Thursday, 15 April 2010

Aloe Vera Cream to the Rescue

Photos Copyright:Maggie May

This is the lovely celtic cross that my friend made for me and it was displayed in our church over Easter. I am waiting to decide exactly where to hang it, but in the meantime it looks good here, standing against the window. She made it herself in the class that she attends. Very clever. I just love it.

I have just opened the back door to take a photo of the Spring flowers on the patio. While I was washing up this morning, the sun was shining so intensely on them but I really don't think that the photo does the colour of them any justice at all. Some of the bulbs are over their best now.
You will see that there is a good bundle of parsley growing in the middle pot. Traditionally, in England, if a woman can grow parsley well........ it means that she wears the trousers in the household. Well I won't comment about that, because my parsley does do well.

I am getting over my last chemo, which is number six. It has taken its toll on me in the form of intense red rash that causes itching. Next to tiredness, this is the most annoying and hard thing to bear.
My long suffering husband has to sit and watch me scratch like a demented animal. While I was in Oncology this last time, a lady told me that Aloe Vera cream was very good at alleviating itchy skin, so off Harry went to search for it in health shops in town.
He came back with a good sized tube for £6 and I thought it would be well worth it if it really worked.
I raced upstairs (as fast as my chemo ravaged body would let me) and proceeded to cream myself all over. It immediately produced a feeling of coolness and had a calming affect, though my bright red rash glowed through it. I found I had to apply the cream every few hours to keep up the effect and now my cream is running out. Harry will dash down to the health shop again soon.
It is now three days following the chemo and the rash is definitely fading but the itchiness will last till Saturday or Sunday. So at the rate of cream I am using, I will have to remortgage the house!
I have not torn my self to pieces this time, but the photo below will show you just the kind of damage that chemo does to the body.
It is quite sobering to be in the Oncology suite for a long time because there is always someone in a much worse state than me.
A man who was itching intensely, has cancer of the liver and he is not expected to live beyond the summer although he and I agreed that he could do better than that. However, he has no hope of a cure for his itchiness and he has it for every moment of the rest of his life. While I am scratching away, I keep thinking of this very nice man and the effect it must be having on him and his family.
The woman next to me was doing her third round of chemotherapy non stop since last October, to stop her ovarian cancer spreading. Well, if this happens to me, at least I will have a three month break from it because I will be having a scan soon and will be going back to the hospital at three monthly intervals. I will get the results of the CT scan within a week of having it. I have been assured that they are not expecting to see anything bad on it and they are also telling me they are very pleased with my progress. So I have to believe them, don't I?


chaniagirl said...

Maggie, thank you for the update on you and how you are doing. I admire your positive spirit and the way you try to find the bright side in surely what are difficult times. Your site (and you) encourage me.

Lindsay said...

You say the sun is shining intensely - lucky you - it is really dull and miserable in North Wilts with a 5 degree temperature at 11am! Hope the itching stops soon!

Suburbia said...

Yes you do.

Wow, it just makes me feel so cross with myself for feeling a little sad and sorry sometimes. There are so many people suffering awful things, I must learn to be more thankful.

I am SO glad that you have found some cream that is helping, itching is really dreadful, it must be wonderful to get at least some relief. Can't imagine what the lovely man that you met must be going through.

Can't imagine you wearing the trousers Maggie ;)!!!

Nature is a good healer, as is looking at the lovely spring flowers at the moment :)


Debbie(single;complicated) said...

oh Maggie...Thanks for sharing your journey! I am so glad you found something that works..!!!

Jeni said...

