1. No sex after chemo
This is probably the most important step they missed telling me. In fact, I read it in three different books but not one person told me that I can’t have sex 2-3 days after chemo because my body should be soughing out the cancer in any fluid possible. So.. any fluids.. Do they think that cancer patients will no longer continue to have sex? Am I not pretty anymore or do they think I’m not desirable? Well I am pretty. I am desirable… and darn it.. I wanna has the sex!!
So fellow cancer patients. After chemo – 3 days no sex. BOO
2. Constipation is not always the outcome, sometimes it’s the sharts (stunt panties)
The doctors and nurses spend a LOT Of time recommending stool softeners and drinking fluids to help your body flush out the bad. And keep your bowels from backing up so you don’t end up in the hospital with a plumbing back up. Oh it happens. Being put in the hospital because you are full of shit is a great story but you can totally die from it. So don’t do that. But they forget to tell you that you might have diarrhea and that’s just as bad. Even better, you get the sharts.
So fellow cancer patients, stunt panties and stunt clothes are necessary in your vehicle. Don’t forget to replace them when you use them!
3. Nausea all the time
So they tell you will be nauseated. And you take 3 different anti-nausea pills per day. But you are still nauseated. You still feel gross. And you still want to puke or poop all the time. Soon they up your nausea fluid before chemo but you still feel like shit. But you HAVE to keep taking your meds and drinking fluids. If it gets too bad you HAVE to call the doc and they will give you more meds and fluids.
So, you’ll feel like shit but you have to keep feeling like shit. It doesn’t stop. Just keep going. Let the docs know if it gets too bad.
4. Food is gross. EAT ALL THE THINGS.
So they tell you that food tastes odd and you won’t feel like eating anything. I, dear readers, want to EAT EVERYTHING. I haven’t had this not eating issue. I eat, I feel sick, I vomit. But not wanting to eat, not the problem. Most people experience the, fuck you I don’t want to eat. I developed the put it all in my mouth and puke. This is not a good thing and I’m not saying it’s the best thing ever.. It’s what happened to me. Last night it was a delicious strawberry cake that I decided to eat after dinner. My body gave me the huge middle finger and rejected it. Plus all my dinner.
So what I am saying is you have to make better food choices. Don’t do what I am doing. I’m trying to get better but I’m full of the fuckitall right now. This is unhealthy. I am working on it.
5. You cannot always be super woman.
It’s ok to cry. I don’t know WHY I am thinking I have to be strong for everyone else around me. I’m fucking sick. I have CANCER. I have STAGE 4 CANCER. I’m allowed to cry and sob. I’m allowed to throw things. What I am NOT allowed to do is wallow and feel sorry for myself for long periods of time.
So cry when you want. It’s ok.
6. Hair falls out not in chunks but 5-10 strands at a time.
As you all are aware, I shaved my head into a Mohawk. And with chemo, you get hair loss. Well it apparently comes out in chunks when you have a full head of hair. When you have a Mohawk you get 5-10 hairs lost when you brush, shampoo or otherwise anytime you touch your head. And you will never be prepared for the loss of hair. You feel horrible and like a hideous monster. Even if you are as prepared as you can be the hair loss is terrifying. Be prepared with wigs, scarfs and a should to cry on. You’ll need them.
Find an understanding beauty supply store and a shoulder to cry on.
7. You have to believe it will work
Medical practice is just that.. a practice. It’s not a proven science. They are still perfecting the art of their craft. But when the doctors tell you that this will cure what you have, you HAVE to BELIEVE it will work. I don’t have a lot of faith in a higher power but this is the one thing you HAVE to have faith in.
Trust your doctors. Hopefully they have been practicing for a while. Get a second opinion and BELIEVE in the treatment. 90% of the fight is a mental battle.
8. SKIN CARE – including your scalp
You are going to start to look like hammered dog ass. There’s nothing you can do. You are pumping poison into your system on a weekly, bi-weekly basis. It takes a toll on your skin. You start to look sick. But you MUST take care of your skin, including your scalp. Go to your trusted cosmetics counter and spend a bit of money. You get one shot at this life and you might as well take care of your skin. You might be prepared to say eff it and not take care of your face/scalp. This is a bad plan especially if you are trying to avoid people feeling sorry for you. Take a bit of time. Buy the right products for you. I recommend LUSH. They are patient, understanding and SUPER helpful.. And the samples they give you to try out are awesome. You must condition your scalp and sunscreen is mandatory!! ALL OVER.
Take care of your skin. It’s not replaceable.
Remember what I said about looking like hammered dog ass? Well, I recommend a bit of makeup for this. It is a tiny bit of pampering for yourself and it prevents people from asking if you are ok constantly. I HIGHLY recommend some under eye concealer, eyeliner and mascara at the bare minimum. If you have time or a want to do the whole makeup regimen, then do it. You will feel better about yourself and you will not look ‘sick’. Go to Sephora or Ulta. Find a minion and have them pamper you. Let them recommend some products. Sometimes they even give you sample.
Put your best face forward and hold your head up high. You are beautiful.
10. Take time for yourself and SLOW DOWN
This is the HARDEST thing for me to understand. I’m sick. I don’t want to be. They are pumpng POISON into my body and I think I can still work at New Jersey Kari speed. The fact is, you can. But you are not allowing your body to heal. So you are essentially doing everything you can to let the cancer win. You MUST rest. Give yourself the day after to REST and RELAX. You HAVE to believe the chemo will work and you HAVE to give it a chance to work. It’s ok! Your minutia petty bullshit laundry will still be there tomorrow. Phone a friend and have them come help you. Watch a movie at home. Everything will get done. Cancer is temporary and a minor setback in your life. But if you don’t let it work, then it will be worse.
So REST BITCH. PHONE A FRIEND. And listen to your own advice (Kari)