I was all traumatized when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2008. After I underwent a lumpectomy I was advised 8 cycles of chemotherapy. At that moment, with the exception of the term ‘cancer’ every other term related to the treatment of cancer was totally alien to me.
Prior to my first cycle of chemo, the fear of the after effects of chemo was tremendous. All sorts of questions and thoughts had crossed my mind before the first cycle of chemo. Will chemo be bearable? Will it weaken my body? Is it painful? When does the hair start falling? How will I interact socially when I lose all my hair? Will I require blood transfusion? Do I have to be hospitalized? How is the treatment provided? The questions running through my mind were endless!
When I was to take my first cycle of chemo, I went in with some anxiety and mixed feeling, fortunately the experience was smooth and an easy one, it is a very simple day care treatment. After the first cycle I felt little nauseated for a day or two and that was all the side effects that I experienced except for the hair loss. My hair began falling in about 2 weeks post the first cycle of chemo. To me, psychologically the most distressing factor of the whole treatment was dealing with the hair loss for which there was a solution. I had a hair wig made and with that I felt extremely comfortable to be able to go out and interact socially without any discomfort at all. My whole experience of the treatment went really smooth. My hemoglobin level was initially low, therefore after every cycle it would drop. Fortunately I did not require any blood transfusion as I made sure my daily diet intake included significant amounts of iron besides the drugs that were prescribed. This treatment is not at all a painful one and it is totally bearable. You don’t have to be bed ridden and again it’s a simple day care treatment. During the whole treatment phase there were no dietary restrictions, I was able to eat a normal diet. Overall the treatment of chemotherapy was a walk through for me.
I was glad that a medical professional like Dr. Chirag Shah was treating me. He explained the whole process thoroughly well and made me feel very comfortable. I was able to contact him without any hesitation whenever I had any questions or doubts about anything. I had consulted many medical oncologists but it was Dr. Shah’s analysis and plan of attack that gave me the confidence in having him treat me. After completing the whole course of treatment I don’t feel any different from other normal and healthy people, my hair have started coming back nice and healthy and I am back to living a happy life.