Cancer Wigs, Coping Tips, and Chemo-Brain: Bouncing Back After Chemotherapy

chemo_wigUnfortunately, the side effects from chemotherapy are not limited to sudden hair loss, and patients often need to do more than buy an attractive cancer wig or headscarf in order to be prepared.  The more you learn about how chemo treatments may affect your body, the better prepared you will be to deal with them.

 

As if chemotherapy didn’t already have enough side effects, new research has shown it can also impact the cognitive functioning of the brain for up to ten years after the treatment is over.  While these changes are very mild, people who are affected by them are very much aware of their presence.

This phenomenon is also known as "chemo-brain." Cognitive functioning refers to memory, concentration, comprehension and reasoning.  Many people never notice any changes, and others find the same symptoms occur when taking hormone replacement drugs, so there is no known way to prevent it.

Taking care of your body and mind during chemotherapy may be the best way to prevent the worst effects of the medicine.  Here are some helpful tips:

• Make sure you eat well-balanced meals regularly.  Your body needs these nutrients to rebuild tissues and strength.

• Learn as much as possible about your specific disease and its course of treatment.  Knowledge like this will prevent fear of the unknown, which can often lead to more anxiety than you need.

• Take some time to relax and get as much rest as you can.  Letting small tasks slide or asking for help from loved ones will give your body a chance to heal.

• Don’t think too much about your illness.  Try something new, or develop a new hobby or skill.  Get engrossed in a good book.

• Whenever possible, and permissible by your doctor, get some exercise and fresh air.  Not only will this help you to feel better, you will also let go of tension and develop an appetite.

Don’t be afraid to baby yourself during chemotherapy.  The sooner you start to feel like yourself again, the happier you will be to go out in public - with your new chemo wig or headscarf from Chemo Savvy - and start and enjoying life again.

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