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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 5:41pm
Congratulations Ellen.  I felt comfortable shedding the wig about 5 months after chemo.  My hair came back with lots of white (grey?) on top.  I ended up coloring it.  I know others who liked their new look and went aunatural and didn't color their hair.

Donna  
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tnbcsucks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 5:45pm
Hi Ellen, I finished my radiation on Dec 7th and I took the wig off on January 11th.  My daughter's bball team had a pink game and the girls wore their jerseys in honor of, memory of etc...so we got to walk down the court as they announced our name and the other players....  I decided that would be the day I take my wig off...so I DID!  What a great feeling!  It's dark with a little bit of gray.  I won't dye it till it gets a little longer.  But my friend the beautician, trimmed it up a bit and it looks fine!  So good luck, you'll love not having it on!
 
 
TNBC DX April, 2010,Lumpectomy May 3.5cm with clear nodes,Stage 2, Grade III Started Chemo on June 7: 4 A/C every other week and then 12 weeks of Taxol. followed by 6 weeks of radiation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 6:01pm
Ellen,

Way to go!  So glad you have finished your radiation.  Clap Big smileHug.

Wishing you the very best decision with the hair.  

Sue
Dx 7/10, age 53. TNBC left breast, stage I, grade 3, IDC 0.5 cm, DCI 2.5 cm, 0/8 lymph nodes neg. BRCA-. T/C x4 finished 2/09/11, rads x34 finished 4/21/11.          
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 6:28pm
I am 3 1/2 months out of chemo and am amazed at how slowly my hair is growing back.  It's still really short.  But, not short enough that I don't have a whole lot colics.  So, it's basically going every which way and there's not a lot of curl.  Plus, my hair has so much more gray now.  I've decided that there will be some monumental days in my comeback from chemo.  One is the day I use a curling iron again.  The other day Iis the day the port is removed.  Those days will come before I know it.
 
Donna, have you lost your hair again?  I'm not sure if hair loss is a side effect of the drugs you are getting.  I hope not. 
 
Lori
 
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 6:50pm
Lori,

It felt like the first few months it hardly grew, then once it got growing, came in quicker and fuller.  Mine was very curly, sort of Groucho Marx look.  It took almost a year for the chemo curl to grow out.

You are right. . . soon you'll be celebrating all sorts of first with your hair.  I never thought I'd enjoy using a hair dryer and curling iron again.  Or buying new hair care products!

With the first cycle of Gemzar/Carbo my hair did not fall out.  It is a side effect of both chemos so maybe it will fall out or just get thinner as I have more treatments.

Donna


DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 7:00pm

Donna,

I'm hoping it doesn't fall out this time.  Your hair looks great.  No more Groucho Marx.  Mine doesn't look like it's going to be curly at all.  I feel like I've got the Pee Wee Herman look going because I have a spike going right down the middle of my hair.  I was really hoping for a little curl.  I've lived my  life with stick straight hair that was fine and thin.  I don't know what I have going now, but the short, cute, wavy hair style I imagined doesn't seem to be happening. 
 
It's good to hear you are back from chemo.  I know these last few weeks have been so frustrating.  I hope that steriod feeling wears off so that you can get some rest. 
 
Lori
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snugltz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 8:04pm

Overwhelmed

I am with you.  I have a kind of spike down the middle.  And my hair has always been super straight.  Was looking forward to the curl too.  But coming in very straight. And slowly.  My hair is sure not growing as fast as expected.  Not nearly as fast as prior to chemo.  But grateful for anything.  Didnt start growing at all until sometime in November.
1 cm, 0/2 neg nodes, lumpectomy 6/16/10, cytoxin/taxotere 4x every three weeks, rad start 11/8 33X
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 8:10pm
I thought I would have my first haircut by Christmas.  Before chemo my hair was short, and I had to get it cut every four weeks.  I swear it grew an inch a month. 
 
Last week my onc asked me about my hair since I am still wearing a hat.  I showed it to him and told him it was wild.  He said that I will now be able to find every colic.  What's worse is that my eyebrows are wild.  They are thin, but wild.  I swear one of them has a colic too.  On top of it, I have some fine light hair on the side of my face.  I'm a mess.
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snugltz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2011 at 11:26pm

Overwhelmed

You are certainly a bearer of good tidings for me.  My eyebrows and lashes didnt fall out until after the last chemo.  One side especially is growing in all crazy.  I remind myself of some of  the elderly men in the rest home.  Sticks out all crazy.    And thin which might be good since at least it doesnt show as much.  And I too have very fine light hair on the side of my face.  Since my hair was long before chemo I thought maybe it had always been there and I hadnt noticed it.  But I frequently tied it back so that must not be it.  When I talk on the phone sometimes I pull it a bit.  And I think its longer thn the hair on my head.  Thank heavens its light.  Dont want to shave it cause then it may grow in dark and really thick.  So knowing you have the same issue is a relief.  Not that I want you to have it, but helps to know I am not alone and maybe things will go back to normal.  And what is Avastin that you are getting and why if you dont mind answering.
1 cm, 0/2 neg nodes, lumpectomy 6/16/10, cytoxin/taxotere 4x every three weeks, rad start 11/8 33X
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alinak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 1:27am
Hi !!!
I'm Alina and I am the Chief Nurse Anesthetist. I choose nursing as a career because it allowed me to take care of patients on a daily basis. 

