CSN Login
Members Online: 10

First chemo session on Wednesday

Deb4417
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Hello all, I take my next steps down this scary journey on Wednesday. First session of chemo, start with a full dose of carboplatin, reduced strength taxol, then go back the next 2 weeks for more taxol, take one week off, then start again... wish me luck.

Been trying to get my ducks in a row, I got a hat to wear outside, some bandanas, and a couple of paisly print cap type things that also tie in the back like a scarf. These were the only things I could find to fit my head. (Head measurement one inch larger than the listed large size in the ACS boutique at my cancer center.) I will get a script for a "cranial prosthesis" when I go on Wednesday and have an honest to goodness consultation with an owner of the local wig shop.

Has anyone had any experiences with using (and I don't know the name of the product) something on your eyelashes and eyebrows so they don't fall out? It is available in the ACS boutique, but I thought I'd ask about it before I spent $39 on it.

Had my chemo port put in last week, so I guess I'm good to go.

In sisterhood,

Debbie :)

nempark
Posts: 595
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi: First chemo for me was a breeze. I think we have all heard horrible things about chemo and we are more scared that ever, I also did very well with the rest of the protocol. Make sure you rest and eat well. Go with a positive attitude and you will probably have little or no side effects. About the eyebrows and lashes, I have never heard of anything that helps that. I had bought many wigs and ended up using only one, so be careful not to spend too much on that. I also went to the dollar store and found one little knitted hat and I used that more than any other expensive one (lol) so be careful not to overdo anything. Your hair will grow back as soon as you stop the last chemo. My best hair do was when it was just growing back, every body loved it. My love may God bless you and give you the strength and endurance this journey with a positive and healthy attitude. You can do it!!!!! Hugs and my sincerest best to you and your family. June By the way. I also had berets and I used stretch head bands underneath to cover the side of my face different colors or ones that match the berets, they looked real lovely, you can also used some funky pins on the beret. You can get the stretch head bands at the pharmacy or at any hair store. Make sure that they are big enough to fit you. All for now, hope this was helpful. June

susafina
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

Debbie,
OK get ready you are a warrior now. You will get through this. Make sure you get plenty of rest and keep yourself hydrated. We will be here every step of the way with you. Just as June said chemo affects everyone differently but these days with all of the great meds you will do fine. Take the ordered antiemetics as your team prescribes.
No joke hair loss stinks. it is tough. I got a really nice wig most people did not realize that it was a wig. But get some comfortable turbans and scarves to wear too. Your head does get cold even in summer. Mine is finally growing back and it kind of funny since it is ocurly and I never had a curly head of hair in my life!!I am sending millions of positive thoughts your way that everything goes well. It will believe it!!
SUE

norma2's picture
norma2
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

{{{{great big hug}}}} I wore baseball caps for the most part. They seemed more comfortable to me. Had a knit hat for sleeping to keep my bald head from getting cold.
During the infusions, that lasted 6-7 hours, I watched and listened to tapes that were designed to relax and promote healing. They were on a TV channel at MD Anderson where I had my infusions. Part of their intergrative medicine approach. Maybe you could see about some audio tapes for relaxation. I used to imagine the chemo going through my body and healing it during my infusions.
Please let us know how you are doing....will be praying for you.

HellieC
Posts: 445
Joined: Nov 2010

I finished my carbo/taxol in January this year (albeit a slightly different protocol to the one you are receiving). Just take one day at a time. We are all different and some breeze through it with no side effects while others struggle a little more and there's no way to predict how you will be. My recipe for getting through it was plenty of rest, gentle exercise and finding something that brings laughter and joy to you, whether it's family, a good book or whatever.
The hair loss is a pain, but over time you will find the best combination of hats/scarves or wigs that make you feel most comfortable.
It is 3 months since I completed my chemo (19th Jan) and my hair is coming back now. I am going without a wig - it's very short and pale grey - a bit of a shock, but it won't be long before I can style it to something a bit more "me".
I hope your chemo goes well - welcome to this strong band of women who are kicking cancer!
Kindest wishes
Helen

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1429
Joined: Jan 2009

I have not heard of the product to keep your eyebrows and eyelashes. The American Cancer Society does have a "Look Good, Feel Good" program that teaches you make-up tips and scarf tying tips. It is a free program and you get to take home free make-up. I thought it was a very helpful program.

Good luck with your "cranial prosthesis." I find I only wear mine when I go to church or something special. Other wise I wear a baseball cap, or I like the "newsboy" caps, too. The other day I put my wig on because it was cooler and windy outside and I wanted to keep my head warm.

