, no more than twice a day.
  • If you’re still writhing in agony after a Tylenol, try leaving your physical body and entering the astral plane, as depicted in the 2016 Marvel movie, Dr. Strange (Check with your insurance to see if a Disney+ subscription is covered).

Please download the full Chemotherapy Side Effects PDF for information regarding the less common side effects of chemotherapy (“I can’t feel my fingers” isn’t only for stoners anymore!) and managing the side effects caused by the medications used to manage your side effects. NOTE: Check that your hard drive has space for all 7,312 pages.

Thank you for choosing The Gabriel and Marguerite Coxswain Memorial Cancer Center, and remember our motto, “There is a cure for cancer. It just sucks.”