New to breast cancer

Srichard Member Posts: 5 Member
edited February 20 in Breast Cancer #1

I am starting treatment for my stage 1 breast cancer next week and am having a hard time accepting that I will be losing my hair. I know the most important thing is my health, but it's still hard to accept.

I am also having a lot of nervousness about the side effects. Also worried about how I will keep up with work even though everyone at work has been really great. I guess it's just the uncertainty of it all.

I am usually a really strong person, but this has really taken me back a bit and I'm really scared.

I know I will get through this and so many others have it so much worse, still hard to accept.

Just nice to get my feelings out.


  • CarrieF4
    CarrieF4 Member Posts: 8 Member

    It is totally understandable to be scared. We all are. I am also stage 1 and currently going through treatment. I just finished chemo the beginning of January and I am having surgery in two days. I will say that once my treatment started I was a little less nervous. I felt like something was being done and not just sitting waiting for it to spread. If you are worried about hair loss look into cold caps. I did not use it and I did lose my hair but people seem to have success with it.

  • Srichard
    Srichard Member Posts: 5 Member

    