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What is Chemo like? Ten Tips for Making it Through Chemotherapy

hey like God I'm ginger Wow okay anyway

hey guys I'm here well um today's video

is called tips for getting through chemo

I wrote a little list I've had a few of

you guys actually email me and tell me

that you know somebody or you yourself

personally are going through similar

struggles and after my aunt has just

recently started going on chemotherapy

it was very important and very special

to me to try and share the experience

you know comparing tips and tricks as to

what helped us through it and there was

a few lines that I could draw that were

common between us and there was a few

things that were different but either

way I think I sort of have come to a

good understanding as well as speaking

with you guys as to the things that are

typically the same so hopefully I can

give you some advice I'm so that you

yourself can get through chemo it's

possible I'm alive look at me woohoo um

and oh you can help someone going

through it okay so let's get down to it

I've got a few categories here the first

one is food

alright currently today I'm having a

very bad chemo day I'm on the fifth day

of my chemo and I literally cannot even

be inside which is why I'm felling

outside they all call me like the super

super woman because I have super smell

and not in a good way

first thing I would say is put

everything in glass or ceramic which has

no taste

also avoid silicon I can taste when food

has been in silicon and I can taste when

food has been in hasn't been covered in

the fridge I know it sounds very

pedantic and very specific but you just

become so sensitive on chemo Oh heads up

for that for you the next tip is

smoothies this is the only way people

get food into me today and especially a

bad day this is the only thing I can eat

I tried having my usual like breakfast

smoothly and

soy milk I couldn't have it I try and

having just a simple fruit too intense

can't have it and I didn't have the

energy to make myself anything else and

that's the problems I get stuck in the

cycle where I mean misinterpret hunger

for NOSSA my dad very kindly made me a

smoothie this is a peach smoothie with

soy milk and it's a very simple flavor I

lose so much weight because of the chemo

I lose about 5 kilos literally in a

battle with my body that we actually add

like supplements of protein make sure

that we fattened me up that's why I had

this hashtag on Instagram of like

hashtag bet and just being up but

sometimes it just doesn't happen you

can't force it like right now I'm

particularly underweight and so I'm

working hard to fix that so yeah keep an

eye on your weight because I can flip

really easily so that's food yeah like

straight flavors fruits make sure you

have just like plain fruits and plain

vegetables really difficult to have like

complex spicy

you really have to ask them to dig deep

and ask what their body feels like on

the same hand though and I can this is

just it's very it's very complex but for

me I find it when I'm super nauseous

incredibly difficult to talk about food

to me my dad took me to the grocery

store the other day and I had to like

walk out because there's just too many

smells and flavors and scents and it

just made me really nauseous so keep it

simple stupid and you'll be okay you'll

be all right

he'll make it alright so then drink same

thing I can't have any drink in any

bottles a stainless steel pedicure yeah

I can taste the metal and chemo funnily

enough tastes like metal always I'll

have like a big glass lemon water or

mint water or ginger combats nausea oh

yeah tea and then it helps calm my

stomach

it's feeling really nauseous and it

stops it from reflexing because there's

something in it but it wasn't food and

it doesn't come strong enough flavor to

overwhelm me I choose a very subtle

stomach calming chamomile kind of tea

and I'll literally have like 30 cups a

day I'm like constantly refilling my cup

so that's a really good that really

helped me um you're like this is a good

point to just sort of have a little

intermission and explain to you what it

actually feels like to go through you

know so for me the way that I describe

it to people is that you know when

you're having your blood drawn and

they're taking out a lot of blood it's

like pulling through your veins and it's

like your fingers start to hurt it's

like an internal hurt it's like

someone's like pulling I'm it [ __ ]

