Having Fun After Cancer

As Cancer treatment in hospital comes to an end, we want to get on with restoring our lives. So when daily visits to hospital finished, I thought I would get my life back.

BUT – no-one told me sometimes it can be difficult if not impossible to get your life back the way it was. No-one told me about one in four of us will have long-term side effects from chemotherapy, hormone therapy (pills) and/or radiotherapy. Until Macmillan published a report in called “Cured – but at what cost” highlighting unknown and unexpected problems caused by Tamoxifen(Hormone Therapy treatments); saying there are problems common to many of these treatments.

Good news

Nice therapies are not just for fun – but can serve a very practical purpose. Using specially developed products and therapies such as massage, skin care, etc. not only help with side effects but also aids long-term recovery and gives you a ‘feel good’ boost. Hope some of the information here works for you.

But before you try, ask advice from your medical team.

Sometimes Doctors don’t have time to help, and you can be made to feel awkward asking questions. Teenagers feel they must ‘get on with it’; older people are told: “it’s your age”.Phooey!

Doctors and NursesIf doctors and nurses haven’t time to give individual attention to you – you have to work things out for yourself. I found French Consultants reassuringly helpful when I went blind in one eye, then came out all over with bloody skin lesions, 3 days after starting on Tamoxifen. They listened, and sorted things out, where British Oncologists had produced excuses from “I’ve never seen this before”, to “it’s your age!

No Frenchman would dare be so dismissive, and thanks to them I was helped – and have written about their treatments. Because the French take time to help with side effects, I am sure that is why WHO rates French cancer treatment so highly.

On this website, I mention lots of lovely things I was given in French, German and other European cancer centres (I had a wonderful job that took me around Europe, so took full advantage), plus research and medical information from Germany, USA, Australia etc. The same treatments and products are now becoming available all over the world and show that Having Fun can be part of cancer treatment.

So why bother?

Why not? If asking a few questions, using the internet or phone can get you relief from side effects – go for it. The trick is to ask around to find solutions for clearing up or making side effects tolerable; I found plenty, and many were fun. Using my brain cells (even though some doctors seem to think we lose them with cancer) and lots of research here and in cancer centres abroad, I found lovely products and therapies, particularly for skin problems, which had been clinically trialled or were recommended by hospitals – so they weren’t untested.

HAVING FUN AFTER CANCER was a fun quest for treatments helping me stay on the drugs. Who could object to having a massage to relieve fatigue, or being handed a jar of a gorgeous skin cream and being told “use this twice a day for your skin”? Not me!

So I hope this website is helpful, whatever medicinal drugs you are on.

HOW TO USE THIS SITE

Finding information

Choose a category (see column on right side of pages) for advice and possible solutions for problems with:
– Body Skin (arms, body, and legs)
– Facial skin (what to do when drugs make us look old as the hills)
– Hands, feet, and hair
– Products (yes, suppliers make money, but in return, they really help)

What helps

Often the leaflets that come with the drugs will list possible side effects, then say “Ask your GP/doctor for advice on dealing with this”. Most GPs seem too busy to help us, although I do think it is time that the NHS paid them extra fees to handle cancer cases, as is done for diabetes, dementia. etc.

Europeans expect their doctors to deal with skin and other problems (sometimes British patients are too meek to ask for help!) So what worked for me when prescribed by doctors abroad may not work for you – but hey! even if something I tried didn’t work for me, it was fun trying it out! And as long as the product you are trying is made by a reputable company, it’s highly unlikely to contain poisons anywhere near as harmful as those in our drugs!

Everything I mention on this site has
– been clinically trialed in France, USA, Australia or countries where post cancer treatment is superior to ours
– Or been approved by FDA (Food and drug agencies) of the above countries
– Or recommended as a treatment by charities such as Cancer Research UK, Macmillan etc. or offered as normal treatment to Europeans by their doctors
– Or available on NHS prescription

Although there are probably many herbs and alternative treatments that have helped some people, I believe that research is the best path for help, so put my trust in what medical teams had produced abroad. The only product that hasn’t had clinical trials will be chocolate – but I believe everyone deserves a treat – and that is mine!

My side effects

95% of us suffer from side effects, but as a journalist, I knew whom to ask for advice, and where to go.

So – if you have dry, itchy skin, peeling nails, straw hair, brillo pad face skin, cracked feet or any other skin problem – see details of treatment on this website.

Many of the products recommended to French and American cancer patients are now coming into chemists in Britain. We have to pay for them, but they work wonders on skin. Now Nurses tell me “you do have lovely skin”. No thanks to the NHS though.

Skincare Is Important

What doctors don’t tell you (although some Nurses will) is that today’s drugs often produce horrible skin problems. Countries abroad often co-operate with their Cancer charities to produce targeted skincare. Some of the best that I use constantly are:

Living Nature which was developed in New Zealand with cooperation from their cancer authorities. Products are good, and it is relatively inexpensive – don’t know how they do it at the price.

La Roche Posay is a French cancer skin care product, now launched in Britain; they knew that thousands of British women were already going on their website to order their products; now we can get same cancer skin care as the French.

IS Clinical had been developed in Washington Cancer Center. The cosmetic surgery industry in Britain is mostly private; they read results, and realised IS Clinical’s products would be excellent to help patients recover from face lifts – so Harley Street knows all about the creams – we have to find out for ourselves.

So this website is for those of you who are fed up with doctors saying they can’t help and don’t know what to do about side effects. Become an ‘Expert Patient’ and tell them! Apologies if I often repeat myself – but I have written the articles they way that I found helpful – by repeating and analysing those phrases or things that explained how, where, when, what and why.

And HAVE FUN AFTER CANCER!

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