Be your own patient advocate. You are the quarterback of your team.
Buy an inspiring There Is Life After Breast Cancer book.
- Hayley & Margerie
During chemo, I put up a bird feeder outside my window. I enjoyed watching all the busy birds.
I found that using eyebrow powder (in taupe!) to draw on eyebrows was so much easier than trying to use a brow pencil.
Make sure to get a new toothbrush at least every couple of months!
Don’t assume everyone knows that you lost your hair because of cancer treatment. My neighbor down the street thought my new hair style was just me “being artsy.”
Use plastic utensils if a metallic taste kicks in.
Buy a great bar of natural organic soap to use on your entire body - head to toe.
Listen to a completely different genre of music that you never had time to appreciate before. Let the music flow.
At some point, your wig will probably either pull askew or fall off entirely. Just roll with it!
I continued to work out at the gym throughout my treatments. It made me feel empowered, and I think I was in a better mindset for my battle.
Get a fun hat or pair of gloves. Go out to a tea house with friends on a regular basis.
When I went to our local wig store looking for options, the lady handed me a turban, stick on bangs and toupee glue. I ran out of there as quickly as I could! I found that a Survivor Buff® was exactly the option I was looking for.
The day I finished chemo, my husband planted a rose bush. That was 7 years ago. My chemo roses are blooming right now and they are beautiful.
Make sure to always eat breakfast, including on chemo day.
Peppermint tea helped settle my stomach during chemo.
See if your local area has a cancer resource center. I got so much information there when I was diagnosed and I still appreciate all of the programs they offer today.
I had lunch with friends and we all wore wigs. Only one of us was bald (me). It was so much fun.
I had a great stretchy bag in which to carry all my necessities in when I went to the doctor. My bag holds everything: medical records, water bottle, prescriptions, reading material, journal, ipad, snacks and it still has room to spare!
Plant a Victory Garden when you finish treatment. Invite your friends to bring cuttings from their gardens.
Sometimes, the best thing a friend can do is to just sit and listen. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with those closest to you.
Make a fun list to do (during OR after treatment!) It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Start with cake for breakfast.
A nurse navigator helped me through my maze of insurance questions. She also helped me when I was unsure about the next step in my treatment.
Ask your doctor if you and/or your family should consider getting flu shots.
Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times: in your purse, at your front door, in your car. Don’t be afraid to ask others to use it if they are going to be around you.
Don’t board the train without a ticket. Stay positive and don’t dwell on the “what ifs”.
I found a therapist to talk to. She gave me coping mechanisms that helped me get through it all.
I signed up for ChemoAngels.net and got encouragement through the mail!
Plan the vacation you always wanted to take. Mine gave me something to look forward to. That celebratory Yosemite camping trip was something my family will always remember!
I painted my living room hot rod red the day I finished with my treatments! What are YOU going to do?
Buy a pair of cashmere socks or a hat!
I started an on-line journal at CaringBridge.org so friends and family could check up on me at their leisure (and not feel like they were bugging me.)
Using Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails kept my fingernails intact.
Check out the resources page for tons of great information.
My friend would make us foot spa appointments for a little extra pampering in between chemo treatments. Heavenly!