Decisions, Decisions

So that horrible horrendous treatment is just a day away. Before it starts there are a few important things I have to sort out. Like what to wear.

From tomorrow onwards what I choose to put on will be forever associated with chemotherapy.

I don’t really want to wear outfits that remind me of the things I’m missing out on. It’s almost as if I’ve closed the wardrobe door on my old life.

To get chemo-ready I’ve been internet shopping. What have I gone for? Baggy comfy leisure wear?

I don’t think so. I’ve bought a selection of bright chemo dresses.

Hopefully too they should stop me feeling like the sick patient that I’ll soon become again. Once it’s all over I’ll burn them. Okay in reality they’ll probably end up in a charity shop.

Chemo has a similar effect on what you eat. It can put you off certain foods. That’s not always such a bad thing.

Last time I went through this I was warned to steer clear of anything I loved. I took great pleasure eating chocolate and cake and all sorts of unhealthy stuff while hooked up to the drip.

My chemo diet didn’t exactly work out although I still can’t stand Danish pastries. And basil.

Chemo changes the way food tastes. Gradually you notice that your mouth starts to dislike all sorts of foods.

The toxic cocktail of chemicals leaves you with a metallic taste. Not great when you eat food with a high water content like fruit.

Yet I need to be really healthy now. Since the op I haven’t been too good. I’ve been trying to put back on the weight I shed in hospital.

Thanks to my stay in intensive care I lost three stone in about a week!

Yep that’s right, almost half a stone a day. It was the quickest diet I’ve ever been on. Not exactly good for someone who was seriously ill though.

I’m now back to my fighting weight and my body is ready for the onslaught of chemo. I’ve worked out all the super healthy foods I need to eat to boost my immune system and energy levels, the things that will really suffer.

But it’s much more fun focusing on the trivial details. After my red nails successfully helped me to feel good and look well, I’ve been thinking about what colour to paint them next.

I’ve decided that for chemo session number one my nails will be teal. It’s the colour of ovarian cancer awareness and so seems appropriate.

As my hair will be falling out sooner rather than later I need to work out what I’m going to do. For me I doubt that bald will be beautiful.

When I was treated for cancer ten years ago, the steroids I had to take with the chemo gave me a best-avoid-all-mirrors look. My face puffed right up.

I’m defiantly going to buy a wig. Well let’s make that three or four. I want to get one that looks like my hair right now. I also quite like the thought of becoming a blond or a red head at a moment’s notice.

I want to get all this done in the next few weeks before the chemo really kicks in so any more suggestions are welcome. Especially if it means I have an excuse for more shopping!

12 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions

  1. Bright, bold, defiant colours on the outside, bright bold defiant spirit on the inside! You should have a fashion column on “how to kick chemo in style”. I just hope you insist that anyone who comes to meet you for “chemo coffee” follows your high standard of dress code. Now where did I put that teal nail polish?! x

  2. Chemo dresses sound perfect! I have wigs, but I never wear them to treatments. I wear a different scarf for each one with beautiful earrings. And makeup. I don’t want to look like the sickest person in the room, no matter how I’m feeling. Treatments have come a long way in ten years. I hope you are pleasantly surprised by a lack of side effects or at the very least some easy remedies. Good luck.

  3. I had lots of veggie chillis during chemo, I found pulses helped with the side effects. Lemonade seemed to get rid of that horrible taste in the mouth. But to anyone reading who will be visiting you – I suggest turning up with a full lunch spread. A friend did this for me quite out of the blue and it was the loveliest thing anyone did for me – when you don’t feel like eating but you know you have to to help with the sickness, and you run out of food as you are too tired to even internet shop – someone turning up with a load of lovely stuff they bought on a recent trip to france is absolute heaven. x

  4. Very best of luck Helen, will be thinking of you tomorrow and through the following days and weeks. No fantastic ideas really but I think if I were you I would start a project like knitting or patchwork. There’s only so many movies you can watch or books you can read. And keep going with the blog, it is so good to read your latest news.

  5. Hi Helen, It has brought back a lot of memories reading your diary, although I dont remember being so prepared as you are. It is 16 years since I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a form that I had never heard of. I remember trying to get my head around the possible side effects of undergoing 6 months chemotherapy, mine being by a Hickman Line, so a small amount of chemicals given 24 hours a day by a syringe pump with a top up in hospital every 3 weeks. I too had to plan very carefully what clothes to wear as I had to wear the pump permanely in a bag around my waist, not at all compliant to anything close fitting! Lovely bright clothes sound an excellent choice to me, they will lift your spirits when times are difficult. I dreaded my hair coming out, and had my wig ready, although I must say it wasnt the most comfortable thing I have worn, especially when it was warm. All mine was gone in 2 days!!!!! so I didnt have long to worry about it, in fact I was probably relieved when it had all gone rather than tufts. It is a great idea to take with you a goody snack box so you can pick as you feel like it. Chemo can certainly affect your taste buds cant it, tea and chocolate tasted horrid!! Treatment has advanced so much in the past 10 years Helen, so I will pray that you will not suffer the side effects you experienced before, and out of something negative will come something positive. You did it once and you WILL do it again, you have so much to look forward to. God loves you Helen.

  6. Helen – you made me really smile today with just two words…..”And basil”
    It showed a wonderful glimpse of humour which is a joy to see.

    Also great to see that you have a plan of attack – photos would be great to capture your spirit. Can we help by sponsoring your dressing up plan? Anything to help put some effort to support you….

    Needless to say, my thoughts are with you this week.

    Phil x

  7. So good to hear you are sounding so positive about the chemo – may the bright colours and nail polish get you through the less upbeat moments!!
    Huw

  8. Get some super comfy warm socks – like heavy duty hiking socks. If you’re wearing lovely dresses, just carry them in your purse and pop them on in the ward. For me there was comfort in comfy socks. And I totally know what you mean about never reusing what’s associated with the treatment. I have bad memories of blackberries. Bah. Good luck, and I love your idea for the dresses.

  9. Hi Helen, long time no speak. My dad pointed you out on the TV not long ago, I was really proud of you, how exciting being on the TV. However, I was shocked to see this Blog pop up on my face book page. I am sad for you and your lovely family having to go through this again. I remember your sense of humour, this will of course help to get you through for the second time. I remember your horse all those years ago, a Dun called…..’Bramble’ (am I right). I wonder if you could imagine yourself away from your treatment and riding across the fields when things are not good. I wish you all the luck in the world with your treatment and I imagine you looking all glam with your teal nail polish. As the others bloggers have said the treatment is not at severe as when you encountered it before so I will cross my fingers and wish you a safe journey through what you have to endure. ali Chivers (was Holpin) x

  10. Good luck Helen. I love bright colours and I know you’ll look really glam despite everything. The only thought that occurred to me on the fashion front is avoid wearing your favourite colour during your treatment. Save that for the day you finish it, or the day you return to work or the day you just feel really well. It’ll become your recovery colour and a great excuse to buy something special.

  11. Shop, shop, shop! Even if you’re feeling decidedly un-glam, shop for the day you complete this journey. Retail therapy has never let me down, and I’m a bloke!

Comments are closed.