scared of chemo

hulagirlz
hulagirlz Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I never thought I was scared of losing my hair untill today ! I kept thinking that won,t happen to me ! I was diagnoseed with BC in Feb & have had surgery . My doc said I would,nt have to have any further treatment after the surgery . But now they are saying Chemo ! I feel good now ,although a bit uncomfortable from the expander . This cancer stuff is a head trip !
My honey took me shopping for 3 days to cheer me up...I love shopping ,we saw a lady, a waitress with a head scarf ,no hair & all I could think is she has cancer! I don,t mean to seem insensitive , but this scares me . How do you get through it ? Sometimes I just sit down at the kitchen table or bathroom floor & cry & cry.
I never did that before , I don,t want to be this person who cries at all these wierd times.
Friends say Im strong but sometime I sure don,t feel it & I don,t think Im handling this very well .

Comments

  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769
    ? hair loss
    Not every kind of chemo makes us lose our hair.
    I lost mine after 2 treatments of A/C. If you are on a chemo drug that may cause hair loss first get your hair cut short before you start your treatments and then when it starts to come out sometimes it is just thinning but sometime it comes out in clumps and if it does go and get a buzz cut or shave. Wear hats, scarves or wigs or nothing at all--bald is beautiful at times.

    Just remember there are people on this site who have gone or going through the same emotions that you are and are hear to listen and help you through this journey.

    Also remember everyone reacts differently to chemo--some get sick and some do not--get anti-nausea pills and take them as directed--they do help. Eat small meals. Use plastic silverware--helps if and when you get a metallic taste in your mouth. If and when your hair falls out and you get poked from the little hairs that are falling out use a lint brush that has tape type stuff and roll it on your head--gets rid of those pokey little hairs. If you get mouth sores rinse several times a day with 1 tsp of baking soda and warm water--balances the ph in your mouth.

    Ask plenty of questions and write down answers--bring someone with you to listen to all the answers because it is mind boggling and you may forget what was said.

    Just remember--everyone reacts differently--none of the above things may happen when you are going through treatment but always remember we are here for you.

    Nice to meet you.
    Hugs,
    Margo
  • TrishyG
    TrishyG Member Posts: 40
    I am so sorry that you are
    I am so sorry that you are afraid of losing your hair. I was diagnoised with BC in Sept, and received 6 cycles of chemo before I had surgery. My last chemo was in March. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I pretty much had 3 days of feeling pretty lousy. Losing your hair sucks but I tried to make it fun. My sister in law and I went wig shopping together and I bought 5 incredible wigs. I made it a fashion statement. It's ok to sit and cry. This is not an easy disease. Your whole worldview has changed in an instance. You feel what you feel when you feel it. There is no right way or wrong way to handle it.
  • tasha_111
    tasha_111 Member Posts: 2,072
    TrishyG said:

    I am so sorry that you are
    I am so sorry that you are afraid of losing your hair. I was diagnoised with BC in Sept, and received 6 cycles of chemo before I had surgery. My last chemo was in March. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I pretty much had 3 days of feeling pretty lousy. Losing your hair sucks but I tried to make it fun. My sister in law and I went wig shopping together and I bought 5 incredible wigs. I made it a fashion statement. It's ok to sit and cry. This is not an easy disease. Your whole worldview has changed in an instance. You feel what you feel when you feel it. There is no right way or wrong way to handle it.

    Same here
    The initial diagnosis didn't bring me to my knees, but the word Chemo did. I nearly didn't do it, I was in such turmoil that i really only made my mind up to go through with it on the morning of the first treatment. It's so normal to be scared witless by this mountain that has suddenly appeared in front of you. Losing hair is very upsetting, especially to those of us who felt it was a big part of our identity (like me). But Like Trishy said, you can have so much fun with wigs and hats and scarves. I got a really long blonde jobbie off ebay ( I looked like Kiss without the Make-up LOL) But I plaited it, just one straight plait down the back and nobody realised it was a wig..You just dont get wigs in a plait! Even the cancer drivers and radiologists thought it was great I hadn't lost my hair...
    Its also quite normal for everyone to think you are "So Strong" when iside you are a quivering wreck.

    Hugs to you Jxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Hi Hulagirlz....welcome
    I agree with everything already said here.
    I have finished surgery, chemo & rads and my hair is starting to come back now....and it's wavy! It's very cool as I have always wanted wavy hair. I'm getting it!

    I was well....bald, all through winter. One of my biggest issues was trying to keep my head and the top of my ears warm. Fortunately, I found some lovely sleep caps that I wore when at home.

