Caboodle Spring Cleaning: Cure Diva

54ec6ff6731ffb6e3353b696b4e65565Beauty and cancer are two things that don’t tango very well together, particularly when chemotherapy is in the mix.  When you are being poisoned week after week, it’s no wonder that your skin gets dry, your cuticles scream for mercy and perhaps the chemicals in your makeup might not mix well with the toxins being pumped into your body.

Cancer or no cancer, it’s always nice to be in the know as to what is in your beauty products and I have teamed up with Cure Diva to discuss Spring cleaning as to what is in that kit and caboodle, as well as their expert advice on what goes into the products of our typical everyday products.

It’s all relative and can be applied to just about anyone that looks after themselves in the beauty depot.


  1. Read the Label:
    • Use only hypoallergenic products, or those that don’t have harsh ingredients such as acids, emulsifiers, preservatives, fragrances, mineral oils, silicones, dyes or aminesYou want happier, more comfortable skin, so scan your products for these ingredients and restock your supplies with organic, chemical-free and sensitive items. CureDiva.com has an entire line of facial natural and organic skin care.
  2. Moisturize:
    • To prevent dryness and cracked, uncomfortable skin, be sure to moisturize immediately after washing and toweling dry. This means:
      • For your body, apply moisturizer after the bath or shower
      • For your face, apply moisturizer in the morning and at night
      • For your hands, moisturize after washing many times during the day
      • For your lips, use a hydrating lip balm throughout the day
  3. Blemishes:
    • Yes, some chemo treatments can cause acne on the face and scalp. Even if you suffered from acne before, take another look at your old acne ointments. They usually contain salicylic acid, retinol, benzoyl peroxide and other harsh ingredients that further dry and irritate skin. Try more natural solutions like Acne Clarifying Serum by Nurture my Body and a mild, natural soap.
  4. SPF:
    • Although SPF is used in the summer outdoors, it should become a priority when in treatment. Chemo skin is super sensitive, especially to sun exposure which can cause lasting damage even in the winter. Wear sunscreen whenever you go out, and protect your skin with UV-protective clothing (hats, gloves, long sleeves). With skincare and beauty products, choosing an SPF version is best.
    • While it can be overwhelming to find products that are safe on skin and look and smell great, asking your doctor or a friend who has been through treatment is the best way to receive a referral. Websites like CureDiva.com provide a great amount of information for those going through treatment to get the answers they need.
  5. Fingernail Care:
    • Some chemo drugs can cause finger and toenail damage. They become dry, cracked and may start lifting up. Apply cuticle balm and lots of hand cream. Checking out the label is relevant here. Switch to water-based nail color like CureDiva’s water-based nail polish by Acquarella which is my favorite when I’m dressing up!

 

Stay beautiful!

Love,

Britt x


Information: 5W Public Relations & CureDiva.com

 

Chemo Tomoz: LIKE EW 😭

LAB RAT

This week I have the pleasure of chemo.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain.  I am lucky enough to have a husband who works for an incredible company, which allows for us to go to Mayo Clinic.  When I went in for my lab work today my Nan overheard a couple that had to travel all the way from Nevada every other week for his wife’s chemo treatments.  I’m blessed to live in a location where a Mayo Clinic campus exists.  Everything is based on perspective and although I am realllllllllllllllly dreading the next week, I am trying to look on the bright side.  If I am a space cadet the next few days, I’m not sorry.  xx

Love,

Britt x

Chemo Update: 10th, 11th, 12th Round

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

Top o’ the morning to you and Happy Monday, friends.  I awoke early today as my bedtime was roughly 7 o’clock last night.  My schedule is becoming that of an old woman.  Nevertheless, as I lay there, awake before the sun had risen, I realized that I have been negligent with regards to my Chemo Video VLOG’s over the last few sessions.  I was really priding myself on keeping that up as a means to share how each chemo session went, as well as reveal any new side effects, symptoms or other important updates pertaining to treatment.  My failure in doing so has come at the cost of how my chemo has been making me feel since my 9th round (I’ll be going in for round 13 next week).  As I have disclosed in previous posts, my energy levels have taken a dive and just about the only thing I feel like doing is sleeping.  It’s gotten to the point where I am in too much pain to sit or stand, so sleeping appears to be the best option of escape, along with my pain medication.

With all of that said, let me do a quick re-cap of my most recent chemo treatment and the effects I seem to be having.

  • Energy < No Energy
  • Small loss of appetite
  • Perpetually tired and sleeping ungodly amounts; morning, noon and night
  • Full-blown neuropathy in both hands and feet.  It has become difficult to type, as I am unable to feel my fingers/hands and has become extremely difficult to walk due to no feeling in my feet.  When walking, stumbling and wobbliness occurs and I look like a drunken person.
  • Continued low counts for both bone marrow and platelets.
  • Unfrequented urination (TMI, I know…)

The above pretty much sums up the more recent symptoms and side effects.  As for the neuropathy, the Dr. has prescribed me Cymbalta, which is an anti-depression medication, however it has been known to assist with alleviating the neuropathy.  I have been on the medication for about a week and I am not showing any signs of relief, but with most medications, it may take some time to see improvements.  On the plus side, it will also help with any form of depression.  Two birds, one stone.  Additionally on that note,  a friend and fellow cancer fighter advised me that her Dr, recommends B6 vitamins to assist with neuropathy.  You better believe I’ll be headed for the pharmacy today to purchase some B6 in hopes that it will help.  It’s so nice to be able to share tips and tricks with fellow cancer patients!

