Everyone and everybody's immune system is different, we each show different signs and symptoms to migraines or cold and flus. We are all resilient beings, some people can take it and others not so much. Its the same with chemotherapy, not everyone going through treatment reacts the same way to every side affect on the list.
So Martini to Mastectomy is here to fill you in on the truth behind chemo and some of the simple facts you may want to know before you or someone you love starts treatment.
Firstly not everyone is treated with chemo, there are other alternatives such as radiation so these factors are all put into account before any decisions are made with doctors and surgeons. Chemotherapy is extremely different to radiotherapy, to the way it targets the body and chemotherapy kills the cancer through the blood stream. While radiation affects the area by destroying the cancer cells externally with electron or proton beams to stop the cancer from multiplying.
Chemotherapy is usually given in stages and will most commonly be received via an intravenous drip, there are other forms such as tablets and injections although the intravenous drip is the most effective. The treatment plan will be illustrated on the type of cancer you have, some chemotherapy session may take about 20 minutes or several hours to all day. Depending on the person and cancer type, the length of treatment may last a few weeks or 12 months, through stages.
Before chemotherapy the biggest fear is hair loss, correct? and worrying about the list of side affects to come during treatment. The best way to approach this period is to recall the last time you were sick and imprint in your mind the ability your body has to repair and overcome illness and damage. Naturally and independently you will recover inside and out, slowly after treatment your body will begin to rebuild.
Aside from your family and friends who will be there to support you throughout, also remember you are not going into treatment alone. Your nurses, doctors, oncologists and specialists are behind you every step of the way.
During your treatment the chemotherapy will be doing its most important task of killing cancer cells, unfortunately, chemotherapy also affect normal cells that divide and grow. Your side affects are a reaction to damaged normal cells and each treatment and person varies. Throughout treatment my personal reaction to the side affects of chemotherapy changed drastically, I had two different types of chemotherapy over 8-9 months and both entailed a different preparation, session time and recovery.
Before going into chemotherapy every individual will have a natural concern and fear, its part of our human nature. So instead of giving you a little more to worry about with a list of side affects and what to avoid during treatment, I am going to give you some tips and ideas to help you get through treatment and hopefully enhance your recovery.
To myself and most of the other women I have counselled through treatment, fatigue is one of the hardest parts to accept. We naturally have a strong force within each of us that helps us battle our daily challenges and to surrender put your feet up and let the treatment take its course without a flinch is shall I say one of the hardest parts. This is a priceless piece of knowledge to take with you as to prepare your mind, body and spirit before your energy starts lacking is a powerful gift.
If there is a series you have been wanting to watch but haven't had time then this is it, or a novel you've been wishing to read. This is the time to be as selfish and greedy with your time as you like, lock the door, get in your tracksuit pants, turn off your phone and catch up on everything you wish you had time to do after work or on any Sunday.
Remember not to beat yourself up over this, the chemo is already doing a good enough job of it at the moment. Take each day as it comes and let yourself repair slowly, completely and successfully.
Ask Martini to Mastectomy anything that comes to mind at email@example.com