PDA

View Full Version : 1000 posts and facing chemotherapy - any suggestions?



kdaniels8811
January 15th, 2010, 09:58 AM
Mods - if this is not the right area, please feel free to move. I just started chemotherapy yesterday and the doctor is telling me I will lose all my almost waist length hair and go bald in a month or so. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions to prevent this? I have been in hysterics - both over the cancer and hair loss. I realize my life is LOTS more important than my hair but it has taken so long to get to this length.

My current routine is hendigo, shikakai and amla for washing, and oiling, both scalp and length. Catnip tea for conditioning, SMT's weekly or as I get to them. I have done lots of searches for prevention of hair loss and have not come across anything helpful so I thought I would ask here. My doctor says I can continue my current regeim of hair care, for as long as I have hair, of course.

Yes, I know about wigs and all that but I want MY HAIR. Any thoughts/suggestions at all? The heavy duty chemo will "only" be four months, then I can start the growing process again. Which will really suck! It will take years to get back to this length again.

This group is always so supportive and full of helpful suggestions so I am hoping someone has some kind of idea. Thanks in advance and I will check in once in a while.

Heavenly Locks
January 15th, 2010, 10:04 AM
I don't have any suggestions for keeping your hair...

Is there any possibility that you could have your natural hair made into a wig to wear before it falls out. I don't know anything about chemo treatment.

I just want to tell you that everything WILL be alright, hair or not. It's a terrible thing, cancer...and I really wish there was something we could all do to keep it from hurting anyone ever again.

Spike
January 15th, 2010, 10:11 AM
:grouphug:

Oh, honey. I only wish I had real and useful suggestions for you. All I can offer is a personal observation.

My boss underwent chemo and radiation for cancer last year, and lost no more hair than normal. (Older man with male pattern baldness progressing--but he did not go all the way to nothing, and his hair appears to be in about the same condition as pre-chemo/radiation.)

While it is possible you may not have the same results, there is still hope that you can make it out (i.e., beat the disease) and keep your locks.

I'll keep a candle lit for you.

CrisDee
January 15th, 2010, 10:11 AM
K, I am so sorry you have to go through this! :grouphug:

I can't really offer you very much in the way of suggestions. The only thing that came to my mind was a girl I worked with a few years ago. At the age of around 35 she had to have chemo for breast cancer, and her biggest fear was losing her hair. Her doctor was able to offer her a chemo regimen that didn't cause hair loss; this regimen was much longer than the other option, but she happily chose it and did not lose her hair - and was cancer free five years later when I worked with her. I don't know what kind of cancer you have or whether this would be an option for you, but perhaps you could discuss this concept with your doctor.

Prayers for a complete recovery!

jojo
January 15th, 2010, 10:14 AM
Hi ,
Ask your Dr about a cold hat, they are special hats designed to prevent hairloss during chemo.
Also i am very sorry you are going through this and even if it comes to you loosing your hair, it will grow back, your health is much more important, take each day as it comes and keep possitive. i will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. xxxxx

eta link http://www.cancernet.co.uk/hairloss.htm

all the very best and I hope your treatment goes well for you xxx

OleanderTime
January 15th, 2010, 10:18 AM
I am so sorry you are going through this. I wish you strength and a fast recovery.

As far as I understand it, chemotherapy kills the cells in the hair follicle. This is because chemotherapy is targeted to kill all rapidly dividing cells (because that's what cancer is). The problem is that hair cells are the second most rapidly dividing cells in your body (bone cells are number one). There really isn't anything you can do to stop this from happening. I know this must be terrible to hear, and you will probably go through mourning stages for your hair (and it's not shallow of you). Let yourself be angry for a while, but then accept it.

The good news is that after chemo is over (and you are hopefully healthy and recovering!) your hair will all grow back. There are many people on these boards who grow their hair from bald so that they have the healthiest virgin hair possible. You are going to get to do this (even though it might not be your choice). Your hair is going to grow back softer and healthier than you've ever had in your adult life. I had a friend who went through 9 months of chemo at the age of 23. She had about BSL hair then that was in good shape. When it grew back after chemo, it came in as soft as a baby's hair. It also had some gentle waves in it that she hadn't had since she was a few years old. She loves her hair now. So maybe that's something to look forward to.

I have also heard from this friend of mine and other cancer survivors that watching your hair slowly come out in chunks can be absolutely disheartening. Perhaps when you begin to see this happening, you might want to take control of the situation and do it first. My friend had a huge head-shaving party where all of her friends came to celebrate her. We all watched (and cried) while one person shaved her head and neatly bagged her long braid for her. We took photos of all of us around her when she was done, it was really inspiring. I'm sure she wouldn't have been able to do it without that support around her. We also took lots of photos of her hair down and looking beautiful before we cut it.

However you choose to handle this, I hope that you find the support and strength you need.

yellowchariot
January 15th, 2010, 10:18 AM
hello kdaniels8811,

I'm sorry to hear about this. Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions. However, Heavenly Locks, had a wonderful idea!
I will be remembering you, and sending prayers your way! :blossom:

WaitingSoLong
January 15th, 2010, 10:22 AM
I am so, so sorry you have to go through this. I have no suggestions to keep your hair from falling out. I do know different chemo meds cause different amounts of hair loss. Some are known to cause less loss. But I am not sure you have any say in that, I mean, this is cancer.

I would consider, if your doctor is 100% sure all your hair will fall out, cutting it all of yourself before it happens, so you can save it, or have it made into a wig, but at least then YOU are controlling when it goes and it can possibly help to lessen the anxiety or trauma when it does start to fall. I guess I would be reluctant to cut unless I was 100% sure it was going to fall out on its own.

Also, I have always wanted to be bald...just to shave it all off and be done with it. I am not sure how you feel you will look without hair, but is there a chance it will be a beautiful look for you? I think bald women with pretty earrings are beautiful. Or pretty cloche hats, or scarves.

