Appearance - when it will improve?

When does the appearance improve after chemo & radiation? At present there are many outsiders who immediately on seeing my sister ask is some thing wrong with her health. Its difficult to hear.

Please inform when my sister will appear normal as she was before. Her skin has become blackish and pale. Her nails black. Her eyelashes & eyebrows. She gets very tired now a days struggling a lot. Again hormone therapy is to started? Will she face any problems by hormone therapy - same as chemo? She is distrubed a lot due to infection on her arm.

We all are very tensed for her healing? When she will come back to her normal life

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  • Everything starts improving, once the chemotherapy is over. Radiation usually does not cause much of a problem as such, except local symptoms.

    Within a few months from completion of chemotherapy, most people will spring back to normal. And the same shall be for your sister, don't worry.

    The blackening is due to certain chemotherapy drugs and will wash off in a few months time. Weakness will also go away, all the hair will come back.

    Hormone treatment does not have any major side effects at all, so again, do not worry about that. They are simple tablets to be taken daily.

    The real treatment of a cancer patient is 'time'. Within a few months, your sister will be fully back to normal. Just support her during this period, and all will soon be fine.

  • Thanks Doctor. Whenever finding tense situation seeking support from all of you. This helps a lot.

  • Konak - Sit down with your sister and come up with various responses for the kinds of questions she or you might expect. Being ready for comments ahead of time helps. They can be a combination of serious and silly, to be used depending on your mood and the intention of the comment. I won't try to share most of the one's I've heard here because they, of course, should be culturally appropriate and humor is the hardest thing to understand, sometimes, across cultures. You could come up with things like that the color is the latest thing make up and hair in the fashion magazines from Paris, London, New York, or wherever if the comment is rude. Or your sister is planning to run a marathon and has just finished her work out. If it's something condescending from someone who should be minding their own business, tell them as if in confidence, the doctor said she's going to live. If you and your sister are both in on the jokes, whatever they are you can both have a good laugh after watching the person's reaction. If the comments are from family and friends, your sister and other family members can reassure them that your sister has very good doctors and this is just a part of getting well - worded however it works for you.

    I will tell you a story about something that happened the day I had spent the day at the UCLA Breast Institute to have my case discussed. My sister met me for the final meeting, and I had just been told that the decision was that there was a possibility that my DCIS was invasive and that I should have a second lumpectomy. My hematologist had told me to come to see her (in the next building) when I was done. I am very tall (6'2") and my sister is just a little shorter. I get rude comments all of the time and usually ignore them or brush them off. We got into the elevator and the two nurses who got on at the same time began commenting about our height. I just wasn't in the mood to hear it. I turned to my sister and said,"Carol, I'd never noticed that before. Had you?" She picked right up on my lead and kept the banter going about how we had never realized we were unusually tall before. Those nurses were pushing the buttons for every floor to escape the elevator. I'm sure they heard us laughing the rest of the way to the 6th floor.

    With my CLL, which is not curable, I look healthy, and most of the time feel OK despite the various issues that come up with aging. I use comments to educate people when it seems appropriate. If I get a comment about not looking sick on a day when I'm not feeling well from someone I don't really know, I offer to trade my bone marrow or blood counts with theirs. If I'm in a really bad mood I throw in my bad back and heart issues. I have a few good ones for, "You're so brave." or "You're so strong." also - the two comments I hate the most. We are all as brave or as strong as we have to be, often with help form our family and friends. Your sister is lucky to have you! Have some fun with her thinking up comebacks. Even if you never use them the two of you can have a few good laughs.

  • Yes PKenn - I agree with you - but going through a tough time - we have forget laughing - we are hoping a better time to come

  • My cousin is just starting radiation after a double mastectomy and chemo that she had a difficult time with. She and her husband are just starting to be able to laugh again. I found that if I had a collection of responses ready, when I was very ill and dealing with treatment, it made it a little easier to deal with people, and when I found online support groups for the CLL it became a safe place to laugh some because everybody already understood what I was dealing with. I hope your sister starts to feel more like herself very soon. I'm always surprised, when I mention my breast cancer in a group, how many women I meet have also been through it and are getting on with their lives. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

  • Hey kontak everything will be ok very soon.u have to keep very positive attitude.no doubt this disease and treatments are frightening but we have to fight it.a very positive attitude and faith in treatment are must to cure this disease.

  • same is mine question

    i am seeing my mamma to go through all this.

    She is very strong. and the unfortunate thing is i am not with her in this hard time. i m away from her for higher studies. I really like this website, and reading all the questions with their answers makes me feel better. thanks Dr. Sumeet for guiding us.

  • Even after nearly 9 months after the completion of the marathon treatment of chemo , surgery, chemo again followed by radiation and now on hormone therapy I do not feel I have a normal appearance. It might be due to the fact my hair has not grown much and it makes me feel I am out of place. Anyone feel the same ? How can this be changed?

  • Hiii rgrci13

    Be positive.Though sometimes I also feel low, but keep try to busy you with something that you like.Learn to love yourself, there are people in the world who are living with so tough disabilities and somewhere we are living better than them.Life is uncertain so make each day counts. Tc

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