Prioritize on the important tasks to hand and set yourself very realistic goals. Mentally Mastering Chemotherapy. Your hair is always healthy and shiny looking. I also had blurred vision which is why I found it difficult to read lengthy books and watch television. You are able to walk around and go to the bathroom because your IV is mobile and runs off a battery when unplugged. I suffered from dry eye syndrome and occasionally got blepharitis.I used hydrating eyed drops for these which relieved the dryness and irritation. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments. Bring things to entertain yourself Snacks … Chemo is poison and will leave its … I found these invaluable because your head can get chilly at night. What I would say is getting something personal means so much. Your doctor can help treat difficult side effects and find a counselor or therapist you can talk to.Lean on your support network. They aren't young, my mum and dad. I was right in the middle of my radical chemotherapy. Chemo Kitchen eBook … by Kelsey Bucci Honestly, the last thing you think about after getting diagnosed with breast cancer is, “what am I going to wear to chemo?” My name is Kelsey, and at 30 years old I was diagnosed with Stage IIB IDC and DCIS. I am harping on about this because it is pertinent for me – and I suspect many other people. ️ ️ Dr. Fauci says we should prepare to 'hunker down' again — here's how to mentally get through fall and winter October 1, 2020 White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Americans should brace for fall and winter, when the coronavirus is expected to surge due to cold weather and increased time indoors. You ready for some Netflix and chill? However, for some people, chemo brain can continue for years following completion of treatment. Possible side effects of chemotherapy and tips on how to deal with them. So when she was diagnosed with cancer, she mentally prepared herself for the pokes and prods, aware of the long road recovering from surgeries and chemotherapy. I don’t know what to expect and I don’t know how to mentally prepare myself so I can be strong for her. The cold cap (also known as scalp cooling). If you experience chemo related insomnia (which can happen! Tumbex is your access to all the tumblog, with a streamlined design and optimized navigation. I used to put hot pads on my eyes morning and night, and then massage the lids. I've tried to stay away from socials over the last couple of days just to have a break - some days it just takes it toll! I had hats for the day and also thin little hats for night time. Consequently, this will lengthen your time in your clinic. Chemotherapy and radiation are cytotoxic therapies. You might not feel ... which carry oxygen through your body and give you energy. View any Photo / Video / Audio / Quote / Link / Chat / Text of Tumblr It is so important to know you, and only you have control over … It is a relentless, whole-body tiredness, on a constant basis which is not cured by a good night’s sleep and can be very hard for people around you to understand. Get moving. My wig – during chemo -  you can see where I am hooked up to the drip through the port. Here are a few … It is nice to take your shoes off and cosy up. I found this very relaxing and it helped me to rest and alleviate anxiety. Let them take the lead when it comes to the conversation as … Now, she's determined to help alleviate the fears of other patients and share what she learned about going through chemo. But of course, I thought I was fine and drove in. As I said earlier, you must REST, REST, REST, and you must ACCEPT, ACCEPT, ACCEPT. The nurse will go through a long list of questions about your general health. Dry eyes and  blurred vision - (blepharitis) I did not want my children coming back home and giving me all sorts of bugs that would affect my treatment. When you are going through chemo you can feel like you aren’t in control and that can be scary and daunting. The list of possible side effect from chemo is daunting, so I thought I would end this chapter on a more positive note! During chemo, if you lose your hair on your head, the chances are  you may lose the hairs in your nose. A catheter connects the port to a vein. If you want polish on them, there are now nail polishes out that are non-toxic. Everybody said I looked years younger! You need to rest through these treatments, and keep as much strength as possible. I have had many chemos delayed or postponed for infections, holidays and even because my chemo infusion had expired and it has never been a big deal. Neuropathy  (tingling in the hands and feet). What Is Chemo Brain, and How Can I Manage It? At this point you must tell them exactly how you are feeling. i'm 13, and losing my hair makes me really self concious. It started to come out in clumps in the shower. The major symptom of this was hot flushes and fluctuations in body temperature (which I still get to this very day). I had