She is a radiologist in Maryland. Unfortunately, she is also a breast cancer patient who has experienced a variety of cancer treatments and suffered a variety of side effects just like many cancer patients do. She holds an optimistic attitude toward life and shares her experience about how to deal with these side effects here.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 38 years old in 2010. For about 11 months, she has received treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and suffered the side effects she has heard from other cancer patients over years.
“As a radiologist, I have already been familiar with these side effects. However, I did not have any personal feelings for those side effects before I became a cancer patient. I used to know that losing hair was painful for cancer patients, but I thought it was just physical pain. My heart was really broken when my hair began to fall, which I never imaged.” she said.
Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment!
She has experienced a lot of side effects of cancer treatment, but for her, the most uncomfortable feelings are nausea, hair loss, nervous. Here she shares her experience to cope with the five of the worst side effects.
Eat a small amount of food during the day, drink plenty of water. This helps against nausea which is often accompanied by chemotherapy. If you are given anti-nauseating medicine, then eat it. “I use ondansetron, very effective, but I have to take it before nausea starts.” she said.
Dr. Jennifer Litton gave her a prescription called “skull prosthesis”, usually called “wig”. She will take off the wig when the weather is too hot. Often, she just covers my head with a scarf or hat, and she gets free service at MD Anderson Beauty and Barber Shop. They cut hair for her freely at the beginning of hair loss. She also selected the headdress at Mays Clinic. She still cast a natural carrot, coconut and olive oil on the scalp every day, because these are said to help the hair grow faster.
Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.Arnold Bennett
She uses the drug, paclitaxel, which causes neuropathy in her hands and feet, as well as nail discoloration and shedding.
Dr. Litton suggested holding ice during chemotherapy as it would contract the blood vessels and reduce the amount of chemotherapeutic drugs that flow into the body. It really works. “When I was in the hospital, I would ask my nurse to put the ice in the rubber glove before injecting paclitaxel. I want to put my gloves in my hands when I was injected. Sometimes I feel too cold and put it down. I repeat the process until the injection is complete.” she said. As a result, there was only a slight residual nerve pain in her hands. Her nails are also discolored over time and no nails fall off.
In the first month, she was asked by Dr. Thomas Buchholz not to use anything on her skin so that he could see the effect of treatment on a weekly examination. Fourth week later, he suggested using an ointment to counteract side effects after daily radiotherapy. It has proved that this is really good for stimulating skin metabolism. Skin discoloration that happened previously has disappeared.
Daily rinse with soda or aqueous solution to prevent oral ulcers. This will increase the amount of saliva and prevent the mouth from being dry. She insists on it every day and never suffers oral ulcers as frequently as other patients with chemotherapy.
Consult with your Doctor and find more information about the side effects of your treatment. Get your Doctor involved in your daily physical change and figure out practical ways to deal with side effects. There are many substances that are naturally against cancer cells just as cancer cells are able to attack healthy cells.