Emma B
Posted by

New habits

Emma B
Posted by
20 Aug 2016

Wash, wash, wash your hands, keep them nice and clean, merrily, merrily, merrily, life will be a dream

I would never have called myself unclean, but I would say that I had a more relaxed attitude to handwashing.  The first new habits I formed were making sure my towels were changed every day, ensuring there was always a good anti-bacterial handwash at the sink and Nathan made sure hand sanitizers were at the front door and dotted around the house.  Aside from the usual hand washing after the loo, I also started to think about preparing food, eating food and some housework tasks.


My attitude to food had to change too, aside from meat and diary, I always used the look and feel test, firmness and integrity of vegetables would always outweigh a use by date and only certain fruit and veg would get a wash.  My thoughts were always that a little bit of bacteria will boost your immune system rather than break  it.  With a weakened immune system, I had to teach myself to be less relaxed and if there was any chance it is past it’s best -- off it goes!  I had my rules too, no medium steaks for me, no runny eggs and no shellfish (I’ve never fancied prawns so much in my life!)


The taste challenges came quite early on in my treatment, I didn’t fancy some of my old favorites, tea and coffee didn’t taste the same any more, I rarely fancied a sweet treat (with a lot of chocolate gifts in the house from friends) and salt & Vinegar crisps also lost their vinegary ness!  On the plus side, for once I didn’t feel guilty about eating a lump of cheese, or anything for that matter - if I enjoy eating it then I’m going to eat it without the guilt of the effect on my waistline :-)


I had a myriad of tablets to take each day now, so I organised them into my pill box week on week, to make sure I took them at the right times each day.  I also had to start think of anti-sickness, one of the things I remember from the outset is that chemo does not have the same nausea effects as it used to because there is a choice of anti-sickness medication out there and one of them will work for you.


Finally, my hair.  I knew from the outset that I was guaranteed to lose it and wanted to take a positive step on the back of it.  I asked my hairdresser to take off the length so it was a more manageable crop until it came out and the length I donated to the Little Princess Trust which makes children’s wigs.  I would later on get it shaved off as there was so much of it and I kept finding hair all over my clothes and my pillow - with everything going on, it was actually a relief not to worry about having to keep it tidy and wash it, it’s just one less thing to bother about.  My sister was inspired to do something too, and also got her long locks chopped off to send to the charity.  She got sponsored to do it so made a lot of money in the process, it was fantastic.


Eleanor Baggley

Thank you for sharing this great blog, Emma. I can imagine that making these new habits, even when they're relatively small, can be quite lifechanging. Particularly when your tastes are changing. It's so lovely to hear that both you and your sister donated hair to the Little Princess Trust, that's such a kind thing for you both to do. All best wishes, Eleanor


Thanks Eleanor, yeah it's sometimes the little things that have the biggest impact, like those tiny paper cuts that hurt like hell! I'm really pleased we did it, it made me feel like something good came out of the situation x

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