I want to share some OTC drugs and items that have helped me with my side effects of chemo with other ladies and gents too. Things that worked for me may not however, work for you but I know from experience that you will try anything that another cancer victim has recommended because I did just to get some relief.
These are not in any order….
Dry skin….. The best thing I recommend for dry thin skin that seems to come with chemo is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion with Vitamin E for your whole body or the Cocoa Shea Butter Formula in the jar also by Palmer’s is more for your hands or feet. I already used the lotion before C and it was extremely helpful during C too. We, C people, cannot get pedicures or manicure especially if you have lymphodema because of the threat of infection is high during your chemo treatment.
Chafing, thin skin around vaginal area and the bend of your legs where your panties hit was a huge problem for me and remains that way now but is getting better as the chemo leaves my body. This was and is a difficult area to treat and I found a couple of items that would give me temporary relief. My favorite is Soothing Care by Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel make sure you get this one and not the creme that is for itching, the itching one did not work for me at all but the Powder Gel did. Some Walgreen’s carry it, CVS does not and I do know that WalMart carries it but I don’t shop or tell people to shop at Wal Mart because of their practices of their business. You can use this product over and over and I had one by my bed and also carried one in my purse….very helpful product. Another product I used occasionally is Baby Burts Bee Dusting Powder that has no talc in it and I used that on my vaginal area also to keep it dry only after a shower…No talc is important and the product is 100% talc free. Also, Burt’s Bee Lip Balm is almost a necessary item to have when you have the Big C because your lips stay dry and cracked and most of my treatment was in the winter with the gas heater drying me out everywhere too. I had about 5 of them in my purse, by my bed and in all my bags that I carry….very good with no chemicals in them either.
bruising Yes, you do get bruised a lot from blood pricks, from your port being assessed wrong, from surgery and many other procedures. I used Arnicare which is also for pain relief but found it worked best for me on bruises. When you get multiple blood specimens in one day, you will get very bruised and it is so painful to have a needle stuck in your arm that is already bruised. This shortens and helps the bruise heal and it is totally homeopathic medicine…which means, no chemicals in this product or any product that claims to be homeopathic…learn to read labels….it claims to relieve pain from over exertion but I used it mainly for bruising. It really helps with the bruising, makes you heal faster and takes away the soreness and you will get a lot of that, trust me.
local pain….A friend turned me on to this product and so far, I’ve turned 2 other people onto it that had chronic pain in their neck and back. It is called Topricin and it too is homeopathic medicine, no dangerous chemicals for external use only good for arthritis,,swelling, numbness, tingling and burning to soft tissue injuries including trauma injuries. I used it when my fingernails started to hurt and come loose from the nail bed…they are healing now and I continue to use this product. It can be gotten online if you enter the word Topricin you can real all about it and all the herbs that it has in it. And it WORKS…..
Mouth sores, dry mouth and ridges in your mouth:
My physician prescribed me what they call Magic Mouthwash which comes in a pink bottle and when you use it takes awful and seems to paralyze the inside of your mouth, It is temporary relief only and I do recommend it but there isn’t much relief from the mouth problems that comes with chemo. Another think I found is just to take a squirt bottle with water and put about a tablespoon of baking soda in it and squirt it in your mouth. It really cleans the inside of your mouth and makes it easier to deal with the chemo. It really helped with the funky taste and the no food taste that you get from eating. Losing my sense of taste was one of the worse things that happens during chemo treatment and my taste would come back about the time it was the next chemo treatment and I had to start all over….now, my taste is all back and thank GOD…that was horrible.
The next thing I recommend which was one of the hardest things for me to do was drink enough water…and I am still struggling to drink water. It is good for you but hard to drink 64 or more ozs of water daily…it does make you pee a lot but it keeps your bowels moving and the chemo leaving…now the anesthesia and pain pills I’m on it helps flush them out….
I had surgery on April 19 and don’t feel so good and cannot drive myself anywhere. My unpaid caretaker, but very much appreciated, Deborah had to leave after being with me for over a week so if anyone out there has any time to give me rides, go to my appointments with me, or make me food and bring it over or buy it…I do need help. And if you are thinking oh, she probably has too much company….STOP, don’t think that because that is what everyone thinks and then nobody comes or calls. I’m single with no children and no family here in Houston, so any help or visiting would greatly be appreciated and welcomed a lot.
I will talk about my surgery later…just too tired and in pain at the moment to go on.
Thanks everyone for reading and all your lovely comments. You really make my day sometimes. I hope I can help another person that is in my position after I totally recover, I got a lot of karma to pay back….or pay it forward as I like to say.