This must be so hard for you. I hope you find peace with it either way.

lapushka
January 15th, 2010, 10:25 AM
Aren't there two kinds of chemo, chemo that doesn't make you lose your hair, and chemo that does. That's how I understood it. I know someone who went through several rounds of chemo, and the first time she did not lose any hair at all, but it was not the strongest kind of chemo, I believe. The last time, I know the chemo was very aggressive and she did lose her hair.

I think that if the doctor says you're going to lose your hair, that this is something you should prepare for. I think there's no avoiding it with any kind of natural therapy or pills for hair growth. If you are planning to take pills to try and avoid the inevitable, then please tell your doctor, so he can make sure it's not something that will mess with your chemo.

Wishing you the best for your upcoming treatment! I know it's not easy for you right now.

camirra555
January 15th, 2010, 10:30 AM
I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I don't have any advice about your hair but I just wanted to offer my support.

Islandgrrl
January 15th, 2010, 10:32 AM
I don't have any suggestions about preventing hair loss. I just wanted to wish you the very best - a speedy recovery and an easy as possible time with the chemo.

:grouphug:

turtlelover
January 15th, 2010, 10:38 AM
Your health is waaaaay more important than the length of your hair. You will be able to regrow it someday. Keep coming here and updating us even if you have NO hair. Who you are as a person is what matters!!!!!

Deimos
January 15th, 2010, 10:49 AM
That is terrible :(
I second jojo's advice on finding information on cold hats. It does not work with all chemos though.

I really hope you get better soon and manage to keep your hair.

Sylvanas
January 15th, 2010, 10:49 AM
My grandfather who was nearly bald (55 years old at the time) went through chemo and lost what little hair he had left. However it grew back out super fast, thick and curly, dark brown (even though he'd gone gray in his late 30's) and he was no longer a bald man. If your hair can't be saved, it will still grow back - maybe even with improved quality :)

You are obviously more important than your hair, but I understand that you don't want to lose it. There are methods to minimize hairloss while undergoing chemo, but I'm not an expert on that, so have words with your doctor

I hope your treatment goes well :grouphug:

MandyBeth
January 15th, 2010, 10:50 AM
From my mom going thru chemo.....

She found getting rid of her hair during chemo was the one thing that made her feel physically better. She had been losing her hair and it was getting thin and patchy when she decided that the chemo wasn't going to win, she was and she was going to shave her hair to "win" that battle.

Shaved her head the week that she was getting some really poor blood work coming back. The chemo was doing more harm than good. Shaved her head, went to bed, woke up and said that she felt good. She was able to eat that morning, first time in weeks. 2 days later, the same blood work came back as she was still sick, but nothing serious and she could handle further treatments.

She was able to finish treatment and has been in remission now for 2 years.

Your hair WILL grow back. It may take a long time, but it will come back. Let the chemo do it's work and kill the nasty worthless cancer cells. Enjoy lots of fun, pretty scarfs, hats and wigs. Remember how pretty it is now, and remind yourself that it will come back just as lovely. It's regrowth will be a glorious chart of your winning over the cancer.

coscass
January 15th, 2010, 10:58 AM
I'm really sorry you're going through this. It's got to be horrible. I really can't think of what to tell you, I mean, you could collect your hair, or even have it cut now and have it fashioned into a wig for later like WaitingSoLong... Which isn't exactly a bright prospect since you want your own hair, attached to your head. But they make some pretty good-looking wigs these days. When I was in beauty school, we had a lady who had cancer come in and have her wig cleaned all the time. I had no idea it was a wig until she took it off her head and set it onto my table!

When they're over, at least you can look forward to growing back long, healthy hair? I know you're bummed, but isn't growing half the fun? You can try new things this time, or even mess around with some short styles while it's growing. I know it's not a miracle-answer or anything, sorry.

coscass
January 15th, 2010, 11:00 AM
Enjoy lots of fun, pretty scarfs, hats and wigs. Remember how pretty it is now, and remind yourself that it will come back just as lovely. It's regrowth will be a glorious chart of your winning over the cancer.

I almost forgot about this! There are some REALLY cute scarf-dos out there, that are absolutely adorable! I do a lot of them, actually, but not as of late.

getoffmyskittle
January 15th, 2010, 11:03 AM
I'm so sorry, kdaniels. :grouphug: There are other LHCers who have fought cancer and gone through this as well, hopefully some of them will stop by. I wish you all the best.

shrimp
January 15th, 2010, 11:08 AM
No advice I'm afraid but many :grouphug: and good wishes for your treatment :flower:

Oskimosa
January 15th, 2010, 11:08 AM
If I knew I were going to have to lose my hair, I think I'd have to take the opportunity to turn it into something positive to keep my sanity. I have ALWAYS wanted blue hair, but of course long-term its not a good option as the upkeep is insane and it doesn't look good on me. Why not do something crazy with your hair that you wouldn't have done otherwise? I'm thinking rainbow streaks ;) If you have ever seen Sex and the City, Samantha had breast cancer and lost alot of pride when she lost her hair. So she got a hot pink wig a la lil' kim and tried to be upbeat. Maybe something like that could help you keep a positive view while you go through this.

marikamt
January 15th, 2010, 11:09 AM
I don't have any advice that hasn't already been given.....

I wish the best for you and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Keep us updated!

I won't tell you it will grow back, you already know that. The whole thing sucks. Here's what I have to say to the cancer and the chemo... they are just a giant, steaming pile of :poop:

ericthegreat
January 15th, 2010, 11:32 AM
Kdaniels, first I want to give you the biggest :heartbeat: ever.

Of course this being LHC, it goes without saying that our hair means so very much to us. But it obviously doesn't compare to how much our very lives and our good health means to us. Whatever you need to do to fight this cancer, please do it. You are a beautiful person and your hair compliments who you are. But it obviously isn't the only thing that makes you beautiful.

If you doctor in his or her medical experience is telling you that you will most likely lose most or all of your hair, then simply let it go. I don't mean that at all in any harsh way, but again your very life is so much more important. At this stage, you will have to change how you perceive things. There is no shame in wearing a wig at all. You could have all your shaved off and have it turned into a wig, or just this once you can order a long-haired wig from any number of hair donation charities. But preferably not from Locks of Love since we all know the huge scandal surrounding that one!