ache it feels like that all over my body

right now which is incredibly

frustrating and every time that I move

or I do exercise it's like you know how

when you're exercised lactic acid is

excreted in your muscles and then your

blood will like wash it away and it's

like that burn stays for like many many

many seconds longer and it lingers and

therefore it makes it difficult for you

to do exercise so that's what the

sensation overall feels like also I get

this thing called chemo brain which is

sort of when my mind goes with googly

gobbly like for example now I'm not as

articulate as I would be if I was not

going through my very intense chemo

period as I'm taking the drug and that's

all of this is okay it's normal but it's

good to just be aware of it I've broken

three glasses and my favorite mug in the

past like week I'm actually very shaky

and overestimate my strength and end up

breaking things so yeah that's just you

know another

tip is just be aware that you're not

your normal self and sometimes you don't

want to overshoot things if you're like

I'm gonna sing a cup on your laptop as

you're taking your stuff upstairs

maybe don't majors plate so then hair I

am very lucky that I got to keep all of

my hair I only lost this much hair and

that was because of radiotherapy look

it's all going back cute see all the way

back here I don't know if I'm showing

you but I'm doing oh yeah I lost all of

that my scar my scar from the surgery is

like that and came down here but it's

all hidden so nice like okay I'm very

lucky this is not normal there's a girl

who was going through the exact same

treatment as I was she lost all of her

hair and we're about the same age so I

really can't give you any guarantees

there the doctors told me I was gonna

lose my hair I think a loss of hair for

women and men going through chemotherapy

is definitely where the hardest parts

because it's like the real physical

manifestation of what you're going

through and I think definitely it's

something to be proud of

like I proudly pin up my hair like this

often and wear it out it used to really

bother me I used to hide it all the time

but then you know we're all kind of

Millennials and this looks a bit like an

undercut and like I don't know people do

such weird [ __ ] nowadays but like

frankly I just really blend in after a

while like I thought everybody was

looking at me and then I kinda realize

no one really cares so whether it's like

patchy bits like me or whether you lose

all of your hair just own it I know it

sounds really awful but that's probably

one of the largest challenges you'll

have to rise to is just to kind of get

over it and live your life and and be

proud of it

definitely your head gets cold sometimes

so you might want to cover your hair

with like a baseball cap or if you have

a wig you want or scarf protect your

head from the Sun you're very

susceptible to sunburn when you're on

chemo which is why I'm wearing like long

sleeves and I wonder this you were going

through a battle and people just seem to

understand that I'm just yeah I would

suggest that before you start to lose

your hair some people suggested to me

that I should cut my hair like an inch a

day so that way it wouldn't be such a

shock when I lost all of my hair but

there is no harm in getting a cute wig

so this is my wig I named it Jasmine

because I feel like I look like a bit of

a prostitute and I would be a prostitute

named Jasmine no but um yeah it's fun I

hated this I hated this when I first got

it because I really thought it was gonna

be me but um I started wearing it out I

wanted to get used to it I feel like I

have a bit of a different personality

when I wear Jasmine and there's so many

tips and tricks on how to really make it

look real there's like girls who shave

their whole head bald because they love

weight so much it's definitely look at

it as an opportunity guys too if you

want to look like jasmine you can

because they're Swiss government I live

in Switzerland

actually pays for they donate to you a

proper full human hair wig if you have

cancer so I had that option I went to

these lovely week makers called a pink

in French and they showed me how they

could recreate my hair exactly and they

got that guy was like I also in strands

of like red and everything just to make

it exactly like your hair and it was

very difficult for me I was crying a lot

whilst I was there but they were so kind

and so sweet but in the end they didn't

have to make it for me because there's

lots of charities who will you know the

princess trust I was gonna cut all my

hair off before all this happened and

donate it to the princess trust from the

bottom of my heart the hardest thing for

me was

trying to adjust to the fact that I was

going to lose all my hair and more than

going through chemo literally almost

more than the surgery that upset me so

much because I've always had such long

hair and it's such a crucial part of my