    My other issue, and go ahead and laughe, because I did....whenever I would put my bald head on a pillow, it would slowly slide off! If I laid my head back in my recliner, again, it would slide down or sideways. It was a nuisance, but it WAS funny actually.

    There are so many beautiful ways to cover your head if you feel uncomfortable with it. I got scarves made for chemo pts., and by a woman who has herself, survived bc. They were so nice because once tied on the first time, they had a bit of elastic in the headband so all I had to do was slide them on/off each time. www.cjhats.com
    I also got a lovely wig, but I only wore it once and that was around the Christmas holiday.

    At home, I never wore anything, except when my head felt cold.

    Believe me, NOBODY wants to lose their hair. Most who are going through chemo do. But it never became the big deal that I thought it would.

    Hugs,

    CR
  • dyaneb123
    dyaneb123 Member Posts: 950
    CR1954 said:

    Hi Hulagirlz....welcome
    I agree with everything already said here.
    I have finished surgery, chemo & rads and my hair is starting to come back now....and it's wavy! It's very cool as I have always wanted wavy hair. I'm getting it!

    I was well....bald, all through winter. One of my biggest issues was trying to keep my head and the top of my ears warm. Fortunately, I found some lovely sleep caps that I wore when at home.

    My other issue, and go ahead and laughe, because I did....whenever I would put my bald head on a pillow, it would slowly slide off! If I laid my head back in my recliner, again, it would slide down or sideways. It was a nuisance, but it WAS funny actually.

    There are so many beautiful ways to cover your head if you feel uncomfortable with it. I got scarves made for chemo pts., and by a woman who has herself, survived bc. They were so nice because once tied on the first time, they had a bit of elastic in the headband so all I had to do was slide them on/off each time. www.cjhats.com
    I also got a lovely wig, but I only wore it once and that was around the Christmas holiday.

    At home, I never wore anything, except when my head felt cold.

    Believe me, NOBODY wants to lose their hair. Most who are going through chemo do. But it never became the big deal that I thought it would.

    Hugs,

    CR

    Hey there
    I just started

    Hey there
    I just started chemo and am waiting for my hair to start falling out, trying to get up the courage to just go ahead and buzz it....but I know what you mean about not always wanting to be a cancer poster child. Sometimes you just need to blend in anonymously, and I realized recently that when I've been in the chemo room at my clinic only maybe one out of 10 ladies
    is bald and proud. Everyone else is sitting there with a lovely head of hair.....hmmm very suspicious....good wigs I finally realized....good wigs! I have two..a red and a blond...I think I'll go for one one every color. and some fake eyebrows!
    Dee
  • ladybug22
    ladybug22 Member Posts: 646
    scared
    we are all scared .just take one day at a time cry all u need to. when i see some one with a scarf i person fighting like every thing to live. please hang in there the hair grows back.you are a very special person just ask your honey and family
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    Just want to wish you good
    Just want to wish you good luck!
  • dmc_emmy
    dmc_emmy Member Posts: 549
    It's okay to be scared...
    I finished chemo the week before Mother's Day in 2007. I had it really rough, but I am one of those who do not respond well to any kind of drug.

    Well, as the other ladies said, not all chemo causes your hair to fall out, some feel minimal nausea while others cannot control it, and some continue to work with slight discomfort while others take a leave of absence. We are all different in how we react to the drugs we are prescribed.

    When my hair started to fall out, it was easier (emotionally) to just to cut it short, then, later on, I had it shaved off and wore scarves, hats, and/or wigs. For me, an old 70's hippie with hair down to my waist, cutting my hair sent me to the salon's bathroom in tears, but now as a post-chemo survivor, I still wear my hair short and love it.

    While going through chemo, I remember getting emails from cancer survivors who cracked jokes about being bald. At the time, I couldn't see anything funny about it. Then, I decided that, since these were the cards I was dealt, I may as well make the best of it.

    I bought two very nice wigs and then a couple of cheaper ones. One of them looked like the ring style worn by monks (it was supposed to be used under a cap so you could look as though you had hair while wearing a cap). One day, my daughter had her back turned and I put on the "monk's wig" with the top of my head bald. When she turned around, she screamed. I'm sorry, I thought it was funny.

    It was at the beginning of the school year, 2007, and my hair had not fully grown back. All the staff was required to have their pictures taken and, when it was my turn, I asked the photographer if my hair looked okay. I got some sort of a noncommital answer then asked, "Or do think I should just go bald?" That time, I got a reaction from the photographer and those behind me had a good hearty laugh.

    On a more serious note, chemo is scary and what it does to your body makes you wonder if it's all worth it. This is the best medicine we know of today, and I am one of those people who hopes that it does what it's suppose to do. But, we also have choices, to have or to not have chemo, and I chose to have it so I could be there to watch my daughter become a beautiful young lady. Now, I am a 3-year survivor and my daughter is 21. It was worth it for me--it was worth it for her. Should the cancer return, I will once again consider whether it's worth it, as I compare the risks with the side effects.

    Hair is an important part of being a woman, looking good is part of who we are and ACS knows this quite well. They offer a wonderful class called, "Look Good, Feel Better," and it's an evening of playing dress-up, much like what you may have done as a child. It was the first ACS event I ever attended and it made me feel like a woman again. They had trained cosmotolgists come in, who were also cancer survivors, who showed us how to apply make-up to cover up the effects of chemo and they gave us all a free wig if we wanted one. I left there truly feeling good about myself. Believe it or not, I actually had a good time and had some good laughs, too. As a kid from the '70s, I was not much into the make-up scene, then or now, and I didn't even know what to do with most of the make-up I was given in my little goodie bag.

    I think part of accepting the fact that we have cancer, is accepting that we have to weigh the risks with the effects of the drugs we are given. I have made choices, we all have made choices, and my choice my not be same as yours or anyone else's on this site. However, the one thing that we all have in common is that we have all cried. We all have felt fear and confusion, and that's okay--that's why we are here together on this site. We are here for you, we are here for ourselves.

    dmc
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    dmc_emmy said:

    It's okay to be scared...
    I finished chemo the week before Mother's Day in 2007. I had it really rough, but I am one of those who do not respond well to any kind of drug.

    Well, as the other ladies said, not all chemo causes your hair to fall out, some feel minimal nausea while others cannot control it, and some continue to work with slight discomfort while others take a leave of absence. We are all different in how we react to the drugs we are prescribed.

    When my hair started to fall out, it was easier (emotionally) to just to cut it short, then, later on, I had it shaved off and wore scarves, hats, and/or wigs. For me, an old 70's hippie with hair down to my waist, cutting my hair sent me to the salon's bathroom in tears, but now as a post-chemo survivor, I still wear my hair short and love it.

    While going through chemo, I remember getting emails from cancer survivors who cracked jokes about being bald. At the time, I couldn't see anything funny about it. Then, I decided that, since these were the cards I was dealt, I may as well make the best of it.

    I bought two very nice wigs and then a couple of cheaper ones. One of them looked like the ring style worn by monks (it was supposed to be used under a cap so you could look as though you had hair while wearing a cap). One day, my daughter had her back turned and I put on the "monk's wig" with the top of my head bald. When she turned around, she screamed. I'm sorry, I thought it was funny.

    It was at the beginning of the school year, 2007, and my hair had not fully grown back. All the staff was required to have their pictures taken and, when it was my turn, I asked the photographer if my hair looked okay. I got some sort of a noncommital answer then asked, "Or do think I should just go bald?" That time, I got a reaction from the photographer and those behind me had a good hearty laugh.

    On a more serious note, chemo is scary and what it does to your body makes you wonder if it's all worth it. This is the best medicine we know of today, and I am one of those people who hopes that it does what it's suppose to do. But, we also have choices, to have or to not have chemo, and I chose to have it so I could be there to watch my daughter become a beautiful young lady. Now, I am a 3-year survivor and my daughter is 21. It was worth it for me--it was worth it for her. Should the cancer return, I will once again consider whether it's worth it, as I compare the risks with the side effects.

    Hair is an important part of being a woman, looking good is part of who we are and ACS knows this quite well. They offer a wonderful class called, "Look Good, Feel Better," and it's an evening of playing dress-up, much like what you may have done as a child. It was the first ACS event I ever attended and it made me feel like a woman again. They had trained cosmotolgists come in, who were also cancer survivors, who showed us how to apply make-up to cover up the effects of chemo and they gave us all a free wig if we wanted one. I left there truly feeling good about myself. Believe it or not, I actually had a good time and had some good laughs, too. As a kid from the '70s, I was not much into the make-up scene, then or now, and I didn't even know what to do with most of the make-up I was given in my little goodie bag.

    I think part of accepting the fact that we have cancer, is accepting that we have to weigh the risks with the effects of the drugs we are given. I have made choices, we all have made choices, and my choice my not be same as yours or anyone else's on this site. However, the one thing that we all have in common is that we have all cried. We all have felt fear and confusion, and that's okay--that's why we are here together on this site. We are here for you, we are here for ourselves.

    dmc

    hair
    Yes, I can definitely relate to your fear of losing your hair. This was one of the hardest parts of the whole experience for me: when my hair fell out, actually it did not bother me that much because I was convinced it would grow back exactly the same way. I also coped during chemo by never looking at my hair (I had this elaborate routine where I put on the wig first and THEN looked in the mirror). The hardest part for me was when my hair grew back, it grew back thin whereas it used to be very thick. It took me a long, long time to accept that it wasn't going to be like it was before. But to give you some encouragement, I got a new hairstyle to hide the thinness and now everyone tells me I look so much younger and that my hair looks great! So the moral of the story is: you can and will adjust!

    The only other problem I had with chemo was a bad taste in my mouth which went away after the treatments are over. I had no nausea and worked the whole time.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes,

    Ohilly
  • kiley40
    kiley40 Member Posts: 17
    scared of chemo also
    I am new to this also. I have DCIS. I had the biopsys and a lumpectomy. Then lymphnodes were taken. Masectomy with a TRAM. More lymphnode removed out of the left and a port put in place. Now I'll be starting chemo at the end of this month. I am already sick and in pain because of surgeries. I hate to think of more. I just want to heal. But I know we got to kick this cancers butt.

    I read some where not to think of the chemo treatment as poisen but as mini warriors to fight cancer.
    I also heard to stay ahead of nausea with drugs.
    I think loosing my hair will be somewhat shocking but I can live with it. I have had 3 beauticans say they'd cut my hair for free. I dread the weakness and fatigue because I am already that and I have things I want to do. It gets aggravating.

    I fear lymphodema and not getting range of motion with my left arm.
    I just turned 40 in August of 08, and it was hard to believe with my first mammogram cancer would be found...
    Thanks for sharing, And I am looking forward to finding my sisters of cancer. :)
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    kiley40 said:

    scared of chemo also
    I am new to this also. I have DCIS. I had the biopsys and a lumpectomy. Then lymphnodes were taken. Masectomy with a TRAM. More lymphnode removed out of the left and a port put in place. Now I'll be starting chemo at the end of this month. I am already sick and in pain because of surgeries. I hate to think of more. I just want to heal. But I know we got to kick this cancers butt.

    I read some where not to think of the chemo treatment as poisen but as mini warriors to fight cancer.
    I also heard to stay ahead of nausea with drugs.
    I think loosing my hair will be somewhat shocking but I can live with it. I have had 3 beauticans say they'd cut my hair for free. I dread the weakness and fatigue because I am already that and I have things I want to do. It gets aggravating.

    I fear lymphodema and not getting range of motion with my left arm.
    I just turned 40 in August of 08, and it was hard to believe with my first mammogram cancer would be found...
    Thanks for sharing, And I am looking forward to finding my sisters of cancer. :)

    Kiley, welcome........
    Welcome to the board. So glad that you found us.

    I remember my first meeting with my surgeon. I told her to take my breast & take my hair....they meant nothing to me. Just leave me with my life, please. But I must say, losing the hair was a bit traumatic, even though I expected it.
    The good news is that it is now growing back and filling in and it is wavy! I have never had wavy hair before, and I think I will really like it once it gets a bit longer. It's so short yet that the waves look more like kinks, at present and I resemble the wild woman of Borneo (sorry if I have insulted any Borneo-nians (?)

    You have just been assaulted by surgeries and aren't feeling well, I know.
    Yes, make sure you take your anti-nausea meds to try and stave off any nausea. Easier to prevent it, if possible, than to try & stop it once it starts.
    And let's face it. Yes, chemo treatments are like little warriors, but it IS poison to healthy cells in our bodies also. So don't be shy about reporting any side effects to your onc, as there are many drugs they can use to counteract some of the side effects.

    You will regain range of motion, just follow instructions for exercises. It will come back.
    Lymphedema will always be a possibility, I'm afraid. I guess we will just have to continue to try dodging that bullet.

    I was rather surprised myself, when I developed bc. There is no history of it in my family...anywhere.My sister explained it away to me by saying that I have always been the family "trendsetter". Har, har, har.....