Second to that, I have continued to receive my bone marrow shots every Monday, following my chemo treatment from the week prior.  They still remain low, thus not helping my energy levels. I will be heading to the Dr.’s office in a few hours to get the not-so-lovely shot.  A little tip for anyone else who has to receive the Neulasta shot, begin taking Claritin twice daily, 3 days prior to the actual shot, alongside two Aleve with each Claritin.  This helps tremendously with the pain and makes it almost bearable for the few days following the shot itself.  Highly recommend, in an effort to not feel as though all of your bones are breaking.

Lastly, I contemplated sharing this one as it is a little personal.  I’m not one for talking about bathroom related topics, however for the sake of being forthright with all of my symptoms, I have decided to go ahead with it.  For anyone who knows me, or has been on a road trip with me, you can attest to the fact that I  frequently urinate.  I’m one of those girls with a pea-sized bladder that is constantly in need of going.  That said, for the last week and a half, my constant necessity for a restroom has been dramatically decreased.  So much so that I am now only able to urinate once or twice in a 24-48 hour time frame.  I have made my Oncologist aware of this new, strange issue and she immediately wanted me to go to the ER to have scans done, etc. but then changed her mind and wanted me to see a Urologist.  First of all, I never knew that “pee” had it’s own specialty Doctor and secondly, this is by far one of the stranger symptoms I have had since being diagnosed.  Low and behold, I followed my Dr.’s orders and went to see the Urologist last Thursday. He was able to scan my kidneys to ensure that they are stable, which thankfully, they are and then he sent me home with a worksheet so I can document each and every time I urinate over the course of the weekend.  This also includes the measurement in ounces of how much I am urinating each time.  I can safely say that it has been an extremely odd experience and I now know that I have urinated less than a handful of times over the weekend.  Once again, I’m sorry for the detailed information.  So, what’s next you ask?  I am seeing the Urologist again today to discuss next steps, whatever that may be and I will keep you posted, even if the subject is slightly mortifying.

All in all, that just about sums it up.  I’d love to tell you that I am in high spirits and everything is just dandy, but it depends on the day, the hour, the minute or the second that you ask me.  I’m continuing to take it one day at a time over here, as I believe that’s all I can do.  I’ll try to get back on track with the VLOG’s after each chemo round.  Wish me luck today with my bone marrow shot and my appointment with the Urologist (haha).

Until next time…

Love,

Britt x

Nan, Granddad and The Beatles, OH MY!

#TheBeatles I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

Growing up in an all-British household, I was convinced during the first five years of my little life, that The Beatles were the British Government.  This of course came before I realized that John Lennon had been shot to death in New York City, five years prior to my birth and that there was such thing as the Royal Family and the House of Parliament, amongst many other things. After all, I was growing up in America, but the initial stages of my childhood were brought upon by British traditions and anecdotes.

Generally speaking,  it may have been the stories I was told from my Nan about how The Beatles hailed from the same region in which our family came from, or how she used to watch them at The Cavern Club before they took the world by storm with Beatlemania.  Imaginably, I have always glorified them because my Granddad had a band called “Cheshire Cats” where he would play at The Cavern Club, in Liverpool, just before The Beatles would take the stage.  Moreover, I have always had a special connection to their music and as I grow older I have the fondest of memories blaring the music with my Nan on the way to Las Vegas, or the time that my Nan, Mum, Auntie and I went to see Beatles Love Cirque Du Soleil and my Nan enlightened all of the songs and their some what political meaning they held at the time the songs were released.  I have always associated The Beatles with my Nan and Granddad and that will be something I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

Yesterday, I believe that I had my most challenging chemo session to date.  The Avastin once again reared it’s violent side effects on my weak body, despite taking the right measures and medications in an effort to avoid such symptoms.  While I didn’t have issues specific to my heart, I did have an incredibly difficult time breathing and each breath was taken with a sense of trepidation, as I felt that with each breath, it may be my last one.  Then began my old friend, the shakes.  My body began to convulse and erratic shaking took place.  As this was happening I was so doped up on medication that the only emotional response my body could retort was to cry in the arms of my lovely Nan.  Silently, I began to talk to my Granddad who is up in heaven and asked him to keep an extra eye on me and instantly within that little whisper, Here Comes the Sun began to play in my mind as I drifted in and out of consciousness.; “…little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter, it feels like years since it’s been here.  Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright…”.  The song continued to play, for only my ears to hear and I knew it was a sign from my Granddad that he is watching over me and that everything would be alright.

As the ingenious John Lennon once said, “…we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.”  Thank you to my Nan for always being by my side through the fun times and the not-so fun times, you are my rock, my sunshine and to live in a world without you is unimaginable.  And to my Granddad, you may not be “here”, but thank you for letting me know you are with me, standing by my side, from the other side.   As for The Beatles, thank you for always providing me with a connection to my Nan and Granddad and for always being the chosen voice and sign during my times of trouble and hopelessness.

 “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, they slither wildly as they slip away across the universe. Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind possessing and caressing me.” – The Beatles, Across The Universe

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.comI #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.comI #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

Love,

Britt x