identity that do not at all beat

yourself up or belittle the importance

of you know losing your hair people

would tell me they'd be like oh it'll

grow back and it's like you don't

understand I understand

wigs great option goodbye Jasmine thanks

for now oh my god I'm a ginger again oh

yeah son you're very susceptible to the

Sun so cover up your arms your hat chemo

whilst I was in Bali and I was surfing

and I sunburned my butt so much that on

the five-hour flight on the way back I

literally couldn't sit it was so

unbearably painful you are very

susceptible to sunburn ten times more

than you think you are so just be really

careful okay I think the next part is

the most important part and this is

honestly how I've gotten through chemo

radio brain surgery distraction I should

write a book on distraction I know

exactly what distracts myself I know how

to cook my own attention and so I

planned stuff to bully distract me

before and after enduring everything so

I'll give you a few examples before my

brain surgery I went up to Big Sur I was

like a huge road trip and I have an

amazing time and went on crazy hikes and

then after my surgery two days after my

surgery I was discharged from hospital

went to the beach to go surfing with my

boyfriend and in San Francisco and that

was fun and then not me

i sat and watched him but so I was at

the beach you know like doing stuff then

we were going for hikes and on another

crazy freaking height so do you see the

gist here just absolutely keeping

yourself so exhausted that by the time

your head hits the pillow in the end of

the day you are like so out and there's

no time for you to sit in

or feel the pain because you're so

distracted I think another thing was

like having my whole family there it was

great because my brother was there and I

could joke around and have fun with him

you know like my parents were there so I

could really lean on them to support me

and actually my boyfriend flew out from

Hawaii to San Francisco to be there for

me for my brain surgery which is I know

this video is about chemotherapy but

it's kind of like all the same thing it

was just like really nice to feel

totally surrounded and loved from like

all edges so people surround yourself

with good people um that's definitely a

top tip and with the distraction thing

keep busy I mean I handed in two papers

last week for my university that I had

to catch up on from because I was having

brain surgery but I caught up and I'm on

chemo so big deal just to live your life

as normally as you can I mean keep

yourself busy

don't stop going to work unless you

really have to it's scientifically

proven according to my oncologist that

the chemotherapy performs better when

you are motivated and working hard and

feeling positive so lean on people

that's what they're there for

don't feel guilty it brings you closer

as well I invited some of my old school

friends all we did was sit on my couch

and watch movies together but it was

such a great bonding experience and

people are so happy to help you because

people love you so people will come out

of the woodwork that you really didn't

think so it's a really great opportunity

for people to show you that they care

and select them you know it means a lot

to them to then that kind of ties in

nicely then we're going to talk about

communication or people forget people

look at me and I think I'm fine and then

they expect me to perform to a caliber

as everybody else and I'm the one that

has to remind them like oh yeah you know

come on chemo I probably shouldn't or

like oh [ __ ] yeah I forgot you

definitely have to communicate how

you're feeling there was one day where I

was feeling really crap and i

snapchatted like feeling like [ __ ] chemo

kicking me in the butt two weeks later I

had like three different care packages

from all my good friends from all around

the world who had sent me face masks

like cute little mugs like funny bugs

books are great things to have while

strong chemo because sometimes their

eyes hurt from watching TV shows and you

need to take a break too much Netflix

but I'm so glad that I did that I'm so

glad that I told people oh my god I'm

feeling crap so that way I could be

cheered up by then if I had kept it all

into myself and was like oh no one wants

to hear about my misery then I wouldn't

have had the conclusion that I did which

was feeling better so don't be shy and

the other thing is it's important that

you try and explain to those that are

around you and those that are taking

care with you exactly what you need it's

right now the thought of coconut makes

me want to throw up tomorrow the thought

of soymilk will probably make me want to

throw up no one's gonna know that but

you until you have to communicate so I

think that's a really great point

that's good communications also actually

less for you and sort of more for who I

mean it does affect you in the end but

it's more for those around you so don't