    Big hugs,

    CR
  • dyaneb123
    dyaneb123 Member Posts: 950
    kiley40 said:

    scared of chemo also
    I am new to this also. I have DCIS. I had the biopsys and a lumpectomy. Then lymphnodes were taken. Masectomy with a TRAM. More lymphnode removed out of the left and a port put in place. Now I'll be starting chemo at the end of this month. I am already sick and in pain because of surgeries. I hate to think of more. I just want to heal. But I know we got to kick this cancers butt.

    I read some where not to think of the chemo treatment as poisen but as mini warriors to fight cancer.
    I also heard to stay ahead of nausea with drugs.
    I think loosing my hair will be somewhat shocking but I can live with it. I have had 3 beauticans say they'd cut my hair for free. I dread the weakness and fatigue because I am already that and I have things I want to do. It gets aggravating.

    I fear lymphodema and not getting range of motion with my left arm.
    I just turned 40 in August of 08, and it was hard to believe with my first mammogram cancer would be found...
    Thanks for sharing, And I am looking forward to finding my sisters of cancer. :)

    Hey Kiley
    I just started

    Hey Kiley
    I just started chemo and my worst side effect has been a bit of diarea...but I think I probably did that to myself by trying to live on chocolate milk for a week! No nausea, and I'm not tired or fatigued...but my taste is messed up...blaaaah!Good luck
    Dee
  • tcteach
    tcteach Member Posts: 27
    chemo
    I start chemo this week and I am scared, too. Scared of a lot of the side effects but surprisingly, not the hair loss. I am thinking of it as a "badge of honor" that I will be in the same boat as the millions of women who have fought the same battle. I want people to look at me and be aware that this could happen to anyone.

    Bald is beautiful, hair is overrated!

    Tricia :)
  • quail
    quail Member Posts: 5
    hats of love
    Last summer shortly before I started Chemo my sisters (4) all came to visit together. We had a great time. One night they spent decorating bright colored ball caps for me, I served margaritas, and we all laughted and cried. Each of my sisters did one in her own way. After they left and my hair fell out, I woke in the morning to a rainbow of colored hats when I opened my eye. For the rest of the day I Knew I was not alone, and for the whole day I would be covered with love. I wore them everywhere, work,the gym, walking, shopping, chemo everywhere.
    I had two wigs that I hated. After my hair care back and I started not wearing the caps people would pass me in the hallway and not reconise me with hair. The hats still sit on my dresser, one day when I am ready I will put them away but no yet.
    Q
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Hi Hula,
    Losing hair is traumatic for many women. Even though you can be "prepared," there is something shocking about seeing yourself bald in the mirror. Most of us have never seen ourselves bald before, and the sight of it emphasizes that we are in treatment for cancer. A surreal thing, to be sure. I thought I was ready, but still cried when the day came. Don't be ashamed. We all cry. We are all shocked and scared. And then, we all fight and find our own peace and joy again. Chemo is scary, too. Mainly because it is something unknown and not an experience anyone ever really thinks she will have to undergo. This, too, is doable. Come and post any questions or feelings anytime. We here know what it's like to be strong on the outside and scared to death on the inside. Been there. Done that. You will be OK.

    Mimi
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
    mimivac said:

    Hi Hula,
    Losing hair is traumatic for many women. Even though you can be "prepared," there is something shocking about seeing yourself bald in the mirror. Most of us have never seen ourselves bald before, and the sight of it emphasizes that we are in treatment for cancer. A surreal thing, to be sure. I thought I was ready, but still cried when the day came. Don't be ashamed. We all cry. We are all shocked and scared. And then, we all fight and find our own peace and joy again. Chemo is scary, too. Mainly because it is something unknown and not an experience anyone ever really thinks she will have to undergo. This, too, is doable. Come and post any questions or feelings anytime. We here know what it's like to be strong on the outside and scared to death on the inside. Been there. Done that. You will be OK.

    Mimi

    Just want to wish you good
    Just want to wish you good luck Hula. I didn't have to do chemo, so, I was lucky. But, I know that you will do fine. Others on here will help you thru it. Good luck! Leeza
  • Road2008
    Road2008 Member Posts: 6
    Positive attitude conquers all
    Chemo is really not as bad as people say it is or losing your hair. I had surgery 12/18/08, that same weekend I had my head shaved. I think the worse part might be seeing your hair fall off, to prevent that from happening, I decided to shave it off. My hair was down to my waist, and it was beautiful.

    I finished my chemo May 8th, now I am going through radiation. The little hairs are beginning to show. Not sure how long it will take for my head to be covered, maybe three or more months. I refused to wear wigs, so I wear hats and scarfs.

    I never had a bad day with chemo. Just have a positive attitude and remember that it comes back.