Britta’s Book at a Glance: Chapter 11, Treatments are Over, but Things Aren’t Normal
It’s a great feeling when you get the news that your doctor can no longer find any cancer. Your last treatment is over, and it looks like you’re in remission. You may celebrate with family and friends, and get one of the best nights of sleep of your life.
The next morning, though, may hit you a little bit differently. Treatments are over, but that doesn’t mean everything is going to go back to how it was before the cancer. If you thought that it would, this realization can be especially difficult.
What about lasting side effects? What about scars? And most of all, what about the biggest question—how you’re going to get back into your life?
In Chapter 11 of my book, When Cancer Hits, I answer these questions and more.
Lasting Side Effects
There are several side effects that can continue to bug you after treatments are over. Surgery scars, for instance, may still feel tender and tight, and you may feel embarrassed about them. I give you several tips for making scar areas feel more comfortable, and for reducing the appearance of visible scars that bother you by how they look.
Side effects on your face can be especially difficult to deal with after treatments are over. As a result of acne, dry skin, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments, you may be left with hyperpigmentation, where the skin is darker in some places. Again, there are several options for lightening these areas that I’ll tell you about.
What about your hair? Many cancer survivors note that when their hair grows back, it’s different than it was. It may be a little darker, or a little curlier. I explain to you why this happens, and what you can expect over the next year as your hair struggles to reestablish itself. Plus, I help you with things like post-treatment hair care and let you know when chemical treatments (like perms and colors) are safe and when, and give you lots of tips for homemade moisturizers and foods that will help fortify your new hair.
Chemo Brain & Fatigue
It’s not uncommon to find yourself forgetting things after treatments are over. Called “chemo brain,” it’s a condition that affects a lot of survivors, reducing focus, concentration, the ability to multi-task, and memory. I explain why this happens, and give you tips to cope.
You may also feel discouraged to find yourself still so tired. Treatments are over. Your energy should bounce back, right? Not necessarily. Fatigue is one of those side effects that likes to hang around even after the cancer is gone. I share tips from doctors on this topic, and give you some dietary tips to help your body gradually regain its strength.
Time to Detox
All through treatment, you were likely treated with numerous drugs and perhaps radiation. Your body will be struggling to recover from all the residual waste. If you’re experiencing fatigue, bloat, headaches, muscle aches, and even bad breath, these could be signs of excess toxins in your blood and tissues. I’ll guide you through several natural remedies that can assist your body as it works to gradually rid you of treatment leftovers.
Get Back Into Life
Most likely you’re going to realize that your cancer experience changed you. You may try to get back into life the way it was before, and find yourself feeling lost, or angry, or depressed. All these feelings are completely normal. I share with you several stories from other survivors who went through the same feelings, and talk about how they coped. I’ll also give you tips for how to deal with your feelings, and prepare you for Chapter 12, which gives you more information on that topic.
Cancer may be over, but your job of extreme self-care isn’t. It’s tough to realize that at first, but gradually, you’ll get back on your feet again. Meanwhile, a little help won’t hurt!
(When Cancer Hits is available now—click here.)
Did you struggle with lasting side effects after your treatments were over? Have you read Britta’s book? Please share your experiences.