Chemotherapy affects people in many different ways so your experience won’t be exactly like anyone else after all there are many types and stages of cancer that are treated with a variety of medications.
1: Hair loss
Chemotherapy can damage hair follicles, causing the hair to weaken, become brittle, and fall out. Hair loss is widely associated with chemotherapy but not all patients experience this you may gradually lose hair from your head face armpits pubic area chest or legs 17 days after treatment losing hair is alarming but it does grow back when your chemotherapy treatments are complete.
You might want to consider getting a short haircut early in your treatment so the loss is less noticeable
also there are many beautiful turbines scarves and hats available if you plan to use a wig or toupee do it early in your treatment so you can match your hair color your health insurance may even help you pay for it
2: Rash in Skin
Chemotherapy can cause changes in the immune system that trigger rashes and other skin changes.
Chemotherapy drugs can make your skin more sensitive to sun-burn so wear a hat and a PA be a free sunscreen when you’re outdoors avoid tanning booths and Sun lamps.
3: Illness and a weakened immune system
Cancer and the treatment of it can weaken the immune system. Because chemotherapy kills healthy immune cells, it can make a person more vulnerable to infection.
Many people experience fatigue and weakness sometimes it’s caused by the chemotherapy drugs sometimes by the cancer and other times by loss of appetite and lack of exercise cancer treatment fatigue tends to come on suddenly and is not always relieved by rest sometimes the fatigue continues after the treatment is complete fatigue can make it difficult to concentrate and stir up your emotions when you feel exhausted don’t fight it rest up and plan your next activities carefully .
4: Pain and affect Sexual reproductive function
Generalized pain, including chronic muscle pain, headaches, and other aches and pains, is common after chemotherapy.
The corner radiation surgery or chemotherapy drugs may affect sexual and reproductive function so you should discuss this with your doctor, Most patients can enjoy the comfort and pleasure of sexual intercourse however the stress and fatigue of treatment may make you more tired and less receptive than usual… if it creates a problem for you or your partner, talk with your doctor
People who have received chemotherapy have found it helpful when friends and family offer emotional support throughout the process physically helping is one thing but mentally just to let them know that you’re there and that you love them, some time you can feel very alone, need hugs, telling somebody you love them you know assuring them that whatever you know, you need they’ll be there for you changes in the menstrual cycle may occur during chemotherapy.
Some women stop having periods some have irregular ones and others experience heavier or lighter menstrual flow older women may experience hot flashes or the early onset of menopause
Despite these changes it is still possible to become pregnant because chemotherapy poses risks to an unborn child birth control during treatment is strongly recommended talk to your doctor about what type of birth control is safe to be used with your cancer and treatment
if you think you may be pregnant tell your doctor and nurse immediately whether or not pregnancy is a concern you should use condoms during intercourse for a short time after chemotherapy to protect your partner from exposure to the drugs.
Tip: there are other possible side effects from chemotherapy that the cancer team will discuss with you personally no two people experience chemotherapy in the same way no one can tell you what you should be feeling or thinking only you know what is right for you emotional ups and downs are part of the experience for many men and women you may feel angry afraid or depressed one minute and hopeful peaceful or confident the next allow yourself to have these mood swings you have to go through the really dark moments to know you don’t want to live there you don’t want to stay in those places they’re not good places to stay in .
You have to check them out once in a while just to get through them and to have the significant conversations you have to have with your spouse’s and with your kids and you have to say’ll have a lot of conversations that are not easy and so to be able to have those and then get through them.
6: Mouth sores
Some people notice painful sores in their mouth 1 to 2 weeks after having some forms of chemotherapy. The soreness can vary in severity. Sometimes, the sores may bleed or become infected.
7: Bruising and bleeding more easily
Chemotherapy can cause a person to bruise or bleed more easily. Many people having chemotherapy experience this side effect, and it does not usually cause concern.
8: Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting can come on suddenly, appear after each chemotherapy session, or happen seemingly at random.
9: Trouble breathing
Sometimes, chemotherapy can damage a person’s lungs, reducing their capacity, which makes it harder for them to get the oxygen they need. Breathing issues can also be a side effect of some types of cancer.
10: Constipation and diarrhea
Chemotherapy may trigger digestion problems because it can damage cells that help digestion.
Your thoughts and feelings can help you recognize accept and cope with them a journal or diary may help you sort things through it is helpful to talk about your feelings with someone you trust a friend a family member health care professional or spiritual adviser there are also support groups for cancer patients.
Miss Miggy volunteers who have been through this experience themselves even though it may be difficult try to keep things in perspective you will have a better experience if you can stay positive and keep an emotional balance if you go into it with a good attitude that you’re going to beat this and it also can really make the difference in your treatment.
Chemotherapy are a time of change and can be very stressful for you and your loved ones try to be clear about when you need rest peace and quiet and when you would like to share in activities let others lend a hand especially with routine household tasks and meal preparation
if you’re neighbors community or church groups want to help accept their offers graciously chemotherapy is challenging but it is the best treatment available for many types of cancer program , you can be confident that you are in good hands try to start exercise and not get kicked back.