Again, my best thoughts and prayers are with you. Do EVERYTHING you can to win against this cancer.

embee
January 15th, 2010, 11:34 AM
One of my dear friends fought cancer and her hair did fall out. She and her DH took control of that before it got out of hand though. He heard her crying in the shower, went in and found her all huddled up in there and hair stuck in the drain. He got in the tub with her, held her, comforted her best he could, and they decided the best was to shave her head clean right then, so there would be no more hair-stuck-in-the-drain trauma. She said he was a saint, he was always there for her.

I hope you have a good person close by you who will hold your hand and help you when the Bad Times hit hardest.

You'll be in my thoughts and I'll hold you In The Light.

MsBubbles
January 15th, 2010, 11:37 AM
Kdaniels I don't have any other advice than what's already been given, I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and wishing you the best through this tough time. :grouphug:

Akiko
January 15th, 2010, 11:39 AM
I am very sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time fighting cancer and the possibility of losing beautiful hair. I don't have any good advice, but wanted to give you a big hug. (((hug))))

Ursula
January 15th, 2010, 11:46 AM
I don't know of any way of preventing hair loss from chemo, and I've heard urban legends that not losing your hair means the chemo isn't working, but they're just urban legends so I'd take that with a grain of salt.

I'd suggest braiding your hair in one or two braids, fastening top and bottom, and cutting them. That way, you'll have the hair, and you can pin it to your hair to create updos when your hair starts to grow back again. You might also see if your hair can be made into comb-extensions, so that you can wear it as your hair is growing back. That way, you can still wear your hair.

CurlyBrunette, another member here, went through chemo some time back, and is growing her hair back, last I heard. There may be other members who have been through this, you might try searching the blogs, or start a thread asking if members who have had this experience are willing to share with you.

girlcat36
January 15th, 2010, 11:59 AM
I am so sorry you are facing this treatment!

I went through cancer in 2007. My oncologist told me that I would not lose all my hair to the chemo, and he was correct. It depends on what type of chemo your particular cancer is more sensitive to. My chemo was Cisplatin which is quite toxic, but for some reason only thins out the hair.
I did not have a choice on my particular chemo, Cisplatin happened to be the gold standard for head and neck patients.
I did however lose all the hair on the bottom half of my head, due to my radiation treatment. So I was left with thinning hair on top covering a bald bottom portion. Yeah, it sucked. But you make the most of it.

It seems like you have a good bit of length. If it were me, I would have that cut right away, and save the length. Not sure what I would do with the length; ideally I would have a wig made, but I have no idea how much that costs.
I think I would get a funky haircut, and dye it a crazy color until it fell out.

You will push through this, and in the end you will discover that you are tougher than you ever knew.

Big hugs to you. :grouphug:

vanity_acefake
January 15th, 2010, 12:18 PM
I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I send all my love and good thoughts to you.

Tangles
January 15th, 2010, 12:38 PM
I'm so sorry.

One suggestion is to cut your hair to the shortest length you think you can currently stand, in a style that you like. Spend some time researching a fun new style. Then, when it falls out you won't be thinking so much about how long it'll take to grow back waist length again. Instead, you'll grow back to that cute short hairstyle in a reasonably short amount of time, and then you can worry about getting to SL, APL, and so forth.

It goes without saying that eating well, exercising if possible, and taking supplements will aid in overall health and will also help your hair grow back asap.

Latin Tea
January 15th, 2010, 12:41 PM
I also went through cancer, in 2002. Breast cancer, but it wasn't in my nodes so no chemo. My mother-in-law went through it too. She was supposed to lose her hair, but took mega doses of a green drink and that seemed to help. It thinned some, that was all. Chemo is different for everyone, of course.

You will get through this and be stronger for it (see my motto below). God Bless. :blossom:

DavidN
January 15th, 2010, 12:42 PM
I only wish I could offer you some advice, Kdaniels, but the main thing is that I am genuinely sorry to hear that you are faced with this. I have heard, though, that there are some chemo regimes out there that are easier on hair than others. Have you discussed with your doctor how important your hair is to you, and the possibility of a different, less aggressive chemo regime?

Rest assured that you will be in my thoughts and prayers that things will work out for you.:grouphug:

Ursula
January 15th, 2010, 01:14 PM
I know Dianyla collects her shed hairs, and makes the long ones into braids that she keeps.

You could perhaps collect your hairs as they shed the way she does, saving the braids to use for accents on updos in the future, or just to keep because it is your hair.

clairenewcastle
January 15th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Sending healing thoughts your way at this very difficult time for you. :blossom:

rapunzhell13
January 15th, 2010, 01:22 PM
Wishing you the best in your health, hair and happiness. :flowers:

EdG
January 15th, 2010, 01:25 PM
I wish you the best, kdaniels8811! :flowers:
Ed

Eniratak
January 15th, 2010, 01:28 PM
My best friend went through chemo a few years ago.
He was told he'd lose all the hair on his head.
He didn't lose one hair from chemo therapy.
However, he doesn't have any chest hair or stomach hair because of chemo. Weird how things work like that.

I'm sorry. I hope for the best.

jesamyn
January 15th, 2010, 01:35 PM
No suggestions regarding your hair (though I would be devastated by that in addition to the cancer as well), but I wanted to offer my best wishes and support. :grouphug: My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anje
January 15th, 2010, 01:42 PM
Hugs, kdaniels.

I don't have much to offer, but I would be inclined to tell you to wait on cutting it off until you actually do start losing your hair. There's a chance that your doctor is wrong and that you won't lose a significant amount -- if that's the case, you don't want to cut or shave it prematurely.

heidi w.
January 15th, 2010, 01:52 PM
Kdaniels8811, I am terribly sorry to hear of your suffering and situation.

I do not have any information to help you with for actually saving your hair during chemotherapy. Likely the doctor is accurate, but maybe that cold hat would be helpful?

I can, however, tell you that Saxgirl, a member here, went through this experience. She's been through the whole thing, as a few others have here as well. She might be a really good person for you to get to know. She's a lovely and understanding person, and very kind.

