Fun Products & Tips to Help Cope with MBC
“It’s all about the equipment,” my husband likes to say when we pack for a trip. For example, if we are camping, it makes all the difference in the world if you have a good tent. When it comes to metastatic breast cancer, I can’t promise any special equipment with any guarantees, but I have discovered a few things that have made my life just a little bit better. So if you are interested take a look at a few of my recommendations.
Helping me cope with metastatic breast cancer
1. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones
I balked at the $300 something dollar price tag, but this has been one of the best investments. The reason for this purchase emerged one day in chemo when I sat near a loud mansplainer, who was going on about all of the unhealthy behaviors that contributed to his cancer diagnosis. Having pursued only health behaviors and still relatively young and already on my second cancer diagnosis, I was infuriated. I simply didn’t want to hear this, and who likes listening to mansplainers, anyway? As I was about to lose it, I vowed to never be in a situation again when I was forced to listen to another patient’s loud and unpleasant conversation.
Bose Noise Canceling headphones to the rescue! They shield me from the conversations I don’t want to hear. I go to chemo knowing that I can have a peaceful experience, whether listening to an ocean waves soundscape, my Spotify playlist, or watching a movie.
2. Sugar-Free Gatorade
Staying hydrated while on chemo is key, but drinking water can be boring and not very motivating. I discovered sugar-free Gatorade, as it helps to keep me drinking throughout the day. The electrolytes are also beneficial when experiencing diarrhea. I had never been a Gatorade fan until now so was surprised how much I like it.
Costco sells cases with bottles of this stuff. And on Amazon, I can by the powder, and save a little money by mixing it up myself.
3. RescueRx for healthier nails
One of the side effects on Taxol is nail weakness and breakage. Someone had recommended RescueRx to me. It is a keratin treatment for your nails that make them stronger. Even while I’m no longer on Taxol, I continue to use it.
It is a simple process – it’s a nourishing treatment that you apply like nail polish.
4. Headcovers.com for all your hat and hair needs
This is my favorite place to satisfy my ever-evolving hair issues. The styles are very nice and up to date, the product quality is excellent, and the pricing is fair. In fact, at times it seems like it costs less than half of what it costs to get something similar at the cancer boutique in my hospital.
The company was founded by a woman with breast cancer, who lived for a long time, but unfortunately, has passed away. Today, it is run by her daughter. My interactions with the company have been great. My items have typically come with a magnet with an inspirational quote. I just feel they go the extra mile and get what we are going through. They also can generate the paperwork you might need for reimbursement.
One of my favorite discoveries is the halo wig, which is basically a half-wig, that you wear with a hat. It is much more comfortable than a full wig, and lower maintenance. They have plenty to choose from. When I needed a new wig I did not want to go to a wig store. I had great luck buying a wig online, without even getting to try it on. It was perfect!
5. Wig bands
I didn’t know what a wig band was until I was chatting with a medical receptionist who told me about them. They are like a headband that you wear under your wig that keeps it from slipping or blowing away. Wig bands are very comfortable and not hot, and the one has a mesh part, that you wear under the wig part. This keeps the part looking very natural. They are only around $10 on Amazon. This is the one I have: GEX Beauty Lace Velvet Wig Grip Band. The color of the band is in the same family as the color of my wig.
6. Magic head bands
These are the trendy headbands you may see 20-something hipsters wearing. Essentially, they are a cloth tube, that you can scrunch up and wear as a headband. This style worked really well at one point while my hair was growing out. Currently, I don’t have hair, but I still use these headbands, under a baseball cap to hide baldness, or you can fold them in half and make a little cap. You can also use it as a face mask, which is an added benefit nowadays. There are lots to choose from on Amazon – find the patterns you like best. One example is FAYBOX 6pcs Magic Wide Wicking Headbands.
What are some products you use that help you cope with metastatic breast cancer?
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to share that on Friday, April 9th, 2021, Alyson Tischler passed away. We know that Alyson’s advocacy efforts continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.
Caregivers: Do you practice self-care?