forget because I often forgot and then

major TLC yoga you have to stretch your

body and you have to move your body and

you have to exercise people are gonna be

telling you doctors are gonna be telling

you take it easy don't do do take it

easy

but don't in the sense that this is a

really hard drug if you couldn't already

tell

and the more you move your body the more

it flushes out of your system

and so push yourself to the best that

you can so for me at the end of this day

I'm gonna do my usual walk down the

driveway and back up again and it's

gonna kill me it's gonna be hard my

muscles are gonna ache so hard I'm gonna

be parenting but it's so important that

I do it and I'm feeling better yeah so

the major TLC facemasks I did like a

different face mask a day I went to go

get my eyebrows done and plucked nicely

honestly pull all of the stops you know

watch that TV show you really gonna

watch I rewatched Legally Blonde and

clueless and The Breakfast Club and was

going through like a super girly like

yeah fun feel-good films live your life

this isn't a time to stop and it's

possible ding ding ding ding Exhibit A

next is the ganja my CBD oil getting

high helps so much I went to a house

party two nights ago and had to take the

chemo at the party I couldn't drink like

all my friends were you know playing

beer pong instead of you know taking

beer or whatever I could have my a CBD

and get high and getting high is a lot

of benefits first and foremost it takes

away the pain then you know how pain is

like sharp it takes away the sharpness

it dulls it and that's really helpful

when you're trying to battle your way

through it sometimes I take painkillers

but I try my best not to most the time I

don't take any painkillers because I'd

rather not like overload my body but

getting high is like natural cvd oils

natural you don't just smoke it so it's

not like on your throat it's just like

drops it works really quickly and you

get a really nice butt so I was really

stoned the whole house party and by the

end of it I came home late at night and

I was hungry because I had the munchies

which I hadn't eaten all frickin day

because I was so nauseous

so really hats off to weed it really

really really really

really health and this is medically

approved really works for me I would if

you're into it I would definitely ask

your doctors if there's any legal push

okay my last thing is psychology you can

try my method tested and approved which

is pretend kind of not happening and

just lose me for your life normally I I

really felt like that helped my psyche

that helped me through this every time I

felt myself going down that rabbit hole

of like you know why me this is a

horrible blow up I kind of like let the

thought in but then thoughts are like

buses going around in a circle and

you're at the bus stop and although the

bus may come around in front of you it

doesn't mean you have to get on it

you can sit there and watch it patiently

pass by and do that you know because the

more you focus on positive things the

better you will perform your body

physically your mind connects to your

body and so if you're in a bad headspace

you're not gonna perform as well and we

need you in tip-top shape so you can get

better

keep fighting um cut yourself a break

this will be very hard for if you're

anyone that's like me I'm running at

1,000 miles per hour 24/7 because that's

how I like to roll but definitely cut it

back a lot or else you'll slow down your

healing process

we want that's a threat that I always

say to myself whenever I feel I'm

pushing myself too hard I'll be like

hold on we don't want to be doing this

for longer than we need to take a chill

pill and yeah find an outlet like this

for example you know sharing this with

you guys this is a great outlet for me

today I've done nothing with my day

because I felt so rubbish and I haven't

been able to eat anything but you know

at least I've produced this you know

chemo is not what it used to be like an

old urn days I am up I'm still living

I'm still moving I can take the drugs

here at home I don't have to go to the

hospital you may have to go in for

infusion that's different it's different

for everybody but it's there to try and

save your life it's saving my life so I

have to be grateful to chemo for what

it's doing and that was the last thing I

had written down was it's not that bad

these bodies are incredible magical

insane things yeah it's just it's not

that bad don't be scared it'll be over

I hope that helped you guys please feel

free to write to me or comment and ask

me questions and if you prefer to do it

privately because I'm a message but I

really feel you I'm still going through

it I've got six more months to go it's

definitely more of a marathon it's not a

sprint

but I know I'm gonna get through it and

if I know I'm gonna get through it then

I know you can get through it so yeah

anyway I hope any of those health