I recommend PMing her. Sometimes in situations like this, it's nice to have a friend who's been through everything you will be dealing with.

This, I hope works, to lead you to her her public profile.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/member.php?u=409

Otherwise you can find her under MEMBERS LIST, around page 6 of the S', and simply send along a PM.

Again, I am very very sorry. I have nothing but big giant hugs and flowers for you.
:blossom:

:grouphug:

heidi w.

Nightshade
January 15th, 2010, 02:16 PM
:grouphug:

These ladies have covered what suggestions I would have offered, however, know that you are a million times stronger than you feel right now. You will get through this :blossom:

Othala
January 15th, 2010, 02:28 PM
Adding my voice to the other words of support.

I hope the treatment goes well and you make a full recovery.

Don't lose heart! Your hair will return and the cold cap that was suggested earlier is a good idea.

Amoretti
January 15th, 2010, 02:32 PM
I just wanted to add my supportive :grouphug: to the others. Take care.

Babyfine
January 15th, 2010, 02:37 PM
I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
I'm praying for you that you will have a full recovery, soon.
Others have made great suggestions, as Girlcat36 suggested, now may be the time for an edgy new cut and color. You could keep the hair you cut off for possibly a wig.
There was a girl in my church who was diagnosed with cancer, and had chemo.
She had long hair at the time, and decided to cut it into a short cut she always wanted to try, when she underwent the chemo.
She did lose her hair but she is doing great now and all her beautiful hair grew back, quite fast, I thought, and is as long- if not longer- than before.

FrannyG
January 15th, 2010, 02:46 PM
I am another who has no suggestions for you, except to say that if you do begin to lose some hair, cut off your hair and perhaps have it made into a cascading ponytail to wear while your new hair grows out.

We're all here because we love long hair, but hair is nothing compared to your good health. I think we'd all love to have a KDaniels with newly growing-in hair if necessary rather than a very sick KDaniels.

You go and kick cancer's butt, like so many other strong LHCers have done in the past. If you do lose your hair, we will be celebrating every inch of growth along with you. :blossom:

Sending you light and love. :heartbeat

Tabitha
January 15th, 2010, 03:02 PM
Sending good wishes your way :flowers:

If you haven't read it, there is an account in CurlyBrunette's blog (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/blog.php?b=697) about how she dealt with the hair loss following her own chemo. Her hair now is absolutely beautiful, shiny and bouncy and looks so cute.

Fiferstone
January 15th, 2010, 06:51 PM
:grouphug::flowers:
Kdaniels, best of luck to you as you start your treatment. I don't really have any advice to offer, just stopping by to wish you the very best outcome.

girloctopus
January 15th, 2010, 07:08 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your health problems. I don't have any suggestions other than the ones that are already covered, but I wish you all the best :hugs:

Teacherbear
January 15th, 2010, 09:24 PM
Kdaniels, I don't have any hair suggestions, but I wanted to reach out and give you a big ol' hug! ((((((((hugs))))))))) I hope the chemo kicks the cancer's butt! :holds fist up against cancer: I also hope you heal (and feel better) very quickly! (((((((((more hugs)))))))))

Altocumulus
January 15th, 2010, 09:46 PM
I'm so sorry you're going through this. :grouphug:

Shermie Girl
January 15th, 2010, 09:54 PM
:grouphug: :grouphug:

Isa-belle
January 15th, 2010, 10:07 PM
No better advice to offer, just sending you :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:
You will be in our thoughts, kdaniels8811. Take care :heartbeat

Xepher
January 15th, 2010, 10:28 PM
Much like many who already posted, I have no advice to give...

However, I wanted to wish you a speedy recovery and say that I hope everything turns out okay for you, I'm so sorry that you even have to deal with this.. Be strong, be positive, and don't let yourself be brought down, you'll get through this!

Aer
January 15th, 2010, 11:12 PM
I don't have any suggestions for keeping your hair...

Is there any possibility that you could have your natural hair made into a wig to wear before it falls out. I don't know anything about chemo treatment.

I just want to tell you that everything WILL be alright, hair or not. It's a terrible thing, cancer...and I really wish there was something we could all do to keep it from hurting anyone ever again.

Maybe you could get it made into a wig? I wish I had more suggestions, but I want to wish you luck, and that my prayers are with you, and congrats on the thousand posts.

BonnyJ
January 15th, 2010, 11:21 PM
I will keep you in prayer. Miracles DO happen!

little_acorn
January 15th, 2010, 11:52 PM
:grouphug: cold hats may help with some types of chemo. Everyone has already offered lots of great advice. So I'll just offer lots of support instead :grouphug:

Charlotte
January 16th, 2010, 12:39 AM
Sending you many :grouphug: and :blossom:

KDaniels8811, You must fight the cancer with you whole heart and all your strength. For the moment, try to accept that you may lose your hair; but remember, your beautiful hair will definately grow back again as lovely as before!

I know saying that doesn't help to take away the pain and anxiety that you have, but you must focus on killing the cancer first, and not worry about anything else at all.

Blessings, Charlotte :blossom:

Princess Kitti
January 16th, 2010, 12:43 AM
I totally agree about not cutting until it starts to fall out. It is not so much what chemo they use, it is how you react to it. You may tolerate the therapy and not loose a hair, another on the same drug might loose the lot. You cannot know for sure until you start the therapy. (I'm a nurse by the way :) I have also fought cancer, and am sorry you are going through this.