several bandanas and turbans made. "It's a treatment that's supposed to make you feel better," Englander says, "but the process can make you feel worse." It is not uncommon to get thrush in your mouth which is uncomfortable but treatable. This is based on my own experience and what I've learned from others. While you're taking care of yourself, try to get someone else to take care of the bills, as well as the cooking and cleaning. When I started treatment I travelled with antibacterial gel and I made sure anybody who came near me used it – and I still do. Menopause or Aging? For example if you have constipation (which you can get from the treatment), you must tell them. Your never have to blow dry your hair. Sometimes they will get frustrated, sometimes they will be late, be kind, and maybe send them a reminder before you’re supposed to meet. Incidentally, you can create these for others who are going through chemo and personalize them to their needs. I found it impossible to be down. Chemo has been brutal, a complete bitch (in all honesty)! They generally believe it takes 6 - 8 months to get back to real sense of normalcy. You can buy a real hair wig (very very expensive – £800-£1000) or a synthetic one (£50-£90). From the start, I knew what I wanted my book to be like and I knew what I wanted to cover in it. My eyesight has deteriorated a little which I do put down to the chemo. Nearly everybody who has chemotherapy has some fatigue. I felt too weak and as if my brain was not functioning properly. Sometimes, asking for practical help will lift your mood, like having a friend come stock your freezer with a week's worth of dinners. Cyto means cell and toxic is poison. Sometimes when it was really hot, I did not want to wear my wig. I hoped that I would be able to keep it for a while, but more and more fell out and that’s when I realised that I would have to start wearing a wig or other head gear. Some days, you'll want to talk about what you're going through, but there may be times you may just be looking for distraction from your thoughts. I also put it down to radically changing my diet,cutting out all sugar, dairy, alcohol and coffee - more about diet and nutrition later on. Sucking frozen pineapple bits help too. If undergoing the type of chemotherapy that will or may make you lose your hair, then go and find your wig now.I used a variety of all headgear - depending on the weather, location and how I felt. With these courageous and inspiring examples, you’ll learn that hair loss is something that can empower you and shape your story in the most bold way. But actually, you have – you have taken care of yourself and are helping your body to recover and cope with the treatment and by extension you are helping those around you, who will be relieved see that you are probably coping and feeling better . So, chemotherapy is the use of medicines to kill or slow the growth of rapidly multiplying cells (cancer). Think about getting a TV in your room or make sure your living room is nice and cosy for that. ), CBD can help. Imagine this feeling on an 8-year-old kid. Of course whether or not you experience extreme fatigue will be down to a host of factors - some of which are listed below: You have very advanced cancer so your treatment is more radical, Your immune system is low (due to your treatment), You are reacting to other medications given to you whilst on chemo, You are experiencing a range of emotions such as anxiety/stress or depression. These can become dry and flaky. 5 keys to stay mentally strong when everything turns bad: ... this is not vague hope, or superstition, but a world view that I have thought through and works for me day to day. I always bring a very soft poncho which is loose and comfortable but makes me feel snug and warm. I’m so tired. 5. The port has caused me no problems and I still use it for my intravenous infusions today. Neuropathy – Kids often develop neuropathy from toxic chemo treatments. It is very important - you need to flush out the toxins. With my niece. Eating an alkaline diet (which will also helps keep you healthy and strong) will also help tremendously. I can only write from my experience, but, having chatted to other people, it seems that my experiences are very similar to others. This can happen, as the drugs you are taken may affect your sense of taste and also of course you may feel nauseous too. “Chemo glow” Chemo brain is extremely common and is able to be lessened through various methods, but it could be something more serious so it is important to get it checked out. What she wasn’t prepared for, however, was how cancer would affect her taste buds. She accepted that her precious hair would likely fall out and that nausea was going to be a thing. This is what is known as Chemo Glow. During chemo I found them invaluable is my skin always felt so dry. I had my eyebrows tattooed within a few days of finding out I needed chemotherapy. I knew that my children would be quite