Products that helped me
When going through chemo (and beyond)
Aquifor is my best friend (for bloody noses and dry skin around the mouth, everywhere)
Lotion (whatever agrees with you, I used Hope in a Jar) - though I suck at remembering to apply. I’ll look down mid-day to a chalkboard shin.
Jersey headbands worn over my wigs to hide the lace front hairline (yes, it's realistic, but I can tell). They also tamp down the poofiness of some wigs (I used a Jon Renau wig that was a little poofy, but I loved the color). They also substitute as little little bandana contraptions when not wearing the wigs at home that kept me warm and comfortable. Etsy: Beautiful Boundaries.
Biotene Mouthwash for keeping mouth sores at bay (when baking soda and salt stopped cutting it). Dry mouth formula worked best.
B-Vitamin Complex: I think this helped stave off neuropathy, though I still had some in my fingertips and face (see taxol page) and to this day (5 months post Taxol), I still drop some things and coordination is off).
Ativan: Oh, how I love you! Quiets anxiety. Helps me sleep a full night, even amid hot flashes that wake me up, leaving me in cold sweats.
Deodorant: I understand there are zero studies supporting the notion that antiperspirant causes cancer. But you know what? I have always hated putting aluminum on my armpit a couple times a day. I would still sweat like a pig and I still kinda stank sometimes (according to Mike). So, I started using this natural cream deodorant (thanks Hoff!) and I LOVE IT. My stank is gone and I feel much better about the ingredients. The tub ($11.95) lasts a really long time, too.
Soap: This Oatmeal/Honey soap worked great for my dry, sensitive skin - same brand!
Makeup: I'm lost on makeup. I need to go elsewhere for ideas. I slap on eyeliner and call it a day. I fill in my brows with a stiff eyebrow brush and gray Bobbi Brown eye shadow (gray, I know, weird, but it looks natural). Yes, sorry, I'm not helpful. Maybe try here.
Shampoo: I have a naturally dry, flaky scalp. Head & Shoulders does not work, and I sought a more natural/organic shampoo that actually works, and I found it!! Pura D'or Scalp Therapy Shampoo.
When going through radiation
I used Aquifor sometimes, but every night before bed I used this Skin Quencher (made of pure lavender essential oil and pure aloe vera gel, that's it). My skin turned out barely red but it could have just been luck. Either way, this stuff is amazing. (Full disclosure, I freelance for them, but they are truly amazing!) Tell you doctor exactly what you're using on yourself and listen to them, that's my other advice. Also, go braless if you can! I was rocking camisoles underneath shirts/sweaters, nips out, even at work. I cared not one iota.
PS: I don't feel the need to go into much about radiation. It didn't bother me mentally or physically. It was 30 treatments I just had to grind out, day after day. My nurses were tremendous and got me in and out quickly. I scheduled my appointments before work, so it became part of a morning routine. For me, no sweat, but others may have different experiences. I thought chemo was the most awful part of this all, aside from the mental/anxiety/post-traumatic stress challenges.
Exercise: (running, yoga, biking, walking) Can’t promote this enough. Get outside. Get up. Even if just for a walk. I truly believe this helped with fatigue. The minute I started feeling bad for myself and I gave in to the fatigue, or felt as if I SHOULD have been feeling fatigued, it’s like it came true. If I got outside and walked, or ran, I never regretted it. (I never pushed myself too hard, either.) But it allowed me to rest afterwards; to feel I was resting after DOING something, versus a depressive resting from NOTHING. I refuse to attribute everything to this cancer. I have a life aside from it, goddammit. My body still works.
Having a dog: I won’t tell you to go out and buy/adopt a dog if you don’t already have one. No...that’s a lie. I would tell you that. They are inestimable in the comfort they can provide, PLUS - they GET YOU OUTSIDE!
Having Mike as a husband: No one is as good as him. But I hope you have something or someone in your life even remotely close to how he is. Because then, you will be fine.
Books & other: