just wondering

rjjj
rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello friends, i will be having my last chemo treatment in a couple of weeks and i know i am overly anxious..but just wondering...about how long does it take for 1. your hair to grow back? 2.Your taste buds to return to semi-normal? 3. Your energy level to return somewhat? I realize this is different for everyone..but am very interested in what you have to say. Thank you.
God Bless
Jackie

Comments

  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    answering your questions
    Rjjj, I'll try to answer your questions, but it's probably different for different people: 1.) taste buds - I would say this only took a few weeks to return to normal for me. 2.) I have had major problems with my hair: my hair didn't start growing back AT ALL until 2 months after chemo. At first you see a lot of tiny white hairs, then it will probably come back curly or gray. Unfortunately, in my case, my formerly thick hair came back thinner on the front and top (many aromatase inhibitors will thin your hair). My solution was to go to a good hairstylist to highlight it and camouflage the thinness. I have heard (but no personal experience to tell you yet) that taking Biotin helps with the regrowth. There is also a shampoo you can buy in any store called Nizoral which is the only shampoo known to have some slight regrowth properties. 3.) energy - I never had a problem with this, contrary to others. I worked throughout chemo.

    Good luck and let me know your experience to see if it compares with mine!

    Ohilly
  • tasha_111
    tasha_111 Member Posts: 2,072
    ohilly said:

    answering your questions
    Rjjj, I'll try to answer your questions, but it's probably different for different people: 1.) taste buds - I would say this only took a few weeks to return to normal for me. 2.) I have had major problems with my hair: my hair didn't start growing back AT ALL until 2 months after chemo. At first you see a lot of tiny white hairs, then it will probably come back curly or gray. Unfortunately, in my case, my formerly thick hair came back thinner on the front and top (many aromatase inhibitors will thin your hair). My solution was to go to a good hairstylist to highlight it and camouflage the thinness. I have heard (but no personal experience to tell you yet) that taking Biotin helps with the regrowth. There is also a shampoo you can buy in any store called Nizoral which is the only shampoo known to have some slight regrowth properties. 3.) energy - I never had a problem with this, contrary to others. I worked throughout chemo.

    Good luck and let me know your experience to see if it compares with mine!

    Ohilly

    Jackie
    OK..Hair started growing straight after chemo stopped... Taste , well it's not the same now but I am on a lot of horrible taste-altering drugs (much better than when on chemo though) Energy?..Well I was completely knackered all through chemo and rads ( finished aug 08) Now I am ready to tackle anything (Within Reason) Do Hope this helps, but like Ohilly said, it's different for everyone........Huge Hugs Jxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Eil4186
    Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
    Hi Jackie, well, I never had
    Hi Jackie, well, I never had the tastbud thing, but as far as hair goes, I started getting peachfuzz during chemo, then by about 3 mos after my last treatment I had enough hair to get rid of the wig which was about half an inch. My students were shocked(I never told them about the cancer) but I had to do it because I was sweating under the wig once the hair started growing. It was straight at first but then came in very curly and stayed that way for almost 2 years(actually just till the last few months). Now it is pretty wavy and I use a flat iron to straighten it.

    As far as the energy level goes, for the first 4 treatments of AC I felt pretty yucky but they fell mostly during my summer vacation. The 4 Taxol treatments were not as bad and I taught and even went to the gym on the off weeks. I would say that within about 3-4 months after all treatment I pretty much had my energy back. It is different for everyone, and you will have to gauge your own energy levels and take it as it comes.
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    I didn't have trouble with
    I didn't have trouble with the tastebuds, and not much with energy...I kept working full-time. Hairgrowth started about 2 weeks after stopping the first round of drugs, but came out again in the second round, then took about a month after finishing the second round. It came in uneven, light, and UGLY grey color, but curly. After about 6 months it was about 2-3 inches long. I had dyed it red, then decided I didn't want the red, so when roots started showing abrownish color I cut it off. Unfortunately the curl went too. Now it's slightly wavy, light brown, and about 4 inches long. Pre-chemo hair was dark blonde and slightly wavy.

    That's my two cents worth. seof
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Jackie....
    Jackie, my taste buds pretty much returned to normal within a couple of weeks of chemo ending.
    Contrary to what many have experienced, I didn't have a lot of trouble with the A/C. But the four rounds of Abraxane just about did me in.
    I ended chemo in mid December, and my hair started coming in noticeably, about a month later. It is brush cut short right now, but has filled in pretty well, so that my scalp is covered. Trying to decide if I am brave enough yet to go out the door without scarf or hat.
    As far as energy, I have days where I feel like I could tackle the world. Then I invariably hit a wall by mid-afternoon and have to rest for awhile. So, I'm still waiting for the day when I can just get up and go...all day!
    I've been dealing with a bit of anxiety/depression for the past few weeks. But yesterday, I got my prosthesis and bras and I have to say that my self esteem has improved dramatically! I feel almost "normal" looking now. It has lifted my spirits tremendously!

    So glad that your chemo is almost over.

    Hugs to you!

    CR
  • jakeca
    jakeca Member Posts: 92
    Good for you!
    Glad your chemo is almost finished. It will be such a relief! My last chemo was Feb 10th. My taste buds just gradually improved until all of a sudden, I realized they were back to normal. Same with the energy level--not quite back to normal, but I finished my rads yesterday, so I'm hoping within a few weeks it will be. My hair is coming back in slowly--thick on the sides, thin on top and in front so far--and white. But I had mostly white hair before, so that's not a shock. I can't wait to dump the wig!
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    jakeca said:

    Good for you!
    Glad your chemo is almost finished. It will be such a relief! My last chemo was Feb 10th. My taste buds just gradually improved until all of a sudden, I realized they were back to normal. Same with the energy level--not quite back to normal, but I finished my rads yesterday, so I'm hoping within a few weeks it will be. My hair is coming back in slowly--thick on the sides, thin on top and in front so far--and white. But I had mostly white hair before, so that's not a shock. I can't wait to dump the wig!

