Friday, October 16, 2009

Self Image

I have been feeling very self-absorbed as I am obsessed with only having one boob and losing my hair! I've been wearing big sweatshirts so the lack of one boob is not so noticeable. I'm surprised by this attitude as I have never cared about appearances before. My oncologist referred me to which notes that being diagnosed with and treated for cancer changes a person. Some of the changes are physical, such as hair loss or the removal of a breast. Some of the changes are emotional or mental, including lingering mental fogginess from chemotherapy, depression, or feelings of renewed appreciation for life. Some changes are temporary, such as blotchy skin, and others are permanent, such as surgical scars. All changes, however, affect a person's view of himself or herself in many different and important ways. Treatment for cancer can be rigorous and may change a person's appearance. The cancer itself can cause physical changes, too, especially if it affects hormones, blood cells, or organs that can decrease energy levels or food absorption. Some of the more common physical changes of cancer include:
  1. Hair loss (including hair on the head, face, arms, legs, underarms, and pubic area)
  2. Changes in weight, either gain or loss
  3. Changes in skin tone or color
  4. Disfigurement from surgery
I am so screwed! They say to allow time to adjust. The process of learning to accept a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment changes a person's life. It takes time to adjust to a new way of feeling about oneself or how one looks. In 2002, Look Good…Feel Better sponsored a survey among women who had been treated for cancer within the last five years to understand overall quality of life during cancer treatment and how a woman’s appearance affects her sense of well-being.
  • About 79% of women said that cancer treatment had a somewhat negative or greatly negative influence on their psychosocial (emotional and social) well-being.
  • Two-thirds of the women indicated that cancer treatment had a somewhat or significant negative effect on their appearance.
  • Seventy-eight percent (78%) said they experienced some or significant changes in their appearance during treatment, and 83% of these women said that their overall quality of life was affected by cancer treatment.
So, I guess I'm not alone in these feelings!

No comments:

Post a Comment