18 Mar, 16

I CAN-cer-vive this. :)


There are a lot of things that you go through while having cancer that at the time, seem far worse than the actual cancer or chemo. Like everything else in life, the way that you handle these situations are all with in your control, and can make or break your situation. Life goes on with or without you. Your job goes on, your friends lives go on, everything goes on, and usually this is the hardest thing to understand when you’re going through treatment. Sometimes, you miss out on important events and it hurts. For me, I had planned on being there for the birth of one of my best friend’s babies. I was so excited for it, but wasn’t able to make it because I was neutropenic from chemo, and couldn’t be around anyone, or risk getting an infection, since chemo doesn’t kill patients, it’s the risk of infection that kills. I also wasn’t able to go to Vegas for my NSM, because I was in the hospital fighting for my life. And to top everything off, It was tough to have to be home all of the time, while my friends were all out living there lives. I felt like I was missing out on so much, while everyone else was having a good time, I was sitting in CTU getting injected by multiple different chemo drugs, and I’m only 28. Not exactly what I had signed up for.

I’m a very social person, and I love being out. For me, it was hard to be home all of the time. If I wasn’t at home, I was at the cancer center getting scans, chemo, or at doctor appointments. Since I couldn’t work, I knew I had to try to make my life seem as normal as possible, and I owe a LOT of this to my friends. They came over all the time, we would have dinner dates, lunch dates, etc. I think this saved me and made me feel more like a normal person. And I encourage anyone who is battling cancer, as hard as it is–try to go on with your normal life. It’s easier said than done, but for me it helped more than anything. You just might get really tired, but you have to force yourself to do it! I remember going out with my friends to dinner until 11. I was so exhausted from that and chemo, that I slept til 1 the next day. And it’s okay! It’s easy to sit home and be sad and feel bad for yourself and ask “why is this happening to me?” But as the weeks go by, you’ll realize that cancer is a curse and a blessing at the same time, for me at least it was.
Other than the above, hair loss as I discussed in my intro post is by far the most difficult, mortifying, horrifying experience that you will go through with chemo as a woman. For me, it was worse than the nausea, the fatigue, the pain. I’ve had hair extensions basically my entire life, so for me, to say that the hair loss made me sick to my stomach is an absolute understatement. It broke me down and made me feel weak. I’ve always been very confident, but losing my hair broke me down completely. That is…until I found the perfect wig! There is a guy in South Miami named Steve that specializes in wigs for chemo patients only and he’s amazing! I met with him and within one minute he picked one out for me, a short one. I bitched and complained because I’ve always had long hair, but he refused to give me a long one, and to this day, I couldn’t be happier. At this point whatever hair I had left was in patches. He shaved it all off and I honestly didn’t even cry because I loved my wig so much. I think my mom was more upset than I was at this point. However, you cannot even tell that it’s a wig! It looks completely natural, and as weird as it is to say, I like it better than the hair that I had before. Plus, a lot of celebrities and Jewish people wear wigs on the reg. So essentially it’s really no big deal. But this truly helped me more than I can ever begin to explain. I think it’s so important to find the right one, because it makes you feel so much more comfortable, almost like your old self. Also, I used Latisse on my eyelashes every day. My doctor doesn’t know that I use this and neither do any of my clients, but I swear this helped preserve my beautiful eyelashes haha! But be compliant, and check with your doctor first. 🙂 Your skin also changes a lot, but I still use my Atralin every night (shout out to VALEANT..still making my skin flawless, even with chemo!)

#whatcancer

Oh…and you can also have Kim Kardashian style hair with cancer. See below…boooom!

Find my book “Talk Cancer To Me” available at amazon here:

  1. Deb Dierking says:

    Jess you are an inspiration! I am a friend of your mothers and have prayed nonstop for you both. You are such a beautiful young woman that will come through this changed in ways you can’t imagine. You will continue to touch people just by how you are dealing with this invasion of your life. There are days you can be mad, sad and “why me”‼️ Take care and know you are loved and I will continue my prayers.

  2. Deb. Dierking says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS‼️ May you have many more wonderful birthdays ahead of you‼️???????Deb Dierking

  3. I can tell you that loosing your hair is NOT worse than the fatigue, nausea, pain and such from chemo. Yes as a woman loosing your hair is so hard at first. It is all we know as a girl, it identifies us and is part of our femininity. I have learned to embrace being bald. Trust me as a cosmetologist there are days I miss my hair so much!!! I can’t wait to be able to wear a pony tail again and style my hair….but the less maintenance has been nice 🙂 I do have wigs and I adore them. Yours look amazing by the way 🙂 I am on my 11th chemo…my last will be April 13. For me loosing my hair was a breeze compared to all I have dealt with from chemo. I have always had anxiety and now I have PTSD from all I have gone through in the last 6 months with this, the fatigue is debilitating at times, I am in so much pain with my muscles and bones. I ended up getting awful neuropathy in both my legs and feet from chemo. I pray you will never get this it is seriously so painful! I feel like my legs and feet are asleep all the time or in the wake up phase when a body part falls asleep. Yep that lovely pins, needs, tingly and throbbing sensation. Chemo has caused me evil stomach issues…so the loosing the hair part I would take that 100x over again than everything else chemo can bring. But like you I do stay as positive as I can threw this 🙂 I will pray chemo continues to treat you super kind. You will beat this girlie <3

    • Jess says:

      I have the Neuropathy really bad as well, so I can’t give you any pointers on what worked with me for that 🙁 it sucks but we just have to deal with it! Fatigue wise, have you tried compazine? I found that was the only thing that helped me a TON. And yes the stomach part is bad too but you’re almost done!!

  4. I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown proposed as things forgot.” by Alexander Pope.

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