    Thanks sisters
    I have peach fuzz standing straight up and growing..maybe i'll get an early start. Someone gave me a cute little stuffed easter duck and i told them my hair looked just like that under my wig.haha.
    I guess most of the trouble with my taste buds is that my mouth always tastes metalic and acidic foods burn my mouth and esophogus, some foods taste really salty...so i eat alot of ice-cream (hence my weight gain).
    I have very little energy, even simple things wear me down. I am working but on light duty and not near the hours i did before.
    Thanks for all your replies, I am just so anxious for this chemo to be over. As i'm sure you all were also. I admire you all and all of your strength to get through this.
    God Bless
    Jackie
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    CR1954 said:

    Jackie....
    Jackie, my taste buds pretty much returned to normal within a couple of weeks of chemo ending.
    Contrary to what many have experienced, I didn't have a lot of trouble with the A/C. But the four rounds of Abraxane just about did me in.
    I ended chemo in mid December, and my hair started coming in noticeably, about a month later. It is brush cut short right now, but has filled in pretty well, so that my scalp is covered. Trying to decide if I am brave enough yet to go out the door without scarf or hat.
    As far as energy, I have days where I feel like I could tackle the world. Then I invariably hit a wall by mid-afternoon and have to rest for awhile. So, I'm still waiting for the day when I can just get up and go...all day!
    I've been dealing with a bit of anxiety/depression for the past few weeks. But yesterday, I got my prosthesis and bras and I have to say that my self esteem has improved dramatically! I feel almost "normal" looking now. It has lifted my spirits tremendously!

    So glad that your chemo is almost over.

    Hugs to you!

    CR

    CR
    I'm so glad you are feeling better. I didn't think It would matter much whether i had a prosthesis or not, but another bc survivor gave me hers (new and still in the box) because they didn't fit her right..and low and behold they fit me perfectly...and it does make a difference with self-esteem.
    love and hugs
    jackie
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Eil4186 said:

    Hi Jackie, well, I never had
    Hi Jackie, well, I never had the tastbud thing, but as far as hair goes, I started getting peachfuzz during chemo, then by about 3 mos after my last treatment I had enough hair to get rid of the wig which was about half an inch. My students were shocked(I never told them about the cancer) but I had to do it because I was sweating under the wig once the hair started growing. It was straight at first but then came in very curly and stayed that way for almost 2 years(actually just till the last few months). Now it is pretty wavy and I use a flat iron to straighten it.

    As far as the energy level goes, for the first 4 treatments of AC I felt pretty yucky but they fell mostly during my summer vacation. The 4 Taxol treatments were not as bad and I taught and even went to the gym on the off weeks. I would say that within about 3-4 months after all treatment I pretty much had my energy back. It is different for everyone, and you will have to gauge your own energy levels and take it as it comes.

    Eil,
    Just want to say that your hair in the picture is so pretty. I hope I can ditch the wig after 3 months. I have some fuzz and am so impatient to go out au natural.
  • ritazimm
    ritazimm Member Posts: 171
    rjjj said:

    Thanks sisters
    I have peach fuzz standing straight up and growing..maybe i'll get an early start. Someone gave me a cute little stuffed easter duck and i told them my hair looked just like that under my wig.haha.
    I guess most of the trouble with my taste buds is that my mouth always tastes metalic and acidic foods burn my mouth and esophogus, some foods taste really salty...so i eat alot of ice-cream (hence my weight gain).
    I have very little energy, even simple things wear me down. I am working but on light duty and not near the hours i did before.
    Thanks for all your replies, I am just so anxious for this chemo to be over. As i'm sure you all were also. I admire you all and all of your strength to get through this.
    God Bless
    Jackie

    It gets better!
    You are at one of the most difficult times in this journey. It is so hard when you feel terrible to continue going. I guess knowing that there is just 1 more...makes it a little easier. After my third chemo session I didn't think I could make it through three more. I too was extremely fatigued, was sick of the metalic taste of everything, burning mouth and high fevers. But it was encouraging to know that it was almost over.

    I had a whole mouthful of sores until about two weeks after my final treatment. The metalic taste stayed quite bad for 3-4 weeks after my final treatment and then began to fade. Some things began to taste normal and other thing persisted but at least it was more tolerable since I had some things to eat. My taste did change through all of it though. I used to like salty things, spicy things and cheese. Now I am still much more sensative to spicy foods and they still bother my mouth, 1 year post-chemo. Now for some reason i am a sweets person. Can't get enough sweets.

    I believe that the fatigue lasted for about 2-3 weeks and then slowly improved. But, every little bit of improvement was obvious to me and lifted my spirits. It was encouraging to see every bit of the effects of the chemo wear off. Unfortunately, that last to return was the hair. I started with peach fuzz at about 2 months post-chemo but I didn't start to see any noticable growth for almost 6 months. Now at one year, my I'm ready for my first hair trim as it needs to be styled. It is a great feeling. My hair came back in the exact same texture as pre-chemo. The only difference is that it is now darker than it ever was and more grays than I had prior.

    Although you may not feel so now, you are very strong as well. As much as you would like to quit, you will see it through! Good luck with that last chemo session and on your return to health! I'll be praying for you!
    Rita
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    what comes back when
    Jackie, We really are all different. My hair did start growing back right away (eyebrows and lashes took a bit longer), but in about 3 months I had hair - curly and grey and very poodlish. I still don't have all my precancer energy and I finished rads in October. Yes, Mom, I take my vitamins! I don't remember about my tastebuds. But I like food!

    Happy Easter to you! Lynn