Toadstool
January 16th, 2010, 01:16 AM
I am so sorry you are faced with this challenge.
Could you have a really nice photo of you with your long hair taken now so it can be "kept" in that way, even if not in reality?
I would be hysterical too - remember you are going through a lot and sometimes it's easier to just focus on one thing, like hair.
I have heard cold caps have some success, but not complete in a lot of cases.
I personally like the idea of cutting your hair and saving it, and maybe dyeing the rest of it blue etc! If you lose your hair, when it grows back you can try cute short styles.
It is natural to go through a period of mourning for any loss including hair - is there some ritual you can make for yourself to make this easier?
Keep looking after yourself as well as you can. All the best of luck with your treatment. Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending you lovexxxx

Nat242
January 16th, 2010, 01:17 AM
Best of luck with your treatment - wishing you a speedy and full recovery. :blossom:

Lucky
January 16th, 2010, 01:21 AM
I'm sorry that you're going through this. My mom is currently undergoing chemo and the hair loss has been one of the hardest parts for her. FWIW, you're not shallow to be upset at the prospect of losing your hair - there is a lot tied up in hair, particularly for women. Give yourself time to mourn your hair loss. To echo what others have already said on this thread, as awful as the prospect sounds, shaving your head can be a way to gain control. My mom said that the actual shaving the head was the hardest part, but now that it's done, she's fine and focusing on getting well. She wears scarves and a wig on occasion and says that she tries to focus on the positive - she doesn't have to fuss with her hair in the morning!
I wish you the best in your upcoming fight - it won't be fun, but it'll be worth it in the end!
Take care -

Misha
January 16th, 2010, 05:37 AM
kdaniels8811 I'm so sorry you are facing this. Much good advice has already been given, I wish you strength and faith and a speedy recovery.:blossom:

rags
January 16th, 2010, 07:18 AM
I don't have any hair advice, but I do want to wish you strength and hope during this hard time of your life. You will come out of this knowing you are stronger than you ever thought you could be. Lots of :grouphug: and :flower:

Carolyn
January 16th, 2010, 07:50 AM
I'm so sorry you are facing this terrible ordeal. You'll have lots of support and comfort from your friends here.

Wind Dragon
January 16th, 2010, 12:20 PM
Just dropping in with another :grouphug:, stay strong. :flowers:

GlassEyes
January 16th, 2010, 12:35 PM
I'm sorry that you're going through this. ): I'm also sorry to say I know nothing that can help, but always remember that hair does grow back, even if it sucks.

EvaSimone
January 16th, 2010, 12:42 PM
I don't have any ideas about the chemo. But I just wanted to stop in and wish you a quick recovery and hopefully as easy of a journey with the chemo as possible! :grouphug:

CherrySilver
January 16th, 2010, 01:49 PM
First of all, let me start off by saying that I'm very sorry for what you have to go through. This is something I've looked into in the pat because of a scare that I went thru several years ago. The technology exists overseas for medical devices which cool the scalp (restrict the blood vessles) during a chemo treatment to prevent the poison from reaching the follicles (http://www.dignitana.com/). There are other companies in other countries, but I don't have their info at hand.

Unfortunately, this technology hasn't been approved by the FDA in the US for fear of a scalp metastasis. Absolutely NO cases of scalp metastasis have been reported overseas. Make me kinda want to smuggle some of these units into the US!

There is, however, a company in the UK which produces "Penguin Caps" and markets them in the US (http://www.msc-worldwide.com). From what I've read online, it seems that women undergoing chemo treatment are able to retain most of their hair. This technology, while not as sophisticated, still works but not as well as the aforementioned medical devices used overseas.

Should you decide to go with the Penguin Cap route to save your hair, you may want to try using some herbal topicals/extracts which are known to strengthen the root of the hair (burdock root, nettle, horsetail, etc.). Unlike supplements which might interfere with your chemo treatment, these are topicals which could help.

Remember that you have much love and support here.

Warmly,

CherrySilver

Aquamarine
January 16th, 2010, 02:10 PM
:grouphug: I'm so sorry you're going through this.I don't have any real advice...but I'll be praying for you.
Hope your chemo goes well.
Sending healing thoughts and prayers:flowers:

lilalong
January 16th, 2010, 02:19 PM
I'm sorry you are going though this.

I personally like the idea in using the opportunity of getting a fancy haircut or color. Anything you always wanted to try but didn't, because it was too damaging?

My friend lost all her hair during chemo. When it grew out again her previously wavy hair grew into thick, dark curls. They are beautiful!

Forever_Sophie
January 16th, 2010, 02:36 PM
I've been through exactly this, for AML. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers; your hair will grow back, and possibly even more gorgeous than before :) It happens! xoxoxo

Celebrian
January 16th, 2010, 02:54 PM
My warmest hugs to you as you go through this time... :blossom:

The only practical advice I can offer, based on my own brush with cancer (never came to fruition, thank goodness) would be to ask (as already suggested) if another cocktail of chemo. drugs can be used - which are maybe less likely to cause the hair to fall? And the other thing I considered was cutting my hair off before it fell, and having it made into a wig to wear when time came to re-grow.

Forever_Sophie
January 16th, 2010, 03:00 PM
Forgot to mention, there is the cold cap to prevent hair loss...heard it's very uncomfortable though.

MotherConfessor
January 16th, 2010, 04:14 PM
Doctors told me I would never grow any hair back and would be permanently deformed, as you can see from my siggy, this clearly did not happen. Spend time looking things up and do everything you can for your hair and scalp. The doc may be right and you may loose your hair, if that happens it will be horrible, but on the plus side you can buy all sorts of interesting wigs. On the other hand you may manage to keep it. Personally I sending you hair plenty of good, positive energy! Good luck

deko
January 16th, 2010, 04:51 PM
:grouphug:

Hugs. You WILL get through it.

CherrySilver
January 16th, 2010, 05:17 PM
There is a thread on breastcancer.org which discusses using cold caps to save your hair. They describe the discomfort to being like an ice cream headache at first.

http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/6/topic/735873?page=1

Loviatar
January 16th, 2010, 05:55 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this, KDaniels. I hope you have a swift recovery. And that you don't have to lose your hair.

However if you do get to the point where you are either losing too much to bear, or you feel you need/have/want to cut it, my friend Liz (who did have to cut her hair because of chemo) saved her braid, glued the hairs together at the part where she cut it (on the severed braid I mean) and then stitched it into a little 'pocket' of jersey type fabric at the top. Then every time she wore a hat or scarf or buff (which she did most days) she pinned the jersey fabric with safety pins to the back of the hat/scarf. So she had her own hair coming out from under her scarf, which she said made her feel better. From the pics I've seen, you really couldnt tell she had shaved off the rest of her hair under her scarf/hat.

