Learning to Eat with Mouth Sores

Mouth sores are a common side effect of cancer treatment. They result from small cuts or sores that form in the lining inside the mouth. The cells rapidly divide, just as cancer cells do. When chemotherapy and radiation are administered to attack cancer cells, they also attack the cells of the mucous membrane, which may lead to sores. This is especially possible if you are being treated with radiation to the head and neck area, taking certain chemotherapy drugs, or receiving high-dose chemotherapy with a bone marrow transplant.

Mouth sores may affect your gums, tongue, roof of your mouth, or lips. They typically start as areas with mild pain or burning and develop into white patches that may become large red lesions. Chemotherapy-related mouth sores typically develop within days after treatment begins and heal within two to four weeks after chemotherapy ends. Mouth sores caused by radiation typically develop two to three weeks after treatment starts and typically heal within four to six weeks.

Mouth sores may make talking, eating, or swallowing difficult. The pain may affect your nutrition if you stop eating. Life-threatening results may require a feeding tube. Also, an infection may develop if bacteria come in through open sores. For these reasons, your mouth sores need to be discussed with a doctor.

The best way to manage mouth sores is to prevent them from developing. For instance, brush and floss your teeth several times a day. Also, because cold limits the amount of the drug that reaches your mouth, suck on ice chips during the first half hour of chemotherapy. Additionally, drink two to three quarts of liquids daily. Further, eat soft/semi-liquid, high protein, high calorie foods or liquid supplements so you do not have to eat as often. Plus, avoid hot, spicy, greasy, fried, coarse, or rough-textured foods and citric juices or foods.

If mouth sores develop, talk with your doctor about rinsing your mouth with special solutions, or ask about prescribing a topical pain medication or medication that coats the lining of your mouth.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, contact Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.

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Learning to Eat with Mouth Sores

Knock Out “Chemo Brain”

Do you find yourself being forgetful after chemotherapy? Have people been saying you need to pay closer attention to things? Don’t worry, cancer-therapy associated cognitive change, or “chemo brain,” is a normal part of cancer treatment. You may have to work harder to do the things that used to require no effort. The good news is that you can work on a brain training regimen to improve your focus and memory.

Online brain training. You may be able to access Brain HQ from your local library. If so, sign up and complete the daily online workout. Although some exercises may be challenging, you may be able to improve your attention to detail.

Physical exercise. Staying physically active may improve your cognitive function. Because movement typically improves your mood, you most likely will feel better as well.

Keeping a record. Keep a written record of what is going on with your thinking. If your mental changes concern you, you can talk with your doctor about what they are, when they happen, and why they matter to you.

Using time better. Use Brain HQ or another method to determine what time of day you perform relatively well on mental exercises. Take advantage of activities during the time of day when you are more patient with yourself and can do things that take longer to complete or mentally wear you out.

Eating more vegetables. Since vegetables are linked with better mental function as you age, be sure to consume at least the recommended daily serving. More is better.

Giving yourself a break. Any life-altering experience, such as having cancer, can affect your thinking. Because your world is not the same as it once was, you can have trouble concentrating or remembering things. Give yourself time to adjust.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.

Knock Out “Chemo Brain”

Monitor How You Talk About Having Cancer

Words are powerful. They help us develop thought patterns. Words can influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress. Positive words like “peace” and “love” can alter the expression of those genes by strengthening areas of the brain that lead to more cognitive functioning.

Negative words can increase activity in the fear center of the brain. When this happens, stress hormones increase and brain function is disrupted.

For this reason, you need to monitor how you talk about things. This especially applies to how you discuss having cancer. For instance, avoid referring to it as “my cancer.” You do not want to hold onto cancer as if it were a prized possession. You need to let go of it. This starts with changing the way you think about cancer.

Rather than saying “my cancer,” say “the cancer.” “The” changes cancer from a personal possession to a foreign object. You put distance between yourself and the disease.

To further help lessen the power that cancer has over people, share your stories of struggle, pain, endurance, and resilience. Your words of positivity trump cancer’s negativity. Speak life over yourself.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, learn more about Chix 4 a Cause and our Gifts of Love program. Visit chix4acause.org today.

Monitor How You Talk About Having Cancer

Battling Cancer Is Like Climbing a Mountain

For many cancer patients, battling the disease is like climbing a mountain.

