Personal ??? -- Planning my attack // Hair Loss .. sorry to invade your privacy

VickiSam
VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Being new to our bc site .. I have so many questions .. Personal ones, so please don't hate me for these stupid questions. Just looking to my big sisters for a few answers.

Without a doubt, I will get my 2nd opinion results on Tuesday,@2:30 p.m. which will include my MRI results from today -- allergic reaction and all...he he hehe

I do know that I have DCIS, stage ? .. Her2 postive ER/PR negative .. diagnois may not change too much, however a 2nd opinion with a breast cancer specialist is what I'm after.

After my surgery .. I've elected for a double mastectomy. Radiation/Chemo there-after.
I really should be worried about this surgery .. I sound so BRAVE ...la la la la - floating on the river of denial ..

Recovery time ?

How sooner after this surgery can I start treatment ? (I am on Cobra, and have 1 year left of insurance)

How soon after treatment does one's hair start to fall out ? Do any hair start to grow during treatment ? (scraf's & hat's will be my new fall fashion statment)

All hair? Leg hair as well?

Weight gain, from the sounds of it .. right?

Will my opinionated sassy personality change ?

I HOPE I have not offened anyone.


Hugs from VickiSam

Comments

  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
    Hi Vicki. I can't answer
    Hi Vicki. I can't answer most of them because I had a lumpectomy followed by rads. Rads killed my sweat glands where I got zapped and killed the hair. So, I don't have to shave under my arm anymore and I don't sweat where I got radiation. :) I got a little pink thru it, but, nothing bad. They were impressed at how great my skin looked. And now, it is like a baby's behind. It looks great! Get lots of rest with rads. Think that is about all I can offer.

    Leeza
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    Vicki
    Hi! I know it is different fr everyone, but I had stage 3a, 6 pos. lymphs, ER and PR Neg., Her2 pos. I had chemo every 3 weeks for 6 rounds and radiation (34) Herceptin for the rest of the year. My hair got buzzed about the 3rd week after my first chemo, and now 7-8 months later is growing back, like a short boy cut. I did gain weight from the steroids and all....plus lots of milkshakes (haha) I hope your personality don't change I have gotten a little more opinionated and sassy, and you could never ever offend me.
    Lotsalove, Jackie
  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    Vicki, I had...
    2 radical masts, but at different times (1 1/2 years apart). In both cases I began chemo about 6 weeks after surgery. They want everything healed up well first.
    Recovery? I think you will begin to recover the moment you wake from surgery and realize you are one MAJOR step closer to a healthy life without ca. You will slowly, but sooner than you may think, begin to use your arms again. Most important is to see a physical therapist BEFORE you leave the hospital and follow the guidelines and exercises they recommend.
    I did not loose ALL hair, on my head or elsewhere, but it thinned remarkably (everywhere). It depends a lot on the mixture of drugs you receive. I wore an 'ice cap' during the first courses of chemo, which was miserable and did not prevent hair loss enough to be worth the trouble, so I did not wear one during the second round and the results were exactly the same as far as hair loss, but I was a lot less uncomfortable during treatment.
    I lost weight during my first courses of chemo because I was sick so much. So, dr gave me ativan to take for 3 days after each treatment when I began second round and I slept through the 'nausea time', woke starved and ate everything in sight until next treatment time. Needless to say, I gained during that time. Talk to your dr about a happy medium that will allow you to control whatever side effects you may experience without going from one extreme to the other between treatments.
    I think opinionated and sassy are 'chemo proof'. But you may have times when your physical and emotional energy need to be held in reserve for healing and processing all that is going on. So you may not 'act out' as much and may find yourself more introspective and prone to withdrawal. Which is not a bad thing in moderation. Just be aware of your mental and emotional 'continuum' and if it slides down too low and sticks there, don't hesitate to seek out some support or counseling, and talk to your dr about depression strategies if that seems appropriate.
    This isn't going to be like anything you have ever done before, but you are going to handle it with style and grace and come out the other side a woman you will be proud of (even more than you are now).
    God bless.
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Hi Vicki, I started to lose
    Hi Vicki, I started to lose my hair ~14 days after my first chemo and I did lose every single one everywhere. My weight stayed the same through chemo even though I ate junk and did little. Hard to say about your personality. I think most people end up somewhere different from what they were before. This experience does change people and you know, sometimes that's good and I guess sometimes it isn't. Probably depends on your perspective.
    All my best to you...
    jan
  • Kat11
    Kat11 Member Posts: 1,931 Member