:grouphug:

Xandergrammy
January 16th, 2010, 05:58 PM
I'm so sorry that you're facing this. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Our own harley mama is another who underwent chemo and didn't lose all of her hair. I think it depends on the type of cancer and the chemo cocktail that best treats it. I have a friend with ovarian cancer who lost all of her hair. She said her doctor actually predicted the day she would start shedding and the day by which she'd be totally bald. He was right on both counts. She ended up shaving her head at the first sign of hair loss and forged ahead like the warrior that she is. She's now finished her chemo and her hair is starting to grow back.

KarpatiiSiv
January 16th, 2010, 06:15 PM
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I wish you a full and speedy recovery. Stay strong and positive, you will get through this.:grouphug:

hennaphile
January 16th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Not much new to say, but my gradma didn't lose her hair either time she had cancer, and that was with radiation and chemo.

I had a friend who got chemo, not for cancer (it was totally the wrong treatment for her condition :doh: but she didn't lose her hair-- it stopped growing and dried out, but it was still there.

All the best :grouphug: :flower:

invisiblebabe
January 17th, 2010, 02:15 AM
There is a thread on breastcancer.org which discusses using cold caps to save your hair. They describe the discomfort to being like an ice cream headache at first.

http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/6/topic/735873?page=1

I think these are worth a look.

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. :grouphug: I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

09robiha
January 17th, 2010, 04:19 AM
Just wanted to offer my support
A freind of mine had chemo at 14 for lukemia and lost all her hair but It did grow back and is unbelivably soft!!
Do what research you can and wishing you a speedy recovery :flower:

lexiflowers
January 17th, 2010, 04:48 AM
I just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. The advice of others is correct - of course your health is so much more important than your hair, I totally understand why the thought of losing your hair is upsetting you so much though. Aside from anything else it is something for you to focus in on, to aim all your anger and frustration and fear at.

I read this on BBC News this morning, and wanted to share it with you. It's about scalp coolers. I know that some other people on this thread have mentioned them as a possibility, and when I saw this article I thought you may like to read it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8429950.stm

I hope your treatment goes well. Don't give up.

Sending you big telepathic hugs,

Lexi. :flower:

Chrissy
January 17th, 2010, 05:22 AM
I'm so sorry, kdaniels. :grouphug: There are other LHCers who have fought cancer and gone through this as well, hopefully some of them will stop by. I wish you all the best.

This is what I was going to say also. You are in my prayers. Please if you want and feel comfortable come here for moral support. I have not read all the replies yet but I do hope some of our members who have been through this will post on here.

Do what you can to conquer the cancer and then baby your hair as it grows back. I'm truly sorry you have to go through this. LHC is a great place for support!:grouphug:

celelu
January 17th, 2010, 08:16 AM
I have not much more to say than what was already said, but :grouphug: very much!
I heard about a youg girl in Netherlands or so who bought nine different wigs and decided to pretend she has nine different personnalities to get through her cancer, and she wrote a book about it. I'll see if I can find it back...
:puppy:

celelu
January 17th, 2010, 08:25 AM
I found it: she's Sophie van der Stap, her book is called “La fille aux neuf perruques“ in French, “Heute bin ich Blonde“ in German, I'm not quite sure if it was published in English, but I guess it was! Here is a short description (http://www.susannaleaassociates.com/livre.aspx?id=229).

seethruugirl
January 17th, 2010, 09:35 AM
I don't really have any advice but, Im just offering my support. :)

ktani
January 17th, 2010, 10:32 AM
I wish you a speedy recovery and I know you can get through this.

This information may be helpful, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-loss/CA00037.

kdaniels8811
January 18th, 2010, 04:07 AM
Friends - I am overwhelmed and in tears (happy tears!) from the huge outpouring of love, hugs and support from all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. There are many suggestions, I have lots of reading to do! And so many kind offers. I honestly did not expect this type of response. Thank you all.

I had my hair cut short twice in my life, once in my teens and once in my thirties. Hated it both times. So I have an appoinment with a wigmaker Thursday. Me, with no imagination, will have two made, one in my normal updo and one down that looks like my current hair. The doctor has stated I will lose my hair in a few more weeks and yes, I have a VERY supportive spousal equivilent and family and friends. They just don't undrestand how important my hair is to me, as well as the growing journey that up until now has been so successful.

I will wait until a considerable amount falls out before I consider shaving. Short haircuts do not do anything for me, so I guess I will be wearing the wigs and waiting the short 16 weeks for the major chemo to be over with and for my hair to start growing again. By spring, I should be sporting a flattop!

Again, thank you for all the support. This is truly a WONDERFUL group of people and I am very proud to be a part of this community. I will let you know if any of the suggested treatments work! Karen

Monsterkitti
January 18th, 2010, 05:43 AM
Sending you hugs and wishes for a speedy recovery, so sorry you have to go through this :grouphug:

Nyghtingale
January 18th, 2010, 07:15 AM
I am so sorry your and your family are going through this. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. :grouphug:

Darkhorse1
January 18th, 2010, 09:08 AM
My heart goes out to you!! HUGS HUGS HUGS!
While everyone is different, it's really hard to know what will happen to your hair until you start your treatment.

I hope you are doing well and not ill from the treatments and we are all here to help you/support you! ((HUGS))

restourceful
January 18th, 2010, 09:52 AM
Karen, I'm just adding my support to all the others here. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you, never having experienced myself anything like what you are facing. But I'm sure your journey through this will be an inspiration to us all, your friends here, wishing you ease and speedy recovery as you kick cancer's tail! :boxer:
Sending big :grouphug: your way.

MandyBeth
January 18th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Your local American Cancer Society should either have a pretty selection of scarfs and hats and the like - plus they have a catalog with lots of beautiful hats and scarfs and wigs.

The BEST part of the ACS selection - they'd been tried and tested out before. They were soft and comfortable with no irritating seams on skin that's already crabby from the chemo.

Plus, they have some of the nicer wigs for reasonable pricing. That way you can get several options. They don't have a lot of long wigs, but I believe they had a few that may be APL or so.