Glad you got your port in. It will make the lab draws and chemo sessions much nicer. Hope all goes well during and after the infusions. I think you will better after you have your first infusion and see how you do. I found the fear of the unknown was great before the first infusion. In peace and caring.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2303
Joined: Jun 2010

my chemo was for breast cancer, but hair loss is hair loss. I had Cytoxin and Taxotere. Taxotere is a "cousin" to Taxol. It's now been 7 months since my last infusion.

A good friend had chemo for endo cancer the same time I was having mine for bc. She did fine, but did have some problems with joint pain, and eating. She was happy to have it behind her, but we talked a lot (compared notes) throughout her chemo and she really did fine. We had very similar complaints. As everyone says, it's doable, and important.

I was so anxious to get my hair back, and I do have some hair, but it's very sparse and fuzzy and has a male pattern baldness look. I have some eyelashes, no eyebrows, and sparse body hair everywhere else. My friends gave me a really hard time about all the hats and scarves I bought, but I'm still wearing them (not at home) because my hair is hideous. I have an appointment April 29 to check my thyroid and for a possible dermatology referral. My personal opinion is it's from the Taxotere and it's either going to take a long time or this is as good as it's going to get for me.

Hellie, from your photo I see that you are very fair and I've been wondering what your new hair is like. I'm fair, and did have thin fine hair prior to chemo, but this is ridiculous. It doesn't even feel like hair.

My hats and scarves have become part of my outfit for the day. The newsboy and baseball type hats don't make the "I have cancer" statement like the scarves do, but I do love my scarves. Knit hats in the winter kept me warm and again, don't have the "I have cancer" look. I'm now glad I have a lot because I've been wearing them for 9 months now! I do go topless at home, but not out in public. I am definitely in the minority and I had no idea this hair thing would go on so long, but it does happen. I'm thinking of getting a wig now. I didn't during chemo because I figured it was for such a short period of time. Ha!

Some websites I "generously" supported: 4women.com; titillatingturbans.com; headcovers.com

Best wishes and hugs as you get through chemo.

Suzanne

HellieC
Posts: 445
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Suzanne
Yes - I was dark blonde shot through with grey before all this stuff kicked off and used to tint my hair a lighter shade of blonde. My new hair is very definitely grey. It is very fine (but it was like that before) but there does seem to be quite a good even coverage. the texture somehow feels very different to before - very soft and "baby" like, so I hope that it will hold a style when it's longer. I have some pictures so i will try to change the picture on my profile to the "new" me so you can see how it is coming along.
I am quite pleased that it has come back so quickly as I have found the hair loss one of the hardest things to bear. I always kept my hair shortish but just touching the shoulders, as I have a slight "dowager's hump" at the nape which made me rather self conscious and it covered it well. Now I find that I can't wear most of the tops in my wardrobe because the post chemo look is so short and severe and the hump is more obvious! I am currently buying tops with collars on ebay and wearing scarves to cover it while the new hair gets longer!
I do hope you hair starts to come through soon, as I do empathise with the frustration you must be feeling.
best wishes
Helen

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2303
Joined: Jun 2010

My husband took pictures yesterday - 7 months post chemo. I put one on my Expressions page. I've been keeping track of my hair regrowth and I don't think this is normal (or good). I was so hopeful Helen would have the same pattern because her hair looked a lot like mine prechemo (except I'd let it go gray). I, too, have a light dowanger's hump, but I never thought about using my hair to cover it. Maybe I'll get a wig that does that . . . sigh

Suzanne

HellieC
Posts: 445
Joined: Nov 2010

This hair thing is just so frustrating, isn't it? Although mine may be coming through a little denser than yours at this stage, it is devilishly slow to grow length! But with summer ahead, I just thought "to hell with it - I'm going topless"! More eye makeup, some jazzy necklaces and earrings and some bright "lippy" and off I go.
Hang on in there Suzanne - yours is coming back too and I'm told that hair and nails grow faster in summer!

Helen

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

The woman who owns a wig shop and is a cancer survivor swore that the stuff to apply to eyelashes and eyebrows would work...or at least it had for a good number of women. I did buy the stuff and used it faithfully and although my eyebrows and eyelashes lasted MUCH longer than the rest of my hair, they did eventually come out too.

Re: your chemo. You will do fine. Just ask lots of questions, take the medications for the nausea, etc. and let the nurses know about anything unusual or problematic. They have lots of experience and are eager to share it!

Best wishes as you begin this leg of the jouney!

Karen

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

Keep us posted :)

Laurie

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

Hope your first session went well ... the whole process is no longer the fearful unknown. Each person has a slightly different experience even with the same treatments, so experience will become your teacher. But we all here for you to answer questions and provide support.
Wishing you smooth sailing.
Annie

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network