- Last Record: 2013-01-27 23:24:29 -0600
- Joined: Sep 29, 2011
Tip-1: Do not attempt to send thank-you notes to loved ones right after chemo; You might wind up receiving them days later, all addressed to yourself. However, it does make for a funny story to tell friends and laugh about later.
(True story , don't worry your memory does bounce back)
Tip#2 : As much as you want to hold on to your hair, it's better to cut it off before it starts holding on to everything else.
In time.. it will grow back.. you might even get compliments on your "new cute pixie cut".
Tip#4- Make sure to stock up on all the popsicles you can possibly find for those days that make you wonder if by any chance you ate up your change.
(That weird metal taste in your mouth) Don't worry, you'll get your taste buds back soon.
Tip#5 If you have the option, get a Port installed. It sounds creepy and scary, but in the long run, you'll be thankful you did (especially if you're scared of needles). With time you won't even know its there (plus it has a smiley face).
If the port gives you the sensation that you look like a robot, make it a point to do the "robot" at least once for fun's sake.
Tip#6: Never attempt to drink a wheatgrass shot without having some other type of drink at hand to wash it down, do try mixing it in something else to help wipe out the taste of fresh lawn. With time, the wheatgrass, however awful it tastes, will help you get much better. (Seriously though, I highly recommend mixing it with a veg smoothie or keep an orange wedge at hand).
Tip#7: Believe in the power of blush! Or any make-up for that matter. Your skin tone will probably change and you'll want to liven it up with some cosmetics. That way, people won't be able to notice that you're on chemo. If you aren't familiar with blush (which I wasn't), go to those stores where they do your make-up and have them explain to you how to use their products. Explain your concerns (since you're going through treatment), they're usually really nice and will tell you what your best options are. Do believe that being sick doesn't mean that you shouldn't get compliments!
Tip#8: Make sure to keep a journal. When chemo-brain (short-term memory) strikes, you'll want to make sure that you've written down the dates of appointments and procedures. Later on, your doctors will probably ask you questions about previous procedures, so you'll want to keep track of them. It's also helpful so when those medical bills start popping out you can make sure they're legit, it's surprising how insurance companies seem to catch chemo brain too.
Tip#9: Avoid sugar! It's good to lower your sugar intake because cancer cells apparently feed on this little cubes of goodness(who would blame them). You'll eventually get used to it (believe me, I used to have a dino-sized sugar tooth), so melt that sugar cube like you would the wicked witch .
Tip#10- Get lots of hats, go nuts! There are many super cool hats to go around nowadays, especially during winter time. Head scarves are great too, especially on a hot day. Try to get soft knit ones and light ones, and only heavier ones if you're going out somewhere, since your scalp with probably get sensitive to wearing a heavy hat for too long. Do carry a spare, lighter hat, in case you start feeling uncomfortable when you're out and about, and are thinking about changing styles on the go. Have fun with it, this shouldn't cramp your personal style!
Tip#11 This is a great time to get rid of obstacles, make changes, and re-prioritize your life so that you can enjoy it to the fullest and get anything that just isn't fulfilling out of the way. For example, changing your cable company, since you can now officially attest that they have been ripping you off for far too long with terrible programming.
Tip#12 Make a music playlist, but not just any playlist. Make a really pumped up mix of cool/positive songs (nothing angsty), and do press the emergency "play" button to get you out of one of those moments when you start feeling like the negative cloud that wants to float in and ruin your day. Instead: dance, or snap your fingers, depending on your strength that day. Believe in the power of music and make your own party!
Tip#13: Check your doctors, their backgrounds, references, etc. Ask lots of questions (A good doctor will be able to answer them all), and get second opinions if you have to. Make sure that you are satisfied with your doctors (the way they treat patients, how they do things, and their availability in case of emergencies). You're gonna be with this guy/girl/it for a long run, so it's best to make sure that you pick the doctor that you're most comfortable with.
Tip#14: Go find yourself a cool wig! For this one gather your friends, since this could be a fun experience, and try all the hairstyles that you would regularily never dare to try. You'll be surprised at how well you look with so many different hairstyles. Take in mind, wigs aren't like old times, these ones are really realistic. Some have roots and highlights, and they come in really trendy styles and colors, so it will take time for you to decide. Something to take in mind when buying a wig is choosing between real hair and synthetic hair. Real hair can be colored or styled with hot tools, but synthetic hair can't be colored, and can't be styled with hot tools. Both can be cut to fit your style; I recommend the synthetic ones because you can't see the difference! They come already styled for you, and they won't lose the curl or shine after washes, and in the long run, they do take less damage than real hair, and they are more economic . Another thing to take in mind is to not blow all your money on one wig. It is better to have two, especially if you decide to get a long one. They're heavier at times, and can tangle easily, and some days you won't feel like having to deal with all that hair, so leave it for dates or parties and have a short one for everyday use. Having two also helps with in-between washes, since it's good to have a spare to back you up. The wig shop usually has special shampoos and conditioners for them, so don't use your regular products. It's nice to change your style, have salon ready hair in minutes, and get compliments on your great hair .