This worthless cancer has come along - and wants you to be miserable and upset and sick. You do have to be all of those along the way but remember, YOU are in charge. Decide that this cancer may be horrid, evil and nasty - but it does not mean it will win. The cancer wants to try every low down, mean, awful trick to make you miserable. Please don't let the cancer win. You are bigger, badder and meaner than that cancer can be. Remember that. Squish those rotten little cells and send them away and come back with the heart that gets you thru all the trials.

may1em
January 18th, 2010, 10:23 AM
:grouphug:

Your health is way more important than your hair. That said, I know what it's like to feel disfigured by a health condition (though mine were milder), and it's really hard to deal with.

Best wishes for the speediest recovery possible!

Deb!
January 18th, 2010, 10:36 AM
Mods - if this is not the right area, please feel free to move. I just started chemotherapy yesterday and the doctor is telling me I will lose all my almost waist length hair and go bald in a month or so. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions to prevent this? I have been in hysterics - both over the cancer and hair loss. I realize my life is LOTS more important than my hair but it has taken so long to get to this length.

My current routine is hendigo, shikakai and amla for washing, and oiling, both scalp and length. Catnip tea for conditioning, SMT's weekly or as I get to them. I have done lots of searches for prevention of hair loss and have not come across anything helpful so I thought I would ask here. My doctor says I can continue my current regeim of hair care, for as long as I have hair, of course.

Yes, I know about wigs and all that but I want MY HAIR. Any thoughts/suggestions at all? The heavy duty chemo will "only" be four months, then I can start the growing process again. Which will really suck! It will take years to get back to this length again.

This group is always so supportive and full of helpful suggestions so I am hoping someone has some kind of idea. Thanks in advance and I will check in once in a while.

I've had two separate rounds of chemo treatments, about 8 years apart.

If you follow true to form, you will be totally bald by the end of week three BUT living far outweighs being bald!

Knowing what to expect, after my second diagnosis, I went to my local barber and asked for a buzzcut. Having very short hair lessens the "shock" of seeing it fall out!

I never wore a wig, chosing to be creative with scarfs or knit caps. When home, I frequently wore nothing on my head(unless I was cold).
When my hair started to grow in, I chucked the head "gear" and focused on fabulous makeup and dangly earrings.

Chemo treatments can have very different effects on ones hair. You may be one of the lucky ones whose hair actually grows in at a much faster rate than usual!

funkateer
January 18th, 2010, 10:54 AM
Hey KDaniels,

Just a few suggestions from some online sources I gathered. Hope they help.

- Knitted Chemo hair caps/hats. It helps keep the head cool. They are also very feminine and stylish. Check out headhuggers.org.

- Getting a hair cut. Cutting off a few inches will help hair looking fuller and thicker.

- Use a brush with soft bristles.

- Mild shampoos

- Satin pillow cases

- Maitake (mushroom) extract and especially the ĎD-Fractioní line. It boosts the immune system and also has some anti-tumor properties especially in certain cancers like breast, prostate, etc. The best one Iíve seen so far is by Maitake Products out of NJ. Their website is www.maitake.com and have been doing since since 1991 and their products are used in several clinical trials.

:blossom:

cuddledumplin
January 18th, 2010, 11:37 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this. I don't have any suggestions, but I know how stressful it must be because I've had two beautiful aunties lose their hair to chemo for breast cancer. I'm glad that some people have suggestions; however, all I can do is wish you well and offer to keep you in my thoughts/ prayers. :grouphug:

Beesweet
January 24th, 2010, 07:45 PM
Kick it's bootie, girl! I am praying for you. My friends who had chemo had hair that grew back wonderfully! Really nice hair that grew fast. Just wait it out. You'll get it back.
Sorry you have to go through this.

darkwaves
January 24th, 2010, 08:38 PM
Big hugs!

I've been through chemo for breast cancer, but my treatments were very long (theoretically a year!) and experimental (through a study at a medical school), and theoretically mild because they were testing more spread out cycles of treatment.

I didn't lose my hair, but found that treatment too intense for 13 cycles, so I wish I'd been on a stronger, shorter cycle.

Anyway, I agree with those who suggest getting a hair cut first.

As a suggestion -- have fun with the weirdness of no hair. A friend of mine recently went through this and was instantly recognizable everywhere with her bright pink/scarlet wig! She enjoyed being different and mocking the accepted attitudes towards this disease and treatments.

And more hugs for all the rest of it -- chemo can be exhausting. Please accept help whenever it's offered, however small the gesture.

And believe in yourself. You have the right to be tired, cranky, annoyed, tired, frustrated, tired, stunned, depressed, tired, cranky and annoyed... It's all part of the process and it will help your healing if you are honest with yourself and push for the answers you need. That said, you may meet lots of "happy-thinkers" along the way who cheer for repression, denial and lots of happy thoughts. But questioning always worked best for me!

VenusHalley
January 25th, 2010, 01:58 AM
If I knew I were going to have to lose my hair, I think I'd have to take the opportunity to turn it into something positive to keep my sanity. I have ALWAYS wanted blue hair, but of course long-term its not a good option as the upkeep is insane and it doesn't look good on me. Why not do something crazy with your hair that you wouldn't have done otherwise? I'm thinking rainbow streaks ;) If you have ever seen Sex and the City, Samantha had breast cancer and lost alot of pride when she lost her hair. So she got a hot pink wig a la lil' kim and tried to be upbeat. Maybe something like that could help you keep a positive view while you go through this.

That was what came into my mind first (this episode was just aired in my country). Even if losing your hair is terrible, don't let it damage YOU. The most important thing for you is to get healthy. To stay sane, do whatever will help to keep sane...

Getting few of cute/crazy/nice whatever is your preference wigs (you can get really nice wigs quite cheap nowadays... and why not try a new style? You can get a wig in style of some celebrity you admire...) and scarfs and integrate them into your personal style.

Gemma
January 25th, 2010, 04:50 AM
I just want to validate what you're feeling. Losing all your beautiful hair is, of course, scary and upsetting, and it doesn't mean you're also not worried about your health, or not putting your health first.

