< Back to the Ozalys site
Isabelle's Blog

Taking care of yourself during and after cancer

Cancer disrupts our lives and alters our quality of life. While our priority is to fight the disease, we sometimes forget to pay attention to our well-being, thinking that the essential is elsewhere. However, taking care of ourselves is important in order to better cope with the disease and the side effects of treatment.
Through this article, I hope to give you some advice on how to take care of yourself on a daily basis.

Taking care of yourself, what does that mean?

a lifestyle

“Taking care of yourself” is a very personal and intimate notion. 

While some will imagine a good relaxing massage, others dream of a faraway destination or a good book on a sunny terrace.

The notion of “taking care of oneself” is often linked to a fleeting, futile pleasure that takes second place to the rest.

And yet it goes far beyond that.

Taking care of oneself means being connected to oneself, listening to one’s physical, psychological and emotional needs. 

why is it difficult?

Who hasn’t heard people around them say, “the most important thing is that you get better, concentrate on your treatments”, or “you shouldn’t do this, it’s not the priority”?

Taking care of oneself, doing things for oneself implies selfish, non-essential acts and can even generate a feeling of guilt. Women are familiar with this feeling…

Taking care of oneself is not considered a priority, and we tend to think that we are running out of time. However, sometimes it is enough to look at things differently, to simplify our lives to give ourselves a little time for ourselves.

The importance of taking care of yourself

Taking care of ourselves on a daily basis is essential for ourselves and those we love. By taking care of ourselves, of our needs, by preserving our well-being, we recharge our “batteries”. In this way, we regain the energy we need to move forward and the availability for those we love. 

Taking care of ourselves is rewarding. Respecting ourselves enough to take care of ourselves unconsciously gives us a feeling of satisfaction and well-being, reassuring and soothing.

How do you take care of yourself?

listen to yourself

Taking care of oneself means first of all listening to oneself and to one’s desires, being good to oneself. The important thing is to savour these moments of pleasure and to live them fully without guilt. Knowing how to do it alone, and being able to do it alone if we need to.

use and abuse supportive care

Supportive care has changed the landscape of oncology by providing a better quality of life for patients.  Supportive care refers to “the full range of care and support needed by people who are ill, along with specific treatments, when available, throughout serious illnesses”.

They are offered from the beginning of treatment, during and also after treatment in order to reduce side effects and ensure a better quality of life for patients on a physical, psychological and social level.

This care can be provided in your health centre, by independent professionals or by certain patient associations. You will find all the necessary information on the AFSOS website.

take care of your body and mind

To break the loneliness associated with illness, to feel less alone, to let go…

Many patient associations such as Rose Up, les ateliers de l’ embellie… offer workshops designed especially for you: nutrition, sport, beauty, returning to work, yoga… different ways to express your feelings and take care of yourself.

I also invite you to discover “Je me pause” the first meditation application in oncology created by Emilie Euillet, a young cancer survivor. 

A good diet, as well as the practice of an adapted physical activity is also important. Don’t hesitate to talk about it with your oncologist.

bring softness to your body

Your body is being mistreated by the different anti-cancer treatments and/or surgeries, so why not offer it a little softness, by bringing it specific and adapted products. 

During my chemotherapy, the ultra-sensitive olfactory and sensory sensitivity caused by the treatments made it difficult to carry out my indispensable daily hygiene. This is why I had the idea and the desire to make up for the shortcomings of traditional dermo-cosmetics available, with a range of high-design care and hygiene products designed for women affected by the disease in order to bring them comfort and reassurance in complete safety.

The experts’ view  :

“”In a cosmetic landscape that is becoming more and more arid because formulas are so similar from one range to another, because ingredients are so criticized, because consumers are so poorly informed, the Ozalys range takes the form of an oasis of freshness… By including a lot of softness in their cosmetics, they tend to chase away the clouds and bring a little sunshine into the daily lives of people affected by the disease.” 

From body image to self-esteem

regain self-esteem

Self-esteem is the judgment and evaluation we have of ourselves.  It plays an important role in our relationship with others and is closely related to body image.

While treatments are necessary and unavoidable, their impact on our physical appearance directly affects our femininity. 

In my fight against the disease, the aggressiveness of the treatments has affected my body appearance, dispossessing me of my hair, my eyelashes, my eyebrows, not to mention the scars. I fled the bathroom, until then a place of pleasure and relaxation, that had become a place of physical and moral suffering.

Ozalys was born from these emotions and sensations felt by so many women. A highly designed dermo-cosmetic range to help women take care of themselves. And, because taking care of oneself is a first victory against illness, being able to go back to the bathroom with pleasure.

from the socio-aesthetician to the city beautician

Because beauty and well-being treatments are a precious moment of relaxation, Laboratoire Ozalys launched a range of professional treatments in April 2019.

During treatments, body image is put to the test. Socio-aesthetics is a French innovation that is still not very widespread throughout the world. Yet it is a real support for patients. 

Based on body care (massages, manicure, corrective make-up, management of undesirable effects…), socio-aesthetics provides a personalized response to patients by offering them a bubble of relaxation. 

It should be noted that since 2013, socio-aesthetic care has been considered as a supportive oncological care.

I would like to underline the commitment of the FNSE which aims to make this “vocational” profession known and recognised.

A woman affected by cancer has scars on her body and in her body, some of which are invisible and indelible. Even if we are still standing, we remain weakened by an ordeal that marks a before and an after.

We need gentleness, to learn how to take care of ourselves again, to be touched, to reconnect with our body. To accompany and support you on the long road to recovery from cancer, Ozalys also offers a range of salon beauty treatments.

The beauticians, trained in Ozalys treatment protocols, listen to your specific needs and advise you. Without machines, with only the softness of their hands as their instrument, they provide you with well-being and comfort, awaken your senses and the desire to take care of you.

It is a pleasure and a choice to work with committed professionals who share our values and who, thanks to their listening skills and experience, contribute to bringing gentleness to women affected by cancer and help them regain their self-esteem”.

In conclusion

Taking care of oneself is not always natural for most of us and often requires some effort.  In this period of life that the ordeal of cancer represents, it is even more difficult.

Dare we say it, some days the “what’s the point” is so tempting.

Fortunately, caregivers, helpers, loved-ones, associations, socio-aestheticians, and beauticians are there to help us rediscover the desire to take care of ourselves.

Because life is precious and because you are precious…





Isabelle Guyomarch
Isabelle Guyomarch
Isabelle Guyomarch a passionate and seasoned professional in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic worlds when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. In 2017, she created Ozalys, a brand of Dermo-cosmetics created by women for women affected by cancer.