    Hi Vicki, I started to lose
    Hi Vicki, I started to lose my hair ~14 days after my first chemo and I did lose every single one everywhere. My weight stayed the same through chemo even though I ate junk and did little. Hard to say about your personality. I think most people end up somewhere different from what they were before. This experience does change people and you know, sometimes that's good and I guess sometimes it isn't. Probably depends on your perspective.
    All my best to you...
    jan

    Hi Vicki, I lost most of my
    Hi Vicki, I lost most of my hair on day 14. I had it shaved and I still have some hair on head that needs to come out yet, it hurts a bit. I was told that when I start Taxol it will knock it all out. (everywhere) My weight has stayed the same so far. Keep in mind I have only had 4 treatments so far with 12 more to go.
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Kat11 said:

    Hi Vicki, I lost most of my
    Hi Vicki, I lost most of my hair on day 14. I had it shaved and I still have some hair on head that needs to come out yet, it hurts a bit. I was told that when I start Taxol it will knock it all out. (everywhere) My weight has stayed the same so far. Keep in mind I have only had 4 treatments so far with 12 more to go.

    My hair started coming back
    My hair started coming back in on Taxotere. I think others did too, so hopefully yours will as well.
  • butterfly343
    butterfly343 Member Posts: 39
    Hi Vicki,
    I had two

    Hi Vicki,
    I had two lumpectomys and my recovery time was about 3 weeks. The worst part for me was the drains. Very uncomfortalbe and Gross! After the drains were removed, I started my chemo(Taxol) about 3 weeks. The docs like to give you time to heal and adjust before assulting your body again. I'm still in my first week of chemo and have not had my hair fall out yet. But I didn't want to loose it to the drugs, so I had a head shaving party right before my first treatment. That is defiantly the way to go. As far as weight gain, I've lost about 1 pound a day. I really try to eat, but its hard. I am pretty small to begin with, so I have to be really careful.
    I think everyones personality changes somewhat due to the amazing fight we all are dealing with. In a good way.
    Hope this helps, and never worry, we are all here for each other!
    Julie
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member

    Hi Vicki,
    I had two

    Hi Vicki,
    I had two lumpectomys and my recovery time was about 3 weeks. The worst part for me was the drains. Very uncomfortalbe and Gross! After the drains were removed, I started my chemo(Taxol) about 3 weeks. The docs like to give you time to heal and adjust before assulting your body again. I'm still in my first week of chemo and have not had my hair fall out yet. But I didn't want to loose it to the drugs, so I had a head shaving party right before my first treatment. That is defiantly the way to go. As far as weight gain, I've lost about 1 pound a day. I really try to eat, but its hard. I am pretty small to begin with, so I have to be really careful.
    I think everyones personality changes somewhat due to the amazing fight we all are dealing with. In a good way.
    Hope this helps, and never worry, we are all here for each other!
    Julie

    I just want to wish you good
    I just want to wish you good luck Vicki.

    And, it is great to see you posting Julie! I wondered how you were doing!

    Hugs, Diane ♥
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
    zahalene said:

    Vicki, I had...
    2 radical masts, but at different times (1 1/2 years apart). In both cases I began chemo about 6 weeks after surgery. They want everything healed up well first.
    Recovery? I think you will begin to recover the moment you wake from surgery and realize you are one MAJOR step closer to a healthy life without ca. You will slowly, but sooner than you may think, begin to use your arms again. Most important is to see a physical therapist BEFORE you leave the hospital and follow the guidelines and exercises they recommend.
    I did not loose ALL hair, on my head or elsewhere, but it thinned remarkably (everywhere). It depends a lot on the mixture of drugs you receive. I wore an 'ice cap' during the first courses of chemo, which was miserable and did not prevent hair loss enough to be worth the trouble, so I did not wear one during the second round and the results were exactly the same as far as hair loss, but I was a lot less uncomfortable during treatment.
    I lost weight during my first courses of chemo because I was sick so much. So, dr gave me ativan to take for 3 days after each treatment when I began second round and I slept through the 'nausea time', woke starved and ate everything in sight until next treatment time. Needless to say, I gained during that time. Talk to your dr about a happy medium that will allow you to control whatever side effects you may experience without going from one extreme to the other between treatments.
    I think opinionated and sassy are 'chemo proof'. But you may have times when your physical and emotional energy need to be held in reserve for healing and processing all that is going on. So you may not 'act out' as much and may find yourself more introspective and prone to withdrawal. Which is not a bad thing in moderation. Just be aware of your mental and emotional 'continuum' and if it slides down too low and sticks there, don't hesitate to seek out some support or counseling, and talk to your dr about depression strategies if that seems appropriate.
    This isn't going to be like anything you have ever done before, but you are going to handle it with style and grace and come out the other side a woman you will be proud of (even more than you are now).
    God bless.