The cross and the flowers are really beautiful! I envy anyone who can grow flowers -potted or planted in beds outdoors -either way, as I apparently have no green in my thumbs!
Aloe vera works wonders on lots of things, itching, burns, nicks on the skin, etc. Good stuff!
And isn't it amazing how in order to get rid of some really nasty ailments/disease, things that can kill us, we have to receive medications that can take us right to the brink of killing us, or at least make us feel at times that it is about to do us in completely! Yeah, that chemo can be some really, REALLY wicked stuff, for sure but then looking at the alternatives without it, well there's some more even nastier stuff then isn't there.
And yes -we all can learn much by realizing no matter how bad our circumstances may be, or seem to be to us, there's always someone else who has issues much worse than ours. Great post, Maggie -as always!

Akelamalu said...

The cross your friend made is just beautiful as are your spring flowers.

Aloe Vera is brilliant for itches and in particular burns. I have an Aloe Vera plant on my kitchen windowsill and have supplied all my friends and family with babies from it as they arrive. Try and get one and you will have your own constant supply, you just break off a leaf and spread the sap on the affected area.

I have everything crossed for your results but from what they've told you they should be good. :)

Chic Mama said...

Aloe Vera is amazing stuff isn't it.So pleased you have found it helps.
Good luck with the scan, I will be thinking of you.x

Frau said...

Maggie I'm happy there is Aloe to give you temp relief....You need a paypal button for your aloe! Love the cross and prayers are always with you. xo

Suldog said...

God bless you, Maggie, there's little as maddening as an itch that won't stop. Keep on using the Aloe!

Ayak said...

Aloe vera is wonderful stuff and I'm glad to hear it's helping you...even though you need to use so much of it.

Keeping you in my thoughts as always Maggie.

Lots of Love
Linda xx

aims said...

Thinking of you and trying not to scratch myself.

Positives x 6!!!!!

She Writes said...

Believe them, Maggie!

And your poor, precious, tender skin. Eeks leaves me teary eyed...

Eddie Bluelights said...

Been out of blogging for a few days and just catching up a bit.

Love the cross - looks great with the daylight shining through it.

Nice collection of spring flowers - I did not know the saying about the wmona growing Parsley well and earing the trousers! LOL Can't be true because Mrs Bluelights doesn't have to grow it! LOL

Regarding obtaining more cream I think you now qualify for a card from your GP now you are a cancer sufferer - this exempts you from all further prescription charges and this would probably be included. Advise asking your GP next time you see mim/her and they will give you a form to complete. Maria has one which she will show you next time we meet.

Glad you have found a way to stop the itching.

Very touching to read about your friends at Oncology.

Love Eddie

Mimi said...

Maggie, the cross is beautiful, would do your heart good looking at it and thinking how much your friend loves you to make that for you.
I sympathise with you re the itching- it looks very sore. The chemo has a terrible effect on your body, but I'm glad it's working.
The aloe vera plant is a great investment, you'll have your own, pure supply on your windowsill.
Take care, my friend.

Mary G said...

Of course you believe them! Believing has to help.
Aloe vera will also stop a sunburn dead in its tracks; wonderful stuff. I am so glad it is helping.
You know, you really are a marvellous woman - and what you need to do with the flower photo is balance the tone. If you had taken it in the full sun it would have been patchy, but shade 'shades' the colour. If you haven't got software that will do it, email me the photo and I will edit it and send it back.

lakeviewer said...

Maggie, you are fighting hard and your body is showing battle scars. Keep doing what you're doing; it will be over soon, and you'll be dashing here and there with lots of energy to spare.

jinksy said...

Itching is as bad as the Chinese Water Torture! Are anti-histamine creams or tablets not allowed, Maggie? Might be worth asking the Doc...Hope you loose the itch effect soon, anyway...

Sarah Lulu said...

Sending you Australian light and love and prayers.

Love the celtic heart and the spring flowers in the middle of my Autumn!

Nora Ibsen said...

That looks like a very serious rash, Maggie. It looks like you scratch yourself until you bleed. The itching must be very awful. Have you tried calamine lotion? Maybe that will help you also. Also, the more Aloe Vera there is in the creme, the better it will work. You should really try to get a hold of a plant and split the leaves length ways and rub them on your skin. I mmediate relief. Take care of yourself. Hugs, XXX

RNSANE said...