Hair loss is very common side effect of chemotherapy.


Edited by alinak - Jan 19 2011 at 1:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 9:34am
Please know I do not mean to trivialize all of the hair loss concerns.  My hair is gone too, except for this fuzz that didn't fall out.  I am having my last dost of taxol/cisplatin this week (dreading it, as well), then sx, then AC, then rads, so I'm right there with you all!  But, this is my personal reminder that it could be worse.  My daughter, who has cystic fibrosis, had a double lung transplant this summer, just as she was very near the end of life.  What a miracle.  To get her through all the problems and side effects (including almost all her hair breaking off at the scalp), I would say, in my Mama voice, "Would you rather be bald and breathing or the alternative?", and she would always say "Bald and breathing"!!  Hope that doesn't sound too cynical, but you have to know she was on oxygen about as high as it could go so we both would marvel each day at how she was breathing and pink with no oxygen!!  What a miracle! 
 
So, I try to say that to myself as well once in a while to remind myself to just be happy to be here and know it could be worse.  I'm not a very good patient, so I have to remind myself a lot!
 
And, as an aside.  She has lots of hair growth (facial and all over!) from her antirejection meds and she did get a clipper.  Shaves in the direction of the hair growth, not against.  It doesn't come back darker.  She's not thrilled because she can feel the stubble, but you can't see it at all.
 
Hope this helps someone find their own thoughts to get them out of the hair loss funk. Barbi
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 10:06am
Barbi,
I have taken hair loss with a grain of salt.  I wasn't complaining.  I have just found that now that it is coming back in, it's not at all what I expected.  But, having no hair, eyelashes and eyebrows does make us look like cancer patients.  I am looking forward to the day when it's not the first thing people see about me.  I am partially there since I now have eyebrows and eyelashes (Snuglz, I, too lost them after chemo.  I thought I'd bypassed that, but then one day I looked in the mirror and they were all gone).   Getting a haircut and having to style my hair again will mean I have gotten past chemo. 
 
I have always approached this disease with the thought that it could be worse.  But, in reality we are facing a more difficult breast cancer than most, and some are facing their worst nightmare.   I try not to let my imagination run wild, but at times it does.  So, humor helps. 
 
It's great to hear that your daughter has experienced a medical miracle.  As bad as it is facing TNBC, I can't imagine having a child face this or some other life threatening disease.
 
Good luck with the rest of your treatment. 
Lori 
 
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote illpraisehim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 10:19am
Well, ladies... As you know I am new to this club and was supposed to start my chemo today but it was pushed back til next week.  I am not looking forward to losing my hair, but I want to live.  So I have opted for "bald and breathing"!!!
Thankful, hopeful, prayerful and praiseful!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 10:21am
Lori,

I had a friend who told me her eyebrows and eyelashes fell out after finishing chemo so I was kind of expecting it.  It doesn't help when you notice your hair growing back only to lose the lashes and brows.  They both grew back, but the eyebrows aren't as thick and very light in color, almost like no color to them.  It may have more to do to the chemo induced menopause.  When I go out, I have to use an eyebrow pencil or wax to color them in or else it looks like I don't have any. 

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 10:23am
Snugltz,
I am in a phase 3 clinical trial, which has three arms.  They are TAC x's 6, TC x's 6 and TC x's 6 plus Avastin x's 18 (or Avastin every three weeks for a year).  I am in the Avastin arm of the trial.  Avastin prevents the tumor from growing the blood supply needed to support it.  There has been a lot of recent controversy over it since it received a fast track approval for the treatment of metatasized breast cancer based on some smaller phase 2 studies.  There can be some serious side effects and the last studies (which were larger) didn't show that it prolonged life.  However, there are ladies on this site who are doing well on it. 
 
I have mixed feelings about Avastin.  Those studies weren't out when I started my trial.  They came out about a month and a half later.  Still, they studied only stage 4 bc, while these are first large trials to see if Avastin works with early breast cancer.  I can only hope that it is a drug that works for me and for others with early breast cancer.  At times I think I did the wrong thing.  But, in reality, there is no going back.  I went in the direction I felt was best at the time.
 