    Vicki, I didn't have to have
    Vicki, I didn't have to have chemo. But, I want to wish you good luck. And, isn't this site great? So many bc survivors with such helpful info.

    Tinker Lex♥
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    DianeBC said:

    I just want to wish you good
    I just want to wish you good luck Vicki.

    And, it is great to see you posting Julie! I wondered how you were doing!

    Hugs, Diane ♥

    Thanks everyone for sharing .. Appreciate all the information.
    Thank you all ...
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    DianeBC said:

    I just want to wish you good
    I just want to wish you good luck Vicki.

    And, it is great to see you posting Julie! I wondered how you were doing!

    Hugs, Diane ♥

    Thanks everyone for sharing .. Appreciate all the information.
    Thank you all ...
  • lolad
    lolad Member Posts: 670
    You certanly havent offended
    You certanly havent offended me, you are just asking important questions and thats what the site is for. I had a double mastectomy in june and it took about six weeks for the pain to go away. It was pretty bad for me at first, but each week got less and less. Everyone is different though. You might not have that much pain at all. I started my chemo three weeks ago and have another one tuesday. I think you wait at least four weeks to start treatment, but im not exactly sure. Ive not had any weight gain as of yet, but the steriods they gave me sure made me eat. I only take them for a couple of days after treatment though thank goodness. You will have down days and days you will do ok, but your personality shouldnt change. Stay positive, even when you feel down. Its not easy, but you can do it. Take care

    laura
  • tjhay
    tjhay Member Posts: 655
    Getting ready for the treatment attack
    First of you have not offended anyone, these are not silly questions, we have all thought of them and asked them at some point. Now I can only speak from experince so hear it goes.
    Hair loss - my chemo was every 3 weeks, sooo by my second chemo my hair was comming out by the handfuls, so I had a head shaving party, well it was just me and 2 of my girlfriends but the had a blast they gave me a mohawk and took picks some day i will actualy post them. This is the big thing, YES I lost all my hair every where. my eyelashes were the last to go and they decide to go away when I started Rads. This may sound odd but I was really happy when it was time to start the girly maintance stuff again, kind of made me feel as if I had come out on the other side. Ofcourse a month and a half later I am over that point of view but oh well.
    As far as you sassy personality, well it might change at times but that is normal. For me when I could see through my chemo fog I tended to just as onery as always if not more so. And while in the chemo fog, well my dry sense of humor kept my friends in stitches. In fact I think I still have chemo brain. Oh well guess I should use it why I still can.

    tjhay
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    tjhay said:

    Getting ready for the treatment attack
    First of you have not offended anyone, these are not silly questions, we have all thought of them and asked them at some point. Now I can only speak from experince so hear it goes.
    Hair loss - my chemo was every 3 weeks, sooo by my second chemo my hair was comming out by the handfuls, so I had a head shaving party, well it was just me and 2 of my girlfriends but the had a blast they gave me a mohawk and took picks some day i will actualy post them. This is the big thing, YES I lost all my hair every where. my eyelashes were the last to go and they decide to go away when I started Rads. This may sound odd but I was really happy when it was time to start the girly maintance stuff again, kind of made me feel as if I had come out on the other side. Ofcourse a month and a half later I am over that point of view but oh well.
    As far as you sassy personality, well it might change at times but that is normal. For me when I could see through my chemo fog I tended to just as onery as always if not more so. And while in the chemo fog, well my dry sense of humor kept my friends in stitches. In fact I think I still have chemo brain. Oh well guess I should use it why I still can.

    tjhay

    I want to wish you good luck
    I want to wish you good luck Vicki! I was lucky and didn't have to go thru chemo. I know it is very hard. But, with the help of your support system here and your family there, you will get thru it!

    ♥ Kylez ♥
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    I had a lumpectomy, and
    I had a lumpectomy, and started chemo 6 weeks after. The chemo did cause hair loss, and ANYWHERE you have hair, well, you won't! Underarms,legs, pubic, nose hair, eyelashes...POOF! gone! Hair usually starts returning as chemo ends...YAY!
    Weight gain, probably but not a given. Chemo is not like taking your dog to the vet...your personality will not alter! Well, I did get uber-cranky once or twice, but that was toward the end of treatment because chemo does make us cumulatively tired. ( exhausted, delirious!)

    We talk about trouble with our spouses, our sex lives or lack thereof, weight gain, hair loss...most anything. We are not often offended unless questions/subjects are not presented in a respectful way. All of this is part and parcel of doing the battle with the beast, and we deal with it as it happens...we were not offended by any of your questions!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