Good grief, you would think that medical science could come up with something to control that itching! Are you also taking Bendryl - or cheaper but, identical, over the counter diphenhydramine, to help control the itching. It might make you a bit drowsy but, at night, that would be good. Also, benadryl lotion - or caladryl, might help. Whenever my son gets poison oak, that seems to really relieve his itching.

The cross your friend made is so lovely, no wonder your church wanted to use it. And your flowers, how lovely and cheerful.

As always, your cheerleaders are rooting. Too bad we can't teleport ourselves to your street, complete with costumes, to do the Maggie May rah rah!!


Joey said...

We grow Aloe Vera plants here. They get huge, and my Grandmother used to break a stalk off and rub the juices on burns, etc.

I wish I could get some plants to you. So sorry about the effect of Chemo on your skin. You have such a wonderful outlook... seeing the bigger picture.

Praying for you...

SandyCarlson said...

I hope your skin feels better. I use a lavender cream when I am my itchiest. I swear that flower is a miracle worker.

Your cross and your flowers are beautiful--and you, more so.

Hilary said...

Add oatmeal baths to your arsenal of remedies for the itchies. It worked brilliantly for my boys when they had chicken pox.

Keep on believing and being strong, Maggie. You're doing great.

Rose said...

I'm glad the aloe vera has helped with the itching this time; I've used it for many skin irritations and it always helps. I don't know if the cream you bought is a special formula, but I've usually been able to find the gel much cheaper at our local discount pharmacy. Or you could buy a large aloe vera plant--then you'd have a steady supply plus another pretty plant to look at!

The Celtic cross is beautiful and no doubt looks even lovelier when the sun shines through it. What a wonderful gift from your friend! Oh yes, love all the flowers, too!

Brian Miller said...

what a cool the colors in it. glad the aloe helped as well. thoughts and prayers.

Star said...

You are suffering and then you get a rash. Doesn't seem fair, does it; but I expect your hubby felt glad that he had managed to find you a cream that helped. I'm glad you are enjoying your spring flowers, which look lovely. The parsley does you credit. They say it is difficult to grow, but you don't seem to be having any trouble with it.
Blessings, Star

Carol said...

Maggie...I'm happy to read you found a cream that is working. I am certain you are touching more lives with your posts than you know. (big smile here) I knew you'd fly through this with grace~My prayers to you.

Oh....the glass cross is just beautiful. I hope you put it in a place you can see often....and smile.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Dearest Maggie, I am sorry I am just now reading this...I've had such a busy, busy week...but you know that...But what you don't know is that I've been praying like crazy that the itching would not be as bad this time...AND HOORAY for Aloe Vera cream!!!! That is so wonderful!!! I'm absolutely thrilled!! AND I'm even MORE pleased that you have completed chemo #6!!!! Simply WONDERFUL news!!! Perhaps, you can celebrate with a little extra parsley with your meal tonight? ;-) This is a beautiful and happy post...and you have made me grin from ear to ear today!!! Love you much, Janine XO

Marguerite said...

The Celtic cross is beautiful and the flowers are lovely, too. So glad that the aloe vera cream worked so well, and a three month break sounds wonderful! And yes, do believe them, because they would certainly tell you, if they weren't pleased with your progress. Blessings, Marguerite

Anonymous said...

Maggie, that rash looks so angry.

I once got a terrible sunburn while on holiday in Mexico and my detested Mother in law redeemed herself by dashing to the shops to buy a bottle of Malox which she smothered me with two or three times during that worst first night. The relief was immediate and also served to protect my skin from further damage. It might be worth a try...I certainly reccomend it for sunburn.
Hugs. Annie

lailani said...

Yes, believe. Lifting you in prayer and so glad you are moving on to the next step (and away from the itching)!

Life with Kaishon said...

I am praying that you have a good scan. Praying and praying.