Tip:15 - Grab your best wig and a cool outfit and make it a point to look your best when you go to your chemo apointments. You are so badass that you even look good while having chemo and why not ?! Not only will people around you say that you look good, you'll also make them feel good showing that even if they're going through this, they can still be themselves, as this is not a time to give up, but to have and give hope to others, and show them that you can totally kick cancer's butt with style!
Tip#16- Do not go through a bunch of cancer related sites. As much as you want to find helpful information, most of the time you won't find what you need, and the majority of people there are usually the bunch that has most problems. Instead of hearing from the people that are doing well and are minding their own business offline, you might end up scared and depressed after going through countless sob-story websites. Since cancer treatment is usually very personalized, you might not even find any helpful information to begin with! It's always a better idea to ask your doctor questions or to find small support groups around your area.
Tip 17: As much as food becomes rather distasteful, you still have to eat to keep yourself healthy, especially when your blood count is low. An easy way of obtaining nutrients can be by prepared juices or soups. Also try salads, since fresh and cool foods relieve the distaste in your mouth. Regular or frozen pieces of fruit help a lot. Remember that this bad taste in your mouth is only temporary, and soon, you'll be able to enjoy all of your favorite treats again!
Tip#18: If you start suffering of hot flashes at night, keep an extra pair of pajamas on your bed or on a nearby chair. It is good to have a light pajama and a warm one so that if this wakes you up in the middle of the night, you don't have to completely distrupt your sleep changing into a new one.
Tip#19: Let's shove all those shoud-have/could-have thoughts in a box and bury it. Unless they start selling time machines for $19.99, there's no point in wasting time thinking back on things we can't change. Instead, enjoy the now and try being proactive on what you love.
Tip#20: Natural juices and supplements are an essential part of your recovery. After going through the process of Chemotherapy, radiation, and another handful of procedures, your body definitely needs a break and could definitely use a boost. There are many books on natural ways to regain your energy and get all the vitamins you need so that your body can heal faster. For example, making your own green juice with any mix of vegetables and fruit. Drinking wheat grass shots, green tea or Essiac tea also helps. There are also many different supplements like Maitake mushrooms,Flax seeds, grape seed extract, and cranberry, just to name a few. Since there are many alternative methods of helping yourself get better, it'll help to do some research to find what's best for you. Remember to always check with your doctor before using any alternative methods of healing.
Tip#21: Try your best to exercise! Since cancer cells can't live in a oxygenated body, the oxygen deprivation caused by exercise can help to weaken the cells, even if its just going for a short walk, doing yoga, or doing anything that you feel comfortable doing. Since going through chemo does change your energy drastically from day to day, some days you'll feel pumped, and others, like a limp noodle. Just try your best to be active.
Tip#22 : Care for your caretakers, Caregivers also go through a lot when taking care of the people they love, and it can take a toll on them physically and mentally, so they also need your patience and support. Let them know how much their help means to you, and research for a support group if they feel like they should join one, but most importantly, show them that you care as much for them too.
Tip#23: If part of your treatment involves radiation, make sure to know all the pros and cons first, since it could complicate other procedures you might need in the future. Unless you want to end up like a rotisserie chicken on the loose, make sure to really and I mean REALLY lather up with cream after having radiation. There are many specially made for radiation treatment, and your doctor will let you know which one is good for you.
Tip#24: Try to keep your nails short and avoid going to the nail salon during treatment since your nails usually become weak and brittle, and with a weakened immune system, there is always a chance for infections. Find a cool nail polish that you can look forward to once you're finished with treatment.
Tip #25: If surgery is part of your path to recovery, make sure to rest and stay activity-free for the time that the doctor assigned you. Do not try to act invincible right now, or you'll risk joining the unraveling teddy bear club.
TIp#26: It's normal to sometimes feel like you were wronged by humanity (or whatever you feel like blaming). In the end, these feelings won't change the situation, so try your best to find a way of getting all the bad energy and feelings out. You can cry, yell, or punch the bejesus out of a punching bag, but don't keep stress inside, since it isn't good for your health.
Tip#27: Keep your mind and spirit awake. Having a clear and sunny mind helps you prevent drowning your bright personality in the doubts of self-esteem. Remember: No matter what the mirror tells you that you look like at the moment, this is only temporary, and you're still yourself all the way through this mess and out.
Tip#28: Eyebrows and eyelashes are one of the things that take a while to grow back after chemo. It's a good idea to do some research on how to draw in some eyebrows or where to get fake eyelashes. Since it's a little tricky to do this, practice before going out in public, since you don't want people spreading gossip about your new set of "issues".