PLAYING WITH FIRE

LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST DURING TRATMENT

Maintaining your regular grooming habits keeps your confidence and moral high. Put on your make-up. Paint your nails with a coat of nontoxic, water-based lacquer (it helps to keep your nails from peeling). If you are losing your hair, buy a pretty wig or head wrap. Buy things that make you feel happy. Treat yourself to a massage!

Studies have shown that massage therapy can be beneficial for cancer patients both during and following treatment by counteracting the negative physical and emotional symptoms of cancer.

Dental care - See your dentist before you start chemotherapy because you won’t be able to have any dental work done until all of your chemo cycles are completed. While you are doing chemotherapy, brush your teeth carefully after each meal to avoid inflammation and infection. Use a soft tooth brush (children’s brushes are great) and an alcohol free antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine or Plax to help prevent mouth sores.

Bathing - The optimal temperature for shower or bath water for washing away environmental dirt and bacteria is 112 degrees Fahrenheit or 44.4 degrees Celsius. Use unscented soap or gel. Be gentle when you wash and pat dry.

Dry skin can be a side effect of treatment, so smooth on a water-based cream after a bath or shower and at other times during the day.

Hair care - use baby shampoo or other mild shampoo. Use a cream rinse or hair conditioner. Rinse your hair well and pat it dry with a soft towel.

Sun care - You skin may become very reactive to sunlight. Make sure you apply a good sunscreen before spending any time outdoors.

DEALING WITH HAIR LOSS

Chemotherapy can cause dramatic hair loss. Some chemotherapy agents are more likely to cause hair loss than others, with different doses causing anything from thinning to complete baldness. In addition to losing your scalp hair you can lose your eyelashes, eyebrow, armpit and pubic hair.

You can buy lovely and inexpensive wigs online these days. My favourites are Raquel Welch’s’’Voltage, and’’Sky’from Noriko. Both are synthetic hair, but you’d never guess it. Both cost under $200, come in an infinite number of colours, are easy to take care of, and can be styled with a flick of your hair brush.
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VOLTAGE

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SKY

Pretty head wraps are another option. They come in an infinite variety of styles, patterns, and colours

Headcovery unlimit, international
Headcovers Unlimited, Australia
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A MAKEUP TUTORIAL FOR CHEMO PATIENTS
I don’t usually wear makeup at home, but I do when I go shopping, to a restaurant, and even to the hospital for my chemotherapy sessions. There’s a bit of extra work involved if you’ve lost your eyelashes and eyebrows. This little video is worth watching.