Side Effects – Did You Know?

There are other side effects of chemotherapy, which are perhaps not as frequent as the ones mentioned in my previous blogs. Peripheral neuropathy, a result of the damage to the peripheral nerves, often causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. Walking may not be problematic but difficult when the feet feel completely numb. Handling food or a simple activity like handwriting can be tricky if we...

Chemo Brain – Effective Resources For Healing

At the end of the six months of chemo, I was in a poor state. Mentally and physically fatigued, severely depressed, lack of focus, no short-term memory, unable to express myself, and often not understanding what I was being told. This created embarrassing situations – such as inviting friends for lunch and not remembering they were coming. I am a fairly good driver but my car during those six...

Chemotherapy cont’d

The swing of week 1 – totally wasted, week 2 – slow recovery and week 3 – functioning more or less, went on for six months! What the doctor’s pamphlets didn’t say was that my recovery after the treatment would never reach my previous levels of energy. I would recover physically but never to the extent of how I felt prior to the previous treatment. The side effects would...

Chemotherapy cont’d

During a recent yoga therapy class at the oncology clinic, I listened to a breast cancer patient talk about her chemo treatment experience. She said she was surprised at how little the treatments affected her. She said she felt fine, even right after treatment and that no one would have known about the chemo had it not been for her lack of hair. “I hope you realize how lucky...

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, also called chemo, may come in different stages for different cancers. For those like lymphoma and leukemia, chemo comes right after the diagnosis, as there is no surgery involved. For cancers that involve tumors – carcinomas and sarcomas – chemo typically comes after the surgery, as a preventive measure. However, in cases where a tumor may be too big to operate, chemo may be recommended before surgery to...

Post-Surgery cont’d

The time I call “post-surgery” is the time for healing after the surgery. Depending on the individual and the seriousness of the operation, it takes four to six weeks to recover. Recovery, in this case, means the time before going to the next step of the recommended treatment. Increasing levels of anxiety, fear of the unknown and physical pain mark this four to six-week period. We are surrounded by...

Cancer Journey – Post Surgery

The first few days after surgery passed in a fog – I was heavily sedated but comfortable at home. I was surrounded by love and friendship and took my time to heal the wound and recover from complete anesthesia. I didn’t realize how big of an impact complete anesthesia can have on a person. I was healing very quickly, so about three weeks after surgery, I felt well enough...

Cancer Journey – Surgery cont’d

Depending on the tumor and its location, there may be different types of surgery that are applicable. Perhaps the most common type of surgery for tumors is the most invasive; this involves full anesthesia and a few hours on the operating table. Fortunately, with new discoveries being made all the time there are now more alternative surgeries available which are less invasive and may not involve full anesthesia. There...

Cancer Journey cont’d – Surgery

The next step for those of us who are dealing with tumors (carcinomas or some sarcomas) is surgery. Now the dreaded world that we call “the cancer journey” has opened to us: but the reality is that we do not know what is in store for us – we just know that it is dreaded by everyone. So now we anxiously wait for the day of the operation. When...

The time of Diagnosis cont’d

After an agonizing time of waiting, we are asked finally to do a biopsy (in case of tumors). This is the only test that gives 100% certainty, but it is also the most expensive one. As we leave the doctor’s office after, the dreaded words: “It is Cancer!” still ring in our ears. But many people hear something different – they hear “Death is coming now!” Now comes the...

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