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Having trouble with Chemo

teresajules
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2001

I'm just having a rough time with my chemo. not so much the treatment , but the side effects, the hair loss is really rough and I'm a big mess every day, I know it was going to happen and that lots of people have gonr through it but I'm not dealing with this well at all. any suggestions? TeresaP

czarniak
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2001

TheresaP,
I've recently completed by chemo (breast cancer diagnosed in 6/01; lumpectomy and sentinel node positive, and am preparting for radiation. I find that I take it one day at a time. If I don't feel especially well one day, I stay home. Otherwise I get myself up and dressed and off to work. Going to work is great therapy because it makes me get myself dressed up - deciding what wig or turban to wear - what kind of makeup is appropriate. I also lost all my hair and my eyebrows are so fine that you can hardly see them. Attending the American Cancer Society's...."I Can Cope" meetings has help to validate my feelings.

If you are having problems with nausea, there are medications that can be prescribed. If you are anxious, there are medications to help you through the day. I also take sleeping pills to help me get a good night's rest so I can perform duing the day.

Each day my sole purpose is to get up and go to work. I limit all other activities and try to do them on the weekends (grocery shopping, cleaning (Ha!) and laundry. I find that when there is no pressure that I place on myself, it's easier to get through the days and nights.

Another positive I've discovered is in my co-workers. I work for a healtcare institution and have received great support from all my coworkers. It's hard to talk to my family because they have a "personal" intersst in my illness. My coworkers are for the most part strangers or acquaintancs that I feel non-threatened by so I can talk about how difficult it was the first time I took a shower without any hair.

Because of the type of chemo (A/C) I had a portacath inserted in my chest. This has been very beneficial. My arms are free of black and blues and needle marks. Sometimes just getting all the blood tests can drain you both physically and emotionally.

I hope that my sharing this with you has been of some comfort. Please e-mail me if you have any questions.

Kathy

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