BTW, I have described my eyebrows as "old man eyebrows".  I need to invest in a small scissors and learn how to trim them.  I've never had to do that before.  They were always light, short and straight.  Now they are wild, even though they are only 1/2 way grown in.  I find it hard to pencil them in so that I look like I have eyebrows.    Good luck with your eyebrows and let's both hope that fine hair on the side of our face decides to fall off someday soon.
 
Lori
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 10:52am
illpraisehim,
 
My first cycle of chemo was the worst.  I don't think I kept myself hydrated enough.  So, be sure to drink a lot of water.  For the last five cycles I asked to get fluids when I went in for the Neulasta shot (I took Claritin the day before, day of and day after the shot and never got the bone pain that can happen with Neulasta).  They were happy to give me fluids, and I think it really helped.  I also got mouth sores the first time around.  So, instead of waiting for the sores, I rinsed several times a day with a mouthwash called Mugard (I got it from the onc).  I did this for the first four to five days after chemo.  I never got the mouth sores again, although my mouth was tender and sensative.  The other thing I would recommend is taking the anti-nausea medication around the clock during the four days after chemo.  I didn't the first time around and got really nauseous and couldn't hold anything down.  After that, I never let the nausea get a chance to take hold. 
 
Chemo wasn't terrible for me.  The first cycle left me wondering if I could do five more, but the rest weren't that bad.  I think I was much more proactive after that first cycle.  I stocked up on the Immodium because I knew the diahrrea would come.  I rinsed to keep the mouth sores away and I drank a lot of water.  I also drank Ensure when I didn't feel like eating.
 
Good luck to you.  I hope all goes well with chemo. 
 
Lori
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 10:54am
illpraisehim,
Losing our hair can be difficult even when we know it's coming.  I've always had difficult hair.  It was stick straight, thin and fine.  To manage it, I kept it short.  I've always thought that it would be much worse to lose long thick hair.  But, it was still a shock when it started to fall out.  It was also a mess.  So, like many women, I went to have it shaved before losing it completely.  I felt like I was in control.  I was still sad to see it go.  However, there has been some positives to losing my hair.  It takes very little time in the morning to get ready.  No more hair dryers or curling irons (although I am now looking forward to the day when I can use them again, and I do have to put a little more effort into adding color to my face or I look completely drained).  The other thing that has been great is that I never worry about the rain or the humidity.  Every time I go out in the rain now, I have a little bit of a sense of freedom since I don't have to worry about what it is doing to my hair. 
 
If you haven't heard of the Look Good Feel Better classes, I really recommend them.  They teach you how to apply make up during chemo (including how to draw in eyebrows).  They also show you how to tie scarves, etc, and they give you a whole lot of free make-up.  I really enjoyed the class.  I felt like I was being pampered at a time when I didn't feel great and was just getting used to life without hair.
 
BTW, when I first started chemo, a friend (nurse, bc advocate, and bc survivor) told me that my hair would fall out around day 14 or 15.  Sure enough, day 14 came around and my hair started coming out.  It just helped to know when to expect it.  I'm sure it varies, but that seems to be about the time frame.
 
Lori
 
 
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snugltz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 4:54pm
overwhelmed
Thanks for the info.  I sure hope the Avastin works perfectly for you.  I had the long thick hair and thought it wouldnt fall out.  I would be the lucky one.  Well about day 14 too big clumps fell out.  And it is really freaky when your hair is that long.  It was well below my shoulders.  I let it fall and kept it and someday may make a pony tail to give to the childrens wig place.  Not all fell out, some little places stayed.  Not much, but enough that when I wore a cap it stuck out the bottom a bit and I felt more normal so left it.  After the last chemo it all went.
Barbi, I like Overwhelmed am not all freaked out over the hair loss.  Certainly rather be alive.  But  it makes peoples stare at the poor cancer victim and reminds me of the cancer.  I would rather forget.  Feel normal.  I am a bit freaked out over the hair on the side of my face.  :)  Hope IT falls out. Hehe.
1 cm, 0/2 neg nodes, lumpectomy 6/16/10, cytoxin/taxotere 4x every three weeks, rad start 11/8 33X
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 5:54pm
Hey girls,
I remember having some unwanted facial hair after my chemo. I though I might have to shave, but I didn't. I left it alone and eventually it came out. I can't recall exactly how long it took (maybe a year or less), but it does go away. I hope this helps.

God Bless,
Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snugltz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 7:30pm

Lillie

Thanks for the hope.  :)
1 cm, 0/2 neg nodes, lumpectomy 6/16/10, cytoxin/taxotere 4x every three weeks, rad start 11/8 33X
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