How to Boost Your Confidence During Chemotherapy

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Are you feeling down and out about chemotherapy treatment side effects? Many people find it difficult to cope with the drastic physical change of this treatment since it results in hair loss and weight gain. The truth of the matter is that most people aren’t alone in struggling to feel their best with their body image.

 

Since chemotherapy can cause hair loss and trigger menopause, which often leads to weight gain, its normal to feel like you’ve been betrayed by your body. Fortunately, a growing number of cancer treatment centers offer body image counseling. Take into consideration a few tips that should lead you on the path of coping with your body, post-cancer.

Be Inspired by What You’ve Always Liked About Yourself

 

Many people can admit that there is one single thing they like about themselves. This would be a great opportunity to enhance that with your favorite attire and makeup. At this point, it would also be an appropriate time to consider your favorite wig or headpiece that makes your feel your best.

 

Boosting your confidence with some minor retail therapy can certainly make you feel your best. Make sure to bring your closest friends to get their opinions as well.

 

Physical Activity

 

Exercise has been a great way to feel good about yourself. As you’re embarking on a new journey with some side effects that can result in weight gain, it would be a time in which you can consider regular exercise. Exercising regularly can help you combat fatigue and weight gain. Exercise will also result in making you feel stronger and becoming another way to boost your self-confidence. Nothing can compare to the feeling of overcoming your struggles by doing something physical to fight back.

 

Another great form of exercise to increase your strength is yoga. In addition to feeling stronger and avoiding fatigue by working out is feeling the physical benefits of yoga. Those to practice yoga regularly have an increase in flexibility, tone and muscle strength, energy, metabolism, and overall performance.

 

Stay Honest

 

In seeking for support and advice, it can be difficult to tap into your raw feelings as you continuously take orders from the doctors as you’re being picked and probed, test after test. It would be wise to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. One way to cope with this would be journaling. There are many forms of journaling and due to technology, a great way to share your journey as an inspiration to others is by video blogging, or vlogging. This video journal shares your thoughts and feelings as you experience an array of emotions. This provides you with an opportunity to connect with others going through the same thing that you are. This opportunity allows others to find something to relate to, including yourself.

 

Another way to keep in touch with your emotions is to be honest with your partner. In a time where everything is new and scary, it’s best to keep the ones you love close. Tell your partner about your concern and let them know how you feel. This can be a sensitive time and keeping a healthy line of communication will allow you to feel that support that you need.

 

Although, these are all great ways to boost your level of self-confidence during a time of need, there are many other ways to help yourself. Be sure to continue to accept support, partake in activities for yourself, and whatever makes you feel better.

Understanding Malignant Mesothelioma

If you have ever been exposed to asbestos in your lifetime, you’re at a greater risk of being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at some point in your life. Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that most often forms in the lungs, chest wall, or abdomen and may also affect the heart or testicles. While malignant mesothelioma is rare, affecting about 3,000 people per year, the diagnosis is often an advanced stage due to the latency period that can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years.

Asbestos Exposure

 

Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that was popularly used in a variety of products (particularly between the 1930’s and ‘50s), from housing materials to automotive parts, for its heat-resistant and fire-proof properties. It wasn’t until the 1970’s, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began to ban the use of asbestos in certain products, that people started to take notice that asbestos may actually be harmful to the environment and to individuals who work with or live around it.

 

Any home or industrial building that was built prior to 1980 may have been constructed or insulated with asbestos related materials and while the risk of exposure may be low, particularly when such materials are in good condition and have not been manipulated, no exposure to asbestos is considered “safe”.

 

Individuals who worked in an occupational field that had contact with asbestos related materials are at a greater risk of developing malignant mesothelioma. Such occupations may include, but are not limited to: electricians, mechanics, HVAC workers, Navy shipyard workers, firefighters, and construction workers. Additionally, family members of individuals who worked with or around asbestos may also be at a high risk due to the exposure carried on the skin or clothing.

Signs & Symptoms

 

The signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma may vary depending on where the cancer occurs and how advanced the cancer may be. According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (which affects the lungs) includes, but is not limited to: chest pain under the rib cage, painful coughing, shortness of breath, and unusual lumps under the chest. Peritoneal mesothelioma (which affects the abdomen) may be identified through abdominal pain and swelling, lumps in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss. If mesothelioma affects the heart or testicles, individuals may experience pain and swelling in the affected area.

 

Since the signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are similar to other types of illness or disease, it’s important to visit a doctor as soon as possible and be sure to report if you know or suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos.

Treatment Options

 

Like other types of cancer, your doctor will discuss treatment options once the malignant mesothelioma is found and staged. Treatment plans vary based upon the location and size of the tumor and whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes, organs, and other parts of your body. The most common treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of any of the treatments. Since malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer, there is no “tried and true” treatment and some individuals, under the guidance of their doctors, may be able to try alternative treatments or be eligible for clinical trials.