How To Look And Feel Like Yourself During Chemotherapy

By Shyamali Singhal, MD

Surgical Oncologist

Founder of Hope & Beauty

The Importance Of Body Care Routines While Receiving Cancer Treatment

Leading A Normal Life During Chemotherapy

For many cancer patients, being treated for cancer most of the time means receiving infusions at cancer centers or laying weak in bed. Everyone handles their treatment differently. None of our bodies are the same. The treatment can make patients neutropenic — showing that their body runs low on a type of white blood cell, leaving cancer patients’ immune system endangered. Chemotherapy can affect patients physically and emotionally. Most people have ups and downs during treatment, but it is important to keep in mind, that support is available.

Some people find they can lead an almost normal life during chemotherapy. But others find everyday life more difficult.

Some cancer patients may feel sick during and shortly after each treatment but recover quickly between treatments. Other cancer patients may be able to get back to their usual activities sooner, as they start to feel better.

As well as feeling ill physically, it’s not unusual for people to feel up and down emotionally. Cancer patients often experience emotional rollercoaster, which is normal while fighting this disease. There will be good and bad days.

Humans Are Creatures Of Habit- Build Better Habits

Just as cancer affects patients’ physical health, it can bring up a wide range of feelings cancer patients are not used to dealing with. It can also make current feelings seem more powerful. They may change daily, hourly, or even minute to minute. This is true whether patients are currently in treatment, or just recently done with treatment. These feelings are all normal. Often the values patients grew up with affect how they think about cancer and cope with it.

In all of this, many patients find it essential to keep their beauty and body care routines. It’s been said, that humans are creatures of habits, and maintaining good, healthy habits can help with the fight against cancer. Healthy routines help keep us on track, and then it’s much harder to slip into negative patterns and negative emotions, like self-pity, depression, and such.

To help you with that, Hope & Beauty has selected these eight body care products, in this Fancy Hygiene Bundle. Inside you will find everything a cancer patient might need to maintain a healthy self-care routine. All included nail, hair, and skincare products are non-toxic, cruelty and parabens free.

The More A Patient Learns About Their Disease, The Better

Each year more than a quarter of a million American women are diagnosed with breast cancer.  The experience can be disorienting, and even so-called cosmetic side effects are sometimes disturbing—to the point that some women choose to pause treatment. Yet doctors often overlook changes to a patient’s appearance: the loss of hair and fingernails, the skin outbreaks, the burns. “Oncologists are more likely to prepare you for things like nausea and diarrhea, which are considered more important,” says Dr. Shyamali Singhal. “It’s been shown that if patients are informed about what can happen, they are better able to cope with the illness and deal with problems caused by treatment.”

To address some of the cosmetic side effects, Hope & Beauty has prepared this Sensitivity/Redness – Calming Bundle, which includes five of the best PCA Skin calming and soothing skincare products.

Post- Treatment: Life As A Cancer Survivor

When their just starting chemotherapy, cancer patients may already know about the effects on their bodies, like nausea and fatigue. But are they ready for the emotional changes that may come accompanying treatment? That may be a harder task to solve.

“Emotional changes can be hard to predict,” says Dr. Shyamali Singhal. “Over the course of a week – or even one day – cancer patients may find themself energized, upbeat, angry, frustrated, and down and sad.”

Cancer patients should learn what triggers these twists and turns in their outlook on the world. It’s the first step in bringing the mental change under control.

When cancer patients began their cancer treatment, they might feel like they couldn’t wait for the day it’s over. But when the treatment finishes, they often aren’t sure if they’re ready for life after treatment as a cancer survivor. With the treatment completed, they’ll likely see the cancer care team less often. Cancer patients, their friends, and their family are all eager to return to a more normal life, it can be scary to leave the protective cocoon of doctors and nurses who supported them through treatment.

Tackling Cosmetic Side-effects

Chemotherapy affects all cells that grow and divide quickly in the body. This includes cancer cells and normal cells, such as the new blood cells in the bone marrow or the cells in the mouth, stomach, skin, hair and reproductive organs. When chemotherapy damages normal cells, this causes side effects.

Whether or not cancer patients experience side effects, and how severe they are, depends on the type and dose of drugs you are given and the reaction of the patients’ organism from one treatment cycle to the next. Most side effects are short-term and can be managed. They tend to gradually improve once treatment stops and the normal, healthy cells recover. To fight and reduce some side-effects, often described as “cosmetic” and wrongly dismissed as not important, Hope & Beauty selects the best body care products for cancer patients. Try out our Body Care Bundle Dry/Sensitive Skin, including five body care products by Alra, PCA Skin, and Cleure, all-natural and toxin-free.