I say this with utter sincerity: bald is beautiful. Yes, you are attached to the lovely hair you have cultivated, and you can cultivate such locks again. If you do lose your hair, everyone here will be happy to join you on your journey to re-grow, and we'll all keep rooting for you to kick cancer's butt and be healthy! :flower:

JamieLeigh
January 25th, 2010, 09:00 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you will be undergoing chemotherapy. These are the posts that make me sad that I can't be on this site as much as I used to. :( I wish you all the best. :flower:

kdaniels8811
January 25th, 2010, 09:45 AM
So - I called the local wig shop that supplies chemo patients with wigs and such and asked about a wig to replicate my hair (barely waist length). The first place reacted with shock and said "no one has hair that long!" Is it a religious requirement that you wear your hair that long??? Why would ANYONE want hair that long? This is a wig shop!

I was a little flabergasted at the response. I found a BUNCH of places on e-bay that sell wigs 30" and longer but am trying to support my local business people. I guess I read about discrimation against long hair is true! I did find a wig shop that will work with me and research long wigs, I see them in a couple days.

I laughed at the suggestions of dying my hair pink or blue, I am 50 plus so will probably not be doing that, if I were younger I would certainly consider it! The primary focus is to get and stay well. Everyones good wishes are certainly appreciated.

Smokering
January 25th, 2010, 09:41 PM
Wow, weird comments from the wig people! I've seen some really long ones online though, so it shouldn't be hard to find one from someone.

If pink or blue is too exotic, would you consider hennaing or henndigoing just for fun? A crazy perm? Layers? Anything you've admired on other people's hair but not dared to do?

I'm sorry you're going through this - best of luck for a speedy recovery!

Ooh, also? I think this (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39292747&ref=sr_list_6&&ga_search_query=chemo+hat&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title) is a cute as a button.

ericthegreat
January 25th, 2010, 09:57 PM
So - I called the local wig shop that supplies chemo patients with wigs and such and asked about a wig to replicate my hair (barely waist length). The first place reacted with shock and said "no one has hair that long!" Is it a religious requirement that you wear your hair that long??? Why would ANYONE want hair that long? This is a wig shop!

I was a little flabergasted at the response. I found a BUNCH of places on e-bay that sell wigs 30" and longer but am trying to support my local business people. I guess I read about discrimation against long hair is true! I did find a wig shop that will work with me and research long wigs, I see them in a couple days.

I laughed at the suggestions of dying my hair pink or blue, I am 50 plus so will probably not be doing that, if I were younger I would certainly consider it! The primary focus is to get and stay well. Everyones good wishes are certainly appreciated.

I'm so glad that you were able to find a wig shop that is willing to work with you in creating or finding a wig with the actual length that you really desire. :flower:

And I'm shocked that the first wig shop you went to reacted in such a rediculous way! Surely they must know that plenty of girls and women undergoing chemo want very long hair wigs, I'm really shocked that they wouldn't think to accommodate these kinds of potential customers.

kdaniels8811
January 26th, 2010, 03:16 AM
Eric - I was going to ask you if you knew of a reputable on-line shop as there are many shops but with no returns, I am hesitant to purchase if I cannot see/feel it first. Thanks for your reply and take care. I am not giving up that ficcare, yet, my hair WILL grow back. Karen

MsBubbles
January 26th, 2010, 06:53 AM
So - I called the local wig shop that supplies chemo patients with wigs and such and asked about a wig to replicate my hair (barely waist length). The first place reacted with shock and said "no one has hair that long!" Is it a religious requirement that you wear your hair that long??? Why would ANYONE want hair that long? This is a wig shop!


That is shocking. How inappropriate to be so contentious with a customer! Who are they?! Just let me go over there...:angry::argue::boxer:

rags
January 26th, 2010, 07:00 AM
So - I called the local wig shop that supplies chemo patients with wigs and such and asked about a wig to replicate my hair (barely waist length). The first place reacted with shock and said "no one has hair that long!" Is it a religious requirement that you wear your hair that long??? Why would ANYONE want hair that long? This is a wig shop!

I was a little flabergasted at the response. I found a BUNCH of places on e-bay that sell wigs 30" and longer but am trying to support my local business people. I guess I read about discrimation against long hair is true! I did find a wig shop that will work with me and research long wigs, I see them in a couple days.

I laughed at the suggestions of dying my hair pink or blue, I am 50 plus so will probably not be doing that, if I were younger I would certainly consider it! The primary focus is to get and stay well. Everyones good wishes are certainly appreciated.

I too am flabbergasted by that suggestion! I got my BSL+ wig at a local wig shop (when I lost about half my hair and was afraid the other half was going to go too!). And Sally's told me they could special order longer wigs. So I don't know what their problem is?? :grouphug:

Messyhair
January 26th, 2010, 09:02 AM
That's just silly that the doctor said you'd lose all your hair... Not everyone loses their hair from chemotherapy! And I would be worried about a chemo regime that's supposed to make you keep your hair but take longer. That means it's killing the cancer more slowly, which is giving it time to spread. Ugh!

Sorry for the rant, but it's the pharmacist in me. :o I don't like it when doctors give incorrect info like that.

ericthegreat
January 26th, 2010, 09:12 AM
Eric - I was going to ask you if you knew of a reputable on-line shop as there are many shops but with no returns, I am hesitant to purchase if I cannot see/feel it first. Thanks for your reply and take care. I am not giving up that ficcare, yet, my hair WILL grow back. Karen

Kdaniels as you know because of sanitary reasons, they can't allow you to physically put on a wig for an extended period of time and then sell it back to another customer if you don't like and plan on returning it. They are simply following regulations. They simply can't do wig exchanges because regulations state that allowing this can potentially spread lice or any other kind of scalp diseases or fungi. Its a good policy........they are protecting you as well. :flower:

I actually wouldn't order a wig online by myself if I were you, if you do that you won't be able try it on beforehand, you have to pay for it, and you won't be able to exchange it if you don't like it.

You have already chosen a good wig shop, stick with them and work with them in ordering or creating the exact hair length that you want. Or if there are any Sally's Beauty Supplys near your area, they too can accommodate you. I wish you all the best, beat this cancer! :grouphug: