stuff that helped me with side effects

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stuff that helped me with side effects

by lovemyfamily on Thu Dec 24, 2015 03:09 PM

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hi, just wanted to share what helped me (in addition to medications) with side effects of chemo.  If you'd like to share what helped you, that would be great.  Please know i am respectful that people have different experiences and if you are having very tough side effects my heart goes out to you, may they go away soon and may you have strength to get through them.

Also, I got these wholistic supports by researching on web, not just guessing :)

for itchy-ness and rash - pure shea butter.  I'm in NYC, they sell it on the street, but I got the best freshest stuff through .  I use shea butter all over 1x daily to avoid skin dryness.  Sometimes instead i use pure almond oil.  I also drink the 3 quarts of water my docs recommended (this may differ for different cases so check with your med team on water). 

for hair shedding and baldness - got a buzz cut, then when i kept shedding and it was so messy, got head shaved.  After buzz cut, i started using jojoba oil 1x day on my scalp to keep skin healthy and sooth my scalp as it experiences the (chemical part of) hair loss process. Also if I'm gonna be bald i want the sexiest scalp possible! Also got some wigs, normal ones plus 3 "party" colorful wigs (blue etc) just for fun, those were just $20 each, some are better quality than others, I got best at enilecor through Amazon.  Trying to embrace this bald/wig time with some fun.  I also talk to certain people both about the anxiety of going bald and the wigs.  Took me about one week to get comfortable being bald.  I did not chose it but it's happening, and I met beautiful bald women in the workshop i mention below.

for constipation - nurse recommended prune juice, gonna try that but she also recommended standard over the counter meds (your med team would best be consulted on that).

for muscle/joint pain - simple simple yoga and stretching daily or more (if not familiar with these movements you- tube has demos, search for "gentle yoga" or "gentle stretching".  Even 5-10 minutes, or 2 minutes, can help.  Excercising but not necessarily pushing myself to do the full workout i do normally - though sometimes i can do that.  I walk (great excercise), jog a little, do cardio and weights at the gym - those excercises can be decreased in time and intensity as needed.  But moving makes all the difference so far.

keeping lips moist: shea butter, or Neutrogena moisturshine which i got in my gift bag from the workshop "Look Good, Feel Better" by the American Cancer Society.  That workshop is GREAT, by the way and FREE.  Your med team social worker will know how to find one for you or just go on the American Cancer Society website, there's probably a phone number to call.  Very supportive, answers many questions, and you see how great people can look even with side effects - I learned it's not just makeup, it's humor, bravery, some self care like the kind i described above, and just keeping it real.

Tiredness - naps, sometimes when i'm with people i  just have to close my eyes for a few minutes to kind of soothe myself, staying aware of my energy level, giving myself pers=mission to change plans if that's best for me, because energy is crucial to self-care.  At gatherings at other's homes, giving myself permission to step away, relax in another room alone for a bit, even lay down for awhile.  Accepting that i may lose sleep due to worry sometimes, all the more reason to practice these other actions such as naps. 

Nausea - fresh air, relaxed breathing.  But of course, meds as prescribed and as needed for sure, and I take them with gratitude - in previous decades they did not have these. 

Support -noticing all the caring I am getting, even when it's not perfect!  Being willing to share what is going on, at a pace and in a way and with people I choose that is right for me.  Not sure about the grammar on that last sentence but who cares!  I have also been comforted just knowing i am not at all alone.  Unfortunately, cancer is a very common human experience.  Fortunately, so is good medical care, wholistic wisdom and the comfort of caring others.

Hope this is helpful to some and that you are discover ing other ways that work for you.

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