Whidbey General Hospital

Manage Your Symptoms

Your care extends beyond office visits. During your course of treatment, you can find help managing symptoms at home. Click on your symptom for a PDF with important information and practical suggestions for feeling better. If you have questions, call Medical Ambulatory Care at 360-678-7624 or 360-321-5173.
Anemia is another word for having too few red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body. When there are too few red blood cells, your muscles and organs cannot get enough oxygen to work properly, leading to symptoms that affect your quality of life.
Bruising and Bleeding
Bruising and bleeding may be caused by a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Platelets are the cells in the bloodstream that make your blood clot and are produced in the bone marrow, which is suppressed with chemo. When the number of platelets decreases, bleeding may occur. Avoid injuries to prevent bleeding and infection.
Some chemotherapy drugs and many pain medications can result in constipation. Learn about important signs and symptoms to report to your doctor or nurse today.
Every cancer patient is bound to feel sadness or grief at times. As you go through treatment, you might suddenly find yourself feeling as blue, angry, or numb as when you first learned of your disease. It’s perfectly okay to feel that way. To avoid or handle major depression, try these tips.
Diarrhea is a common side effect, occurring in 75% of those who receive chemotherapy, and can be life-threatening if it leads to dehydration, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances. It is important to talk to your doctor or nurse if diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, or if you have pain and cramping along with diarrhea, so it can be treated promptly.
The most common complaint reported by cancer patients is fatigue. However, this condition may feel different from the fatigue you experienced before developing cancer. Learn some effective ways to conserve your energy as you undergo treatment.
Hair Loss
Hair loss or thinning is a common, yet temporary, side effect of some cancer therapies. Currently, there are no medicines that can prevent hair loss during treatment, however there are ways to prepare for changes that may occur.
Increased Infection Risk
Most chemotherapies reduce your number of germ-fighting white blood cells, which increases your chance of an infection. However, there are medications that can decrease your risk of infection. Ask your doctor if these might be appropriate for you.
Cancer or chemotherapy can make infections more likely to occur, and they can make infections more serious than they would have been before you developed cancer. However, there are ways to lower your risk of getting an infection.
Mouth Sores
Some chemotherapies can cause sores, dryness, irritation and bleeding in the mouth and throat. Since many germs live in the mouth, these sores can become infected, which is a serious side effect for some patients, but there are ways you can protect yourself.
Nausea and Vomiting
Two of the most common side effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting. Fortunately, they have become less common and severe with the development of new medications. However, finding the best combination of drugs takes time, so patients should tell their doctors and nurses how much nausea and vomiting they are experiencing.
Neuropathy and Myalgia
Some chemotherapies can cause problems with your nerves, resulting in a condition called neuropathy. You may feel tingling, burning, weakness, numbness or pain in hands or feet, but there are ways to cope.
There are many safe and very effective methods for treating pain, ranging from relaxation techniques to strong drugs. We will work with you and your family to develop a plan of pain management that is specific to your needs.
Skin Reactions
Skin reactions to drug therapy are extremely common. All drugs may induce skin reactions, although if they do occur they are usually mild. However, some skin reactions are serious and potentially life-threatening, so all drug-associated rashes should be reported to your health care professional for evaluation.
Weight Loss
About half of all cancer patients experience weight loss from the disease itself or from its treatment. In fact, weight loss is one of the most common symptoms that may prompt cancer diagnosis. Learn techniques (and recipes) for keeping weight loss under control.


Outstanding Quality


Dr. John Hassapis, Renee Yanke, ARNP and Dr. John Hoyt serve on the Whidbey General Cancer Care Committee.


The Commission on Cancer re-accredited our cancer care program in 2012 with the maximum eight commendations. Very few hospitals achieve this distinction. We also received the commission's annual Outstanding Achievement Award, an honor shared in 2012 by only 79 hospitals in the country and one other hospital in Washington. Read more about this prestigious award.


"All of you shine with love and caring!— That includes the doctors, nurses, clerical staff and others we’ve encountered and are blessed to have met. Why we’re here is not our choice, but we couldn’t think of a better place to go through this journey. We are so grateful." Read more comments about our Cancer Care Program.

Dear 16 yr. Old Me

Dear 16-year-old me

This brief video describes the dangers of melanoma and tells how to protect yourself from this aggressive form of cancer. Watch video.