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5 ways to make cancer treatment more fun

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ashleyandmarshalllauen428.jpgBy Ashley Lauen    

My husband, Marshall, was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkin's lymphoma about a year-and-a-half ago. Through our lymphoma treatment journey, we spent a lot of time at MD Anderson.

My mom has always taught me to "make fun" wherever I am, so to encourage my husband and try to maintain some sense of normalcy, I am always dreaming up ways to make the hospital more enjoyable. After all, we are fighting for his life, not just a clean PET scan.

Here are five ways we made the hospital more fun:

Host dance parties. Yes, these dance parties will involve an IV tree, but they can still be fabulous and fun. Stream some music from your phone or a laptop. It can instantly change your mood.

Enjoy the downtime by taking awesome naps.
This is a special place that transports you back to early childhood where naps were encouraged. Nurses love to give warm blankets, so use them.

Get out of the room. While Marshall and I were at MD Anderson, we tried to get out of the room as often as possible. It seems silly to make 75 laps around the same floor a day, but it will keep you from going stir crazy. Plus, it's great exercise. It's a win-win.

Eat! Whether you are on a strict diet or can eat whatever you want, meals are an opportunity to bring a little fun into your day. Make a picnic, bring special food or order room service. It's the little things that make a big difference, especially during cancer treatment.

Find new hobbies.
Don't try to pack light. Bring things you enjoy doing. The nurses don't mind the extra stuff and are happy to see you passing time in an enjoyable way. Read all those books you wanted to, journal, craft, sew, play video games -- whatever makes you happy.

Read more Cancerwise posts by Marshall and Ashley. Follow their journey on their personal blog.

To schedule an appointment in MD Anderson's Lymphoma & Myeloma Center, call 1-877-632-6789 or request an appointment online.

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