Life & Style
Wondering what to wear to Chemo?//
If you're just starting out on your treatment journey, there are so many practical questions aside from the drugs, timings etc. Most people have at least once asked me what it's like to "get chemo"....like the process.....I usually say think "Breaking Bad" and everyone sitting around in chairs with drips and that pretty much it. There is generally alot of sitting around waiting blood results, waiting for chemo to be made up and then of course the infusion of drugs. I can usually spend anything up to 6 hours in the hospital every 2 weeks, so those hours need to be filled! I dress for comfort, but try to maintain some of my own style and not drop all standards and turn up in my PJ's.....I have been tempted! But I also have a stock of books, my laptop, sketch books, personal admin etc that I pack up and bring with me to help fill the hours. I do sometimes chat with other patients, but mainly have the craic with my nurses.....make friends with these angels, they will be your best buds during your treatment. I know all nurses are amazing, but I've a special place in my heart for oncology nurses, they journey with some of the saddest stories every day and I often wonder how they can leave all that heartache in the hospital and not carry it with them.
So, what do wear to chemo? I've an extensive collection of expandable pants for starters, your weight will fluctuate during treatment, let me tell you once the steroids kick in any thought of having "skinny" cancer is gone......I started off at 65kgs at my original diagnosis......and in the course of my treatment I nearly doubled that weight in certain stages! Hence the need for expandable clothes! Loose t-shirts, cardigans, sweatshirts, cotton and natural fibres are best. You may have raised temperatures also and if like me you went in to medically induced menopause as a result of your treatment then the hot flushes can come any time, so hence the need for layers! Men, if you're reading this the same rules apply to you, minus the menopausal hot flushes obviously!!
"leisure wear" is everywhere these days, jogging bottoms are practically worn in night clubs, so there are no end of places you can pick up the best gear for your pocket and personal style. I'm a huge fan of COS Stores and know their clothes fit my body and my style, but Zara, H&M, GAP, & other stories and Penny's (Primark) are all excellent. I also do alot of online shopping these days as I don't get to the shops to much, but be warned do not shop on your post chemo days.....I've bought a lot of crap in drug induced hazes and the returning can be an awful pain!
On the hair loss side, I've lost my hair twice, currently have a full head, I hate those "chemo hats" with flowers or some other jaunty bit of cuteness attached to the side......the designers of these would be better off just adding a badge "yes, I do have cancer and yes I've no hair" on them! Instead I invested in a few cool turbans, a panama hat and vintage scarves to wrap about my head and mostly no one would even give me a second glance in these.
So, to wrap this up with a few top tips:
Think what you want to do to pass the time....books, laptop, music, friends visiting etc..
Clothes - think natural fibres, loose with layers!
Hair loss - scarves, hats, beanies...anything but those awful chemo caps!!
Drink lots of fluids.......water infused with lemon or melon is delicious!!
Most of all remember, you have a cancer it doesn't have you and bring yourself in to that chemo day ward....for my it's a flash of red lippy...never fails to cheer me up and the nurses think I'm fierce glamorous!!
Love Alison x