Be Kind To Yourself

I’m finally starting to feel more like myself (FINALLY!). It’s great because I want to do everything and eat everything (including buffalo chicken, brownies, pasta, YUM) in sight because I can finally taste. The bad thing is, I have my third chemo coming up on Monday and I’m going to feel like crap again. It’s like climbing a mountain and you are almost at the top and then a big gust of wind comes and pushes you to the bottom. It definitely can be discouraging, but I keep telling myself everything is temporary and this feeling will end soon. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it definitely just sucks.

Throughout this journey, I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve also learned that I have a lot of strength and courage that I never thought I had. I’ve also realized how important it is to be patient and kind to yourself. I’m trying not to be so hard on myself and if I can’t do something, it’s okay.

Be Kind to Yourself

A perfect example was last Saturday night, I had plans with a good friend who I haven’t seen in awhile. The whole day I felt great. We were meeting for dinner at 6:30. Around 4pm, I started to feel so tired that I couldn’t get out of bed and I just didn’t feel right. I was going to push myself to go to the dinner and then I thought, “I need to listen to my body. My body clearly doesn’t want to go out tonight.” I felt so bad canceling on my friend, but of course she is awesome and completely understood. Feeling so upset, I couldn’t believe that cancer was ruining my social plans! I hated that it was doing this to me.

Each day, I’m learning to be patient and kind with myself. It’s also okay to tell people no or to ask for help. These are two things I didn’t do much before because I’ve always considered myself an independent person. Throughout this journey, you will need help and it’s okay to ask for it. Take each day as it comes.

My advice to you if you are on this journey or even if you aren’t: Be patient and kind to YOURSELF. It’s okay to be a little selfish. YOU deserve it.

MoniqueHair

xo,

Monique

Second round of chemo… PHEW!

First off, I wanted to apologize that it’s taken me a few days to get this blog post out. I was ready to publish it over the weekend and then BAM… fatigue kicked in again. The second round of chemo has been tough for me and it has definitely taken me time to feel better. Today is a good day so I’ll take it! I even ran to CVS and ordered a salad for lunch. That’s a lot for me when all I want to do is sleep.

I finished my second round of chemo about a week and a half ago and it was a lot harder for me than the first round. I ended up in the Emergency Department because I was dehydrated and needed fluids. So now I drink ten bottles of water a day (you can imagine how many times I need to pee!) I didn’t have a problem with nausea with the first round, but this round my stomach never felt right. I always felt queasy and the sound of food never sounded good to me. Also, my taste has sucked for the past week. I could go days without eating, but I know I need to eat. Also, I’ve felt like I could sleep ALLLLLL day. Even the littlest things like putting the dishes away requires so much energy.

If you are going through chemo and noticed that it’s hard to eat certain foods, below are some tips that I’ve found that help:

  • Seltzer water: During this time when you can’t taste, regular water tastes disgusting. I don’t even know how to describe it but it’s gross. I noticed that some bubbles and natural flavors goes a long way to stay hydrated.
  • Iced tea with lemon: Tea is great for you and so is lemon. Another drink that tastes good and is good for you.
  • Adding lemon to my water: I love lemon and this definitely helps the taste of water. It makes it much easier to drink.
  • Plain pasta: I know the sound of food can completely turn you off. I’ve found that eating regular pasta with a little butter and garlic can actually taste pretty good. I know it’s bland, but it’s easy to digest and does the trick.
  • Soups: What better way to get your veggies and fluids?! Yum!
  • Smoothies: A couple days after chemo, every single food that I had was gross. My mom made me a delicious smoothie with mango, peach, strawberries, yogurt and chia seeds. I was able to drink the whole thing. SUCCESS!

Do you have any other tips that have helped you? Comment below!

Here’s to hoping my third round of chemo is a bit better. I’ll be at the halfway point so that’s a reason to celebrate! Keep fighting, ladies!

(Also, a big thank you to my family and boyfriend for coming with me to my chemo treatments. Pictures are a must since you know I’m a social media geek! 😉 )

xo,

Monique

Who needs hair?

I have been dreading this day since my oncologist said the words, “You will need chemotherapy.” There were so many questions that ran through my mind. “Will I feel sick? Will I be tired? Will I get that metallic taste in my mouth? Will I lose my hair? Eyebrows? Eyelashes?” UGH! Being a woman, our hair is our comfort and security blanket. We always strive to have a good hair day, but when it rains or is humid (in my case, my hair ended up a frizzy mess and I would always throw it up in a bun or throw a hat on) we dread the bad hair days. I was dreading the NO hair day…

I told myself that I would cut my hair before it started coming out. I was praying that it would stay in so I could do a reading at my grandfather’s funeral. (Thank goodness it did!) From an emotional standpoint, I don’t think I could handle seeing it come out in chunks or in the shower. I just didn’t want to see that. So I was proactive and made an appointment with the salon that gave me my wig (Salon at 10 on Newbury Street in Boston. They are AHHHH-MAZING!). The day worked out perfectly because it was starting to fall out very slowly.

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I was nervous all day. To the point where I started to feel sick to my stomach. I knew I had to do this, but I was absolutely dreading it. I didn’t want people to know I was sick. I want to kick cancer in the ass for taking hair from women, but I knew I HAD to do this. So we arrived at the salon with my sisters, mom, and boyfriend. I needed to have my support system with me. I was able to donate the rest of my hair and that made me feel great. Once they started shaving my head, I knew there was no turning back. We all had a great cry and my family was able to see me with a messy short hair cut and with no hair. (They still won’t tell me if I looked like a boy!) I didn’t see them cut my hair in the mirror; I wasn’t quite ready yet. I just think that God is giving me another chance to have the hair of my dreams. I just have to wait a few months!

I have a beautiful new wig which I call Sally. Yes, I named my wig! She looks just like my real hair but she will always be straight and frizz-free (YES!). I was so afraid to see myself with no hair. My boyfriend told me to only look in the mirror when I am ready. He said I looked beautiful without hair and I thought he was just saying that! But I know he would never lie to me. I was going to sleep with my wig on and then realized why? Why am I going to sleep with this on? Why am I afraid to look at myself in the mirror? Why SHOULD I be afraid? I’m still myself, just with no curls.

Hair does not define who a person is. Yes, it can be a sense of comfort, but having no hair can be so empowering. I felt so empowered that I helped someone else in need and that I took control of this awful situation. Looking back at myself in the mirror, I realized that I looked pretty good without hair, which was definitely surprising. I believe that every woman would look great with no hair. I was absolutely dreading this and I am so happy it’s over. I am so proud of myself for facing this and completing another step in this journey. Staying positive makes all of the difference in the world. So we then ordered Chinese food and had a beer. Another day where I have gained strength and courage… CHECK!

xo,

Monique

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