Beauty Over Cancer

February 27, 2010, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Exercises, tips | Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to Beauty Over Cancer – Exercise!  By coming here, it means you have taken a direct interest in caring for yourself during recovery – which includes daily exercise.  The most important benefits are:

  • modifying the risk of recurrence
  • improving and/or reducing the symptoms/side effects of chemical (chemo and radiation) therapy
  • enhancing immune/physical functions
  • restoring energy and sense of control in your life

There are a variety of ways to incorporate an exercise program into your daily schedule.  With any program, start slow and build up.  Unlike typical strength training programs, working to aerobic exhaustion or muscle fatigue is not the goal here.  The real goal is to make healthy physical activity a permanent lifestyle change.  For you, more is not necessarily better, but something is better than nothing.

When to Exercise

Start some form of physical activity as soon as possible – both before and during treatment.  In doing so, the side effects of treatment can be less debilitating.   Specifically, depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, difficulty sleeping, reduced bone density and poor body composition can be reduced with exercise.  By starting as soon as possible, you will have a stronger foundation to work from.

What Exercises to Do

Whether you have no equipment at home or have access to a gym, aerobic activity is fundamental to your program.  Anywhere from 150 – 180 minutes (2-1/2 to 3hrs.) total per week of moderate intensity is best.  Spreading this over a week, this rounds out to be about 20 to 25 continuous minutes per day.  Forms of aerobic activity could include walking, dancing, stationary bicycle, etc.  If possible, stay on your feet so as to help protect bone density.

In addition to aerobic exercise, moderate intensity resistance training (working with weights, bands or rubber tubing) can help maintain, if not also, improve stamina.  Exercises that involve the chest, back and legs are at the core.  Performing exercises that include these muscle groups will indirectly include other areas of the body – e.g. shoulders, arms and feet.  When you have less than normal stamina, focusing on the larger muscle groups will be more time efficient in the long run.

What Else to Consider?

Another important component to incorporate in your recovery is to eat an extremely healthy diet.  Eliminate anything that is processed with chemicals, refined, or in other words, has more unrecognizable ingredients than recognizable.  The brighter and darker the fruit or vegetable in its natural state, the better.  And, don’t forget water.  Our bodies are 70% water and it is even more important now to have drinking water within reach at all times.

Finally, don’t forget that you are not alone in your situation.  Your success will improve with support from others.  Connect up with a workout partner, look for exercise classes targeting cancer survivors, search on-line for websites to help you through.  That is why is here for you.

If you have any doubts about starting an exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor or oncologist.

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More Tips for Chemo!
October 24, 2009, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Information, tips | Tags: , , , ,

1. Put a list of phone numbers together! Hospitals, Doctors, Pharmacy, your Nurse’s direct line, friends, babysitters, and anyone else you can think of! Keep one on your person and one at home!

2. Start nausea meds as prescribed until you figure out your body’s routine with the treatments.

3. Watch your temperature!100.5 degrees is your marker for calling your doctor. Infections will spread quickly and easily when your body reaches this temp.

4. You can become constipated or even have diarrhea. Make sure you ask your doctor which over the counter meds to have for both situations.

5. Buy some nice, comfy clothes that make you feel good.

6. Don’t push yourself too hard. When exhausted, take a nap! Don’t wear your body down more than you need to.

7. Choose the foods that you want. If you can eat them and hold them down, enjoy!

8. Chemo dries out your eyes, so make sure you have your moisturizing eye drops on your person and at your home.

9. This is your time in life not to be annoyed by others. Do things that make YOU happy. Don’t worry about when other folks bother you- let them know!

Nine Must-Haves BEFORE You Start Chemo
October 18, 2009, 7:54 pm
Filed under: tips | Tags: , , , ,

There are certain things that will help you in your journey through chemotherapy. In my own experience, the following things are a MUST! I advise you take care of these items before you begin your first chemo session. It’s always best to be prepared… you don’t want to have to chase these things down while your body and mind are under so much stress.

1. Get The Port!

Your doctor will recommend you have an IV Port implanted. It leaves a minimal scar, which I know you are all afraid of! The truth of it is, starting an IV every week gets harder and harder, and it could take you an hour or more to have a successful start – for each chemotherapy treatment! Because your skin and veins will be compromised, it will scar you multiple times, and worse than a port ever would.

2.  Temporary Handicap Parking Pass


They’re free, and easy to obtain – just ask your doctor and they will do the paperwork for you. All you need to do is make a stop at the DOL. Just place it in your glove box, and it’s there when you need it!

3. Firm Toothbrush


Trust me, this is the easiest and most convenient way to exfoliate your lips. The dry skin that accumulates can be annoying, and may even make you feel unattractive. Sluff all of that dead skin off and give yourself a clean canvas fora lip moisturizer or even your favorite lip color.

4. SPF Lip Moisturizer


There are many brands and ‘flavors’ of lip moisturizer that contain an SPF. You should look for one that has SPF of 15 or more. Keep in mind – the more natural, the better. Try a lip tint for a hint of color!

5. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF

inner light

This will hydrate your skin and help even out your skin tone, without the appearance of heavy makeup. The SPF is extremely important, as your skin is very sensitive and can burn easily.

6. Ask Your Doctor for First Mouthwash BLM


Most chemotherapy treatments affect your mucus membranes, including your mouth. This mouthwash contains lidocaine, which will numb and soothe any discomfort in your mouth and throat.

7. Biotene Sensitive Toothpaste – Dry Mouth Formula


While you might have the mouthwash, you will not need to use it on a daily basis. However, your gums will suffer tremendously from chemo. It is important to take care of them with a good toothpaste.

8. Mouthguard


Not everyone clenches their teeth, but being diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo can cause things to change. It is such a different type of stress that many people will develop TMJ, and grind their teeth. Protect what you have and keep your smile! Do this, just in case, before it feels ‘too late’. Ask your dentist to fit you for a custom mouthguard, or go to the drug store for a universal-fit temporary mouthguard.



Before you start chemotherapy, one of the most important things you can do is go to the pharmacy and get your prescriptions filled in advance, and on an auto-fill program. You should really have 2 full sets of meds before you begin treatment. Keep one on your person, and one at home. You never know when nausea may strike, or you may forget to take your meds at home.