Mountain climbers typically challenge themselves by climbing higher and more difficult peaks whenever possible. Mountains offer much quiet time to reflect on things. Climbing is a solo sport that unites a mountain with a person. A climber has to make many decisions and calculations along the path and always be aware and alert. Climbers face a world so massive that it becomes an extraordinary revelation when they see themselves as a small part of a very big universe.

Having cancer can feel like that, too. The disease has such an influence on people’s lives that it can leave them feeling alone and vulnerable. But if cancer patients choose to climb up and into the experience of survival, meeting their challenges with both patience and courage, they can receive a wider view of life.

The drive to push higher and further up a mountain provides climbers a wonderful opportunity to know nature more intimately while more closely examining their passions and purpose. Cancer patients face the same types of opportunities. Cancer is an avalanche waiting to happen, and the route that a patient takes makes a difference in how they live life.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, learn more about Chix 4 a Cause and our Gifts of Love program. Visit chix4acause.org today.

Battling Cancer Is Like Climbing a Mountain

Summer Means Taking Precautions to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Although you need to protect your skin from the sun year-round, it’s especially important during the summer months. You may be spending more time outdoors, which increases your risk of skin cancer. This is especially true if you are a female or male breast cancer survivor, making you twice as likely to develop melanomas.

One way to reduce your risk of skin cancer is to research which brands of sunscreen use fewer harmful chemicals while providing good UV protection and purchase some. Every time you head outside, even if you’re just going to the store, wear sunscreen on every part of your body. This includes the tops of your ears, nose, and toes. Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses. Put on light-colored clothing, preferably a brand with built-in UV protection. If you plan to be in the sun for a prolonged time, wear a hat. Regularly check your skin for changes in the size, color or shape of moles or other areas of your body and skin. Schedule an annual screen with your dermatologist. If any biopsy or screening comes back with suspicious results, visit more frequently for a full-body screen.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, learn more about Chix 4 a Cause and our Gifts of Love program. Visit chix4acause.org today.

Summer Means Taking Precautions to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Bags 4 Boobies Is June 8, 2018

Who: You, your family & friends and Chix 4 a Cause

What: Bags 4 Boobies bean bag toss tournament

Where: House of Heileman’s on Big Cedar Lake

When: Friday June 8, 2018 @ 5 pm

Why: Proceeds benefit Chix 4 a Cause

Bring your family & friends to Bags 4 Boobies at House of Heileman’s, 5723 W. Lake Drive, West Bend, WI on Friday June 8, 2018 @ 5 pm. Bean bag toss tournament begins @ 6 pm. Enjoy a designer hand bag auction, raffle, DJ, food truck and more! Two-person teams participating in the bean bag toss are $30 per team. Sponsorships for the event are available. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/973391326160647/?active_tab=discussion. Email Sherry Reiter at reiter.sherry@gmail.com to sign up your team, sponsor the event, donate a designer hand bag, or for more information. We look forward to seeing you at Bags 4 Boobies!

Bags 4 Boobies Is June 8, 2018

CANCER: Cancel All Negative-Conditioned Emotional Responses

Did you know that your thoughts have an effect on your emotions, behavior and, potentially, your cancer? Mind over matter may play a larger part in your healing than you think.

 Research shows that in many cases, the body is able to be cured through the mind. For instance, many people who take a placebo, or fake treatment, during a medical study experience specific, measurable effects on their brain and body. Placebo painkillers have been shown to trigger the release of endorphins, natural pain-relieving chemicals in the brain. Patients with Parkinson’s disease often respond to placebos with a flood of dopamine. Fake oxygen given to a person at high altitude has been shown to decrease levels of prostaglandins, neurotransmitters that dilate blood vessels and are responsible for many symptoms of altitude sickness.

 In many cases, cancer patients go through treatment as a routine activity without focusing on their personal power to help with their health and healing. They often slip into survival mode when dealing with their cancer rather than talking about their belief in fighting the disease through their thoughts as well. 

 Along with getting proper medical treatment, implement into your life the acronym CANCER: Cancel All Negative-Conditioned Emotional Responses. These include automatic thoughts you may have throughout the day that say you are unable, unprepared, or unqualified to beat the disease. Although it’s OK to feel scared and disillusioned sometimes, put a limit on those emotions. Instead, focus on positive thoughts about getting cancer out of your body for good and leading a healthy, productive life again.

 If you or someone you know is battling cancer, contact Chix 4 a Cause to learn more about our Gifts of Love program. Visit chix4acause.org today.

CANCER: Cancel All Negative-Conditioned Emotional Responses