Lets face it, you'd have to be a pretty strong character to not worry about loosing your eye brows and eye lashes along with all your other body hair.
And its not only female patients who feel this way; many male cancer patients can find themselves uneasy with their new body image post cancer treatment.
Body image issues have often been ignored by the medical profession and patients have been left to pick up the pieces alone and try to get on with life as best they can but as more and more people are now surviving cancer, an increasing number of GPs, psychologists, and social workers are beginning to focus on body image issues to help improve the long-term quality of life for survivors.
Most cancer patients experience temporary treatment-related physical changes, like hair loss during chemo, or fluctuations in their weight. Others might have permanent changes, like surgical scars.
It seems that, temporary or permanent, these changes can negatively affect how you see your body. Even changes within your body that are not visible, like having a hysterectomy, can have just as negative an impact on your body image as external physical changes.
Often, when treatment has ended, close family expect you to somehow put it all behind you and move on. However, it can take time to adjust to and accept your post-cancer body, and it’s important for us to do it at our own pace, until we feel comfortable with our body again..
Try and accept that your body has changed and that there may be new limitations on what you can and can't do.
Try and do gentle exercise as this will help not only your physical health but also your mental health.
Try not to compare yourself to other cancer patients or even other people in general. We are all different and all have bodies that will react to treatment in different ways.
Don't be hard on yourself either; you and your body have been through a lot so its going to take some time to get back on an even keel.
Pamper yourself occasionally; try and eat healthily and if you are having problems adjusting then don't be afraid to ask for help. There are support groups up and down the country and if you are really struggling then ask you GP to refer you to a counsellor so that you can talk about your issues.
xx Kaz xx