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Hair Loss and Throat swelling

lindadelrio
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2003

Hello, first I wish to thank everyone who responded to the Coughing subject. The doctor put me on a Z-pack antibotic and it has made a big difference, but the coughing is still there but it is more barable.
I have two questions, about how long does it take for hair to fall out? The doctor told me 6 - 10 days or 2 weeks. How does this work? The other question is my throat fells swollen due to taking so many pills (4) each day. Is there anything that can help?

Just a fun note, last night my fellow co-workers/great friends (I am an eighth grade Algebra teacher) took me out to dinner and gave me a HAT party. I received some of the coolest hats and scarfs. It was alot of fun.

Linda in Del Rio, Texas

n2gr8books
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, Linda. My experiece with hair loss was that first my scalp became tender.I think after about a week or so it started to come out in little clumps. Then at about day 12-14 I had washed my hair and formed a little bird's nest on the side of the tub! That's when I knew it was just time to get the clippers out and do the buzz cut. My daughter had borrowed some from her boyfried so we had them on hand. She came into the bathroom and said "Mom, please don't cry when I do this." And I said, "Well, honey, I'm going to cry." So we both cried while she shaved my head and that was that. I wore "honies" from the cancer society catalog TLC. They were pretty comfortable and I just doctored them up with scraves. And you know it will grow back. But I understand it's pretty tough to lose your hair, not just cosmetically, but I kept thinking this is pretty serious! Thank god we have the treatments available to us...but could do without the hair loss. At least no worries about shaving your legs and underarms for a while!! Take care, Deborah

DeeNY711
Posts: 482
Joined: Apr 2003

I started "shedding" moderately 3 weeks after the first Adriamycin/Cytoxan chemotherapy session. Hair loss escalated after the second, and most of it was gone by the third. On a rational level, it is certainly not the worst thing that has happened in these past weeks and one can live quite nicely without hair. On the other hand, it is distressing. Although my hair had been cut very short in preparation, maybe it would have been wiser to do what Deborah did and shave my head once the heavy fallout began. In any case, you'll get to see you in a whole new amazing way. I find the change that has occurred astonishing. LOVE the hat party idea! You have wonderful colleagues!

marysun
Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2003

Hello Linda -- I received my first chemo (A/C) on Dec 17, 2002. My hair began to fall out 2 weeks to the day later. I lasted one week with hair everywhere -- in my food, my bed, my clothes. Shaved it off the day before the 2nd treatment. It was shocking to see myself bald. The rest of my body hair took a few weeks to finally be gone. The last to go were my eyebrows and eyelashes, but those were the first to come back and look normal.

I finished my last chemo treatment on Feb 17. The 16th was the last time I shaved my head and it was about 6 weeks later the hair began to grow back. Now, a month later, my hair is about 1/4 inch and just as soft as baby's hair. I can't tell yet if it will be curly. I hope so! I have straight as string hair and love a permanent wave. I wore my wig for awhile, but then got crocheted skully caps (you can find them at Target) and the wig is now residing in a bag somewhere. Now that it is hot here (Florida) I doubt I will wear the wig again.

I hope you can find the solution that is comfortable for you and don't worry about what other people think. If you want, you can go wig-less with just a cap and use it as advertisement. I did. Yes, I have cancer but I am a survivor! Let everybody know how brave you are!

I am into the last couple of weeks of radiation. I finish this weekend with the main radiation, and the last 10 treatments will be just the boost. The end is in sight!

bullfrog13's picture
bullfrog13
Posts: 216
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear Linda in Del Rio- BTW Im in Fort Worth - WHAT a GREAT IDEA- HAT party I LOVE IT!! I had a/c in the red bag..lol.. on May 1st 2001- was bald on mothers day which was around may 14 or there abouts. It started with just a few strands at a time about 5 days into it-then by the 10th day was coming out by the brushfulls - by 14th day was bald on top so thin on sides I looked like that wrestle guy hulk hogan - YUCKKKK - had husband shave it on mothers day. I had a wig, but being from texas and in the summer it was just to hot to wear. I found hats and banandas much more comfortable. It started growing back in really curly and grey around the beginning of November. I had hair about 1/4 inch long by Thanksgiving so I went to T-giving dinner at moms "natural" without my wig/hat/or bandana - everyone loved the look -well that is excpet me..lol.. Good luck and God Bless---
jerilyfrog13@yahoo.com
your fellow Texan

slamaj
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Linda, I had the Adrimycin/cytoxan for the first 4 cycles and my hair started to go on the 13th day. My scalp became really tender so once I got up the nerve to cut my hair off, it was shoulder length, my scalp felt so much better. I chopped it with scissors then my son buzzed it for me. It was traumatic but I have really kind of gotten used to it. At my work, I came in one morning and found that 4 of the 5 men I work with, had shaved their heads! Made me cry, made me laugh cuz a couple of them looked worse bald than I did! Now I'm done with A/C, had one Taxotere and I have peach fuzz, so soft but still can't tell what color! Good luck to you and as others told me, this too will pass and we'll be on our way to being healthy again. Julene

ksfc
Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

Like everybody else, I started losing hair at about 2 weeks. Shortly after that, my son (16 at the time) and I shaved our heads together. I wore hats and scarves - no wig. My hair was long before. It's been back since Sept. but I wear it really short and curly and like it. As far as your throat goes, you might ask the doc about thrush. I had to take antibiotics with each chemo because I'd had a staph infection, and I got thrush down my throat that was uncomfortable.
With Diflucan, it cleared up, but I needed it every time. Good luck! Diane

jamjar62's picture
jamjar62
Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Linda...I'm Karen from San Antonio. My hair started to fall out about 10 days after my first A/C. I had gone to see my surgeon for my final visit and was sitting at a red light twirling my hair around my finger when next thing I knew, the hair was REALLY around my finger. Just came off so easily. I reverently laid the chunk of hair on my passenger seat and kept glancing over at it as I drove home! This was on a Monday and by Thursday I had a big bald patch above my forehead. That night my husband buzzed me and it was such a relief. Everytime hair fell out, I felt like I was decomposing before my very eyes. Everyday, I saved the hair that fell out in the bathroom sink. Why? Don't know cuz I threw it out each night and started a new pile the next morning. My eyelashes fell out between my 3rd and 4th A/C and my eyebrows held out til I was done with my A/C. I will have my 3rd cycle of Taxotere on Thursday and I already have about 1/2 inch of hair all over my head. At first it was downy like a little chick but now it actually has some color. Unfortunately, the color seems to be gray. I'm 40 and I've been coloring my hair since I started going gray at 26. It will be interesting to see just how gray I've become. Maybe interesting isn't the right word....

God bless and good luck!
Karen

sandytrif525's picture
sandytrif525
Posts: 107
Joined: Jan 2003

Hello. Like the other ladies, Mine fell out between the 1st and 2nd AC treatment. It just came out in strands and then more strands. I was helping a friend move and I said, she will unpack these boxes and find stands of hair everywhere. After it got too bad, my husband just cut it all off. It is growing now. I finished treatments in August. Was on chemo for about a year. Good luck and God bless. sandy

chemoqueen1
Posts: 51
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Linda,

My name is Carrie. I had my 1st chemo on April 11th and exactly 2 weeks later my hair started to fall out. It was this past Saturday. In the morning everything was fine, by the afternoon it was coming out in handfulls. It is starting to get annoying there is hair everywhere. I have really thick course red hair. I have an appointment on Friday for my wig fitting and am going to have whatever is left shaved. It is going to come out anyway, I might as well get it over with. Strangely enoough I'm not too upset, I was expecting this to happen but we will see how I feel Friday. In the mean time I might as well have some fun with it. I have been going up to people and telling them they make me so mad I could pull my hair out. Then I run my fingers through my hair and hold up a handfull. I may be morbid but it does get a laugh or 2. Laughter is great medicine. Try to keep a positive attitude and remember your not alone. You may want to try drinking plenty of water to help your throat or suck on lemon candy or eat Sorbet and Ice Cream.

cbailey
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2003

Linda...Just like everyone else my scalp got tender and my hair started falling out week 2...I did not wash it or comb it though because I was bound and determined to keep it until day 18 when my husband & I were scheduled to have our portait taken for the church bulletin...The next day, I washed it in the shower...most came out...so I just cut the rest to about an inch to my scalp...Hair loss was hard for me..When I looked in the mirror I looked like a cancer patient...and wigs were uncomfortable for me...even though throughout my treatment, when I went out, I always wore them, and people were nice enough to tell me that they could not tell the difference. I have a handy suggestion for you...If you cannot buy a cotton liner for your wig, make a couple..I did..and it made wearing the wig much more comfortable...Stopped the itching...Try not to go out for too long, as it placed pressure around my hairline and it became uncomfortable after a couple of hours...around the house I just wore bandanas...They are the most comfortable. Hey! my hair is all back now and it grows like crazy...have to trim it every 3 weeks or so...I love it! I said I would never have a bad hair day again...as long as I have it! Hang in there! I know it hurts! I send a big HUG...I was on antibiotics alot throughout treatment...but they always worked, thank God. I am on them now, still working, and it is 3 years this August that I was diagnosed.

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