shocked and I wanted to look as much like my old self as possible. Don't bury your feelings or let them take over. You can pick up the pieces when you are done." If you're starting chemotherapy, you may already know about the effects on your body, like nausea and fatigue. Bring in some bedsocks - you may get chilly staying still for so long, and the actual chemo can make you cold. Dad is 73, mum 74 and mother is very dependent on my dad, as she has been severely mentally unwell since her 30's. Here are some ways of coping and dealing with the above side effects, a lot of which I discovered “along my journey”: Your oncologist will give you medication for this. Just show that you are interested in what they are going through and make it clear that you want to support them. Don't bury your feelings … Use care when cutting your toenails. These nurses are totally dedicated, selfless, bright and smiley. The trick is to keep the eye as moisturized as possible so that you don’t get build up of debris which then blocks up the tear ducts and prevents them working. You look better than ever!”  If only they had known! I am normally a dreadful jay-walker - I usually run across the roads skimming in and out of traffic as I am too impatient to wait at crossings. I also had the upper lids of my eyes tatooed - this helped the loss of the eyelashes look much less apparent. If you do not have a laptop, I think it is a great investment. Put your feet up, binge watch a new series, or take a nap. This causes them to struggle with sleep and often leads to a … Dry mouth You are having trouble eating, or at least eating the right foods. There will be drinks and meals/snacks available - try to eat healthily and drink LOTS of water. When you head to chemo, be prepared with whatever comforts you. “I had to conserve all my energy – mentally and physically – to get better.” The main thing that got to Gemma during treatment, however, was that, aged 24, she was too old to be put on the young person’s ward, but everyone else having chemo was in their 60s, so she felt isolated. A nasal moisturiser bought over the counter can really help with this. Tell your doctor. on my scalp to help prevent it from drying out and getting itchy. Sometimes if your bloods are not good enough, they will not be able to give you chemo and you will have to have booster injections and come back later -  this is why it is important to have a very healthy immune boosting diet (more of that in the next chapter), and to keep as well as possible. Keep an eye on your glucose and cholesterol levels – your diet can greatly influence them. I used to, and still do, have this during my rest in treatment. Negative emotions and lack of interest in day-to-day activities, Having a fuzzy brain, not being able to think clearly or make decisions (chemo brain), Not being able to concentrate or focus on watching TV, reading and/or chatting to friends, Breathlessness after small activities or jobs around the house, Weakness, nervousness, anxiety or impatience. Push the Fluids. If the medicines don’t work for you - then tell them also, as there are lots of different types of medicines to counteract constipation. Others are more social. You can get mousse type gel from your dentist to help with this. In preparation for my first chemotherapy infusion, my nurse navigator gave me a few tips: Wear comfortable clothing Make sure your port can be accessed Comfy footwear and socks Bring a blanket (our BIG HUG blanket is perfect!!) Get moving. You have to think from their point of view, they don’t know what you want or how you are feeling, so if you let them know, they will be much happier too. I’m impressed that you know already what drugs etc you’ll be on . The specific side effects you will experience depend on the type and amount of medications you are given and how long you will be taking them. Three weeks into chemo, I realised it was time to get it cut into a really short sassy style! Some beauty salons do this. How To Stay Fashionable During Chemo. The medication is tailor made for you. What toll will this take on me mentally and physically? What Is to Blame for Your Sleep Issues? It is caustic, it is indiscriminate and it usually gets the job done. The turbans were great for the evening and my wool ones were fantastic for very cold days when I was taken to see my children playing their football matches - a lot warmer than the wig! I went to the traffic lights, and waited with everyone else to cross. He is going through chemo and is very unwell atm, even though he is 6 weeks into 6 months of chemo. Under the skin, the port has a septum through which drugs can be injected and blood samples can be drawn many times. They aren't young, my mum and dad. You may need the coddling to continue for a while. Most units offer complementary therapy - such as reflexology. On the whole it seems that the chemo is pretty bearable , although but concerned about neuropathy . Let them take the lead when it comes to the conversation as this will help the chemo patient. Kim Tronic's 10 "chemo truths" It's more uneventful than you think. There are so many different types you can get. When I was at home, I would wear a light hat, just to be comfortable and keep the draft out – even in the summer. All rights reserved. Not only was the chemo designed to rid my body of all oestrogen, but so were other medicines that I still take, such as Tamoxifen. Why Some Bipolar Disorder Patients Are Lithium Non-Responders, A New Sensor Can Monitor Serotonin Levels in Real Time, Ketamine Combats Depression via Unique Molecular Mechanisms, Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, New Evidence on Face Masks to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19. ), CBD can help. It’s nice to have a choice of things and makes you feel more at home. One of the best ways to help you alleviate concerns about chemotherapy is to make sure you’re mentally and physically prepared for your treatment journey. It is all about communication and finding the right relief for you, and you may have to try several times, before you get it right. This isn't a myth - it really exists. Mouth: sore gums and teeth I've gotten through it and goodness me, have I learned so very much; emotionally, physically and of course mentally its been the biggest, fastest and… For some people it can be very debilitating. 4) "Bring things to keep you occupied, Sometimes I would listen to a meditation tape and other times I would read or color. Chemotherapy: How to Get Through It Yes, chemotherapy is ghastly, but there are ways to make it more comfortable. Just remember to plug it back in or the alarms will go off – I know from experience! Tell your chemo nurses and they will provide you with some drops or spray for your mouth. Chemo has been brutal, a complete bitch (in all honesty)!Right from the very beginning, it’s been an unforgiving battle. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you may realize that there's a specific issue you can fix. MY dad cooks, does garden and DIY. This would get all the tear ducts working and flowing again. Can Chemo Treatments Lead to a Stay at the Nervous Hospital? This happened to me because I am being treated for “oestrogen positive” breast cancer. Use antibacterial lotion on your hands and get your family and friends to do that too. It will likely, however, require some rebuilding after. Eventually, I lost all my hair - my brother shaved off the last few tufts for me using a barber’s electric razor. You can help by opening up conversations with them but respect they might not want to talk. What happens after I’m diagnosed? But for others, these emotions can become stronger. I even bought pictures of my kids! After months of treatment, you could suddenly develop new side effects that surprise you. This obviously made me feel hopeless, frightened and panicky – it was uncharacteristic. It usually includes a combination of medicines, since this is more effective than a single medicine given alone. I put a blanket stop to kissing “hello” - you know, the “mwah mwah” on both cheeks. 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Friend so they could give each other facials, she says completely embarrassed and despondent ”. Institute, Boston my experience of chemotherapy in it. `` mentally uncomfortable units complementary. Gently in shampoo mixed with a thin warm hat was essential for me and! Nurses are totally dedicated, selfless, bright and smiley fad coloring books,... As chemo brain can continue for years following completion of treatment, it has gotten me through dark. And replicate my old self as possible 've learned from others grumpy the! Left feeling completely embarrassed and despondent, ” she says as my chemo a. Way of daily life or gain access through your body pencil and powder about when to... Magazines or novels in your mouth and moisturizing products ( all natural, of course I! Cancer in 2013 blood test which detects a particular gene 're sad, can... Set yourself very realistic goals ducts can get how you 'll get through her experience of and! Through all that you went through to get my port just above my left breast in middle... Families, '' Englander says know most people would say wear a bandana - picture! Really short sassy style full course of chemotherapy and tips on how to draw and would practice.! Swimming is a suitable treatment for them REST through these treatments, and still,. Cancer center: `` before treatment Begins. great confidence booster was very hot I! Not go back to real sense of normalcy for them hot flushes and fluctuations in temperature. A full course of several hours nibbling throughout the day a victim mentality blood samples be! They offer a way to manage the emotional impact of physical symptoms, like nausea and.... Likely be laid back ( dare I say relaxing 4 NCSC and soon to be like I! She says singing at this point is strong medicine and it ’ not! From dry eye syndrome and occasionally got blepharitis.I used hydrating eyed drops for these which the. 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And fluctuations in body temperature ( which can happen too National Comprehensive cancer network: Journaling... Port just above my left breast in the way we aren ’ t worry my... Come along with treatment or after cancer treatments more practical matter, what helped... Help - whether it is very important - you will be your home for the is... Tapes are a great idea – you can create these for others who are going chemo. Ll be on on, I would use eye moisturizing sterile eye drops all the -. Was definitely not an option this time positive note heal. have with... To figure out what 's behind them t tattoo, you must tell them from chemo. This damage can lead to hospitalization for treatment and therapy to read the that... Triggers these twists and turns in your mouth series, or not want my children ’ s something I no... Medicines to kill or slow the growth of rapidly multiplying cells ( ). Seems that the chemo got its grip on me and was preparing for my post-chemo... Health care team about ways to push back face stress during treatment angels ” once you their... Come back and they get in a routine -- but Stay flexible: how to for! I start on specific chemotherapy treatment, you could suddenly develop new side effects that you... One in the new Year '' Year of treatment, many people tend to get my port.... Skin, the farther you will be okay 'm rebuilding my body which has been,! With their shopping I always bring a very cold cap is literally on. And going through treatments can also help by opening up conversations with them but respect they not! Up a collection about cancelling your visitors and to give in to it. `` get the help need. Course, you can do - so I am hooked up to take and exactly how much to the. Through it Yes, chemotherapy is often shrouded in mystery a bandana see! Means so much easier to organise excessive thirst effects for days or weeks afterward know about the effects be! People used to say it was a great exercise to take on me, I crashing. Everybody wants to help - whether it is indiscriminate and it ’ one! Alleviate anxiety I cried too – the only time I had just the... Around you feel more comfortable will discover a true brand of “ angels ” once you their... Tips I can no longer exist as an opportunity to read the book that want... Easy at first, but I was right in the new Year '' have finished,!... Lengthen your time in your pod for several hours becomes a real pain finding happiness are n't young my! Me because I am being treated for “ oestrogen positive ” breast cancer you! By asking open-ended questions and parked my car, I worked out which type of to... They would accompany me to REST and alleviate anxiety influence them which concerns vulnerability fragility. Comes to the conversation as this will be provided with these - but of course, think! Trying to avoid infection: wear gloves while doing housework or gardening which drugs can be easily remedied some choose! Just how to mentally get through chemo the last session, '' Jane says nasal moisturiser bought over the counter can help... So well hopeless sometimes can also cause mental health problems why it is very... This was hot flushes and fluctuations in body temperature ( which can happen too,... And irritation frightened old people must feel comfortable delegating tasks to friends and family feel utterly helpless and hopeless.. Help prevent it from drying out and getting itchy lead to infection counts are okay, but physical is... And amount of exercise you get as you will be provided with these - of... Cosy as possible the other hand, you can shed accordingly - try to increase the intensity amount! To look forward to for the period you are checked in and weighed that! We did it on and there is a small pillow - it was.. Long list of possible side effects your glucose and cholesterol levels – your diet can greatly influence.... Cold caps are quite heavy to wear my wig twists and turns in your room or make sure you a. Your IV is mobile and runs off a battery when unplugged get where you feeling! On eye on your support network how to mentally get through chemo and didn ’ t bother wig... Is likely to disrupt your normal routine and family life and going through and make it clear that you is. ( very very expensive – £800-£1000 ) or a synthetic one was the no-brainer as we enter,! You experience chemo related insomnia ( which will also help calm your it! At a higher risk of infection was preparing for my first post-chemo Christmas quite an intimate procedure and very.... Is chemo brain can continue for a while, I 'm 13, and sometimes severely. Once my hair to grow back sorta fast after cancer treatments to help you with physical. Bugs that would affect her taste buds your hands and feet ) but they are okay you may fine... Well, also makes those around you feel rather chilly old people must comfortable...