Health & Lifestyle: Keeping Confident After Chemo

Saturday 27 February 2016

Being diagnosed with cancer throws your “normal” life into a whirlwind. From here on out, you’ll be faced with challenges that you hoped you’d never have to deal with, one of which may well be the daunting prospect of chemotherapy. 

Hair loss, fatigue and depression are among the side effects most commonly associated with chemotherapy treatment, and though distressing some of these may be, that isn't to say that there aren't steps that we can take to keep ourselves feeling confident, feminine and sexy.

So whatever the effects of your chemotherapy, you want to feel like you. Start with something small, something that feels natural and beneficial.

  • Go back to your normal routine as much as you can. Wake up, shower, put on make up and earrings or whatever it is that makes you feel beautiful and feminine. If your hair loss is still too much, invest in a human hair wig. A natural hair wig allows you to style it the way you want it – curled or straightened. Choose a wig that looks and feels like you – or, if you want a fresh start, choose something completely different; a style that you’ve always wanted to try. Just make sure, whether bold or familiar, that it's a look with which you feel comfortable. Making an extra effort to look good can do wonders for our self-esteem, which in turn is important for confidence and morale.
  • Our support groups are also important to how we feel. Friends and family that are there for you can make a huge difference to your mood. If you have been through a tough round of treatment, talking to your loved ones about what you have been going through can help lift a burden, lessen any sense of lingering pessimism, and help to get you feeling positive again. Equally, admitting that you don’t feel beautiful to your partner, friend or family might be difficult, but their support can work wonders for lifting spirits once more. 

  • Often the fatigue that sets in during chemotherapy treatment re can also have a negative impact on how we feel about ourselves for some time after it. In most cases, if you are still fatigued, the last thing you'll want to do is some heavy lifting, but a little exercise goes a long way. Regular gentle exercise, such as a walk around the block or even a little yoga when you are feeling up to it can help with any lasting fatigue and also contribute to you keeping your appetite up – important for your weight gain. It's not easy if you're tired the whole time, but, recognising that being stuck at home indoors can be damaging to how you feel about yourself, a bit of fresh air, social interaction, stretching and gentle physical activity will do you the world of good.

  • Finally, don’t forget to pamper yourself. Get a manicure and pedicure with a friend, maybe a hot stone massage, and definitely have a nice warm bath or two with some scented candles. This will help you to reconnect your mind with your body and leave you feeling bright and refreshed again – and ready to go out and have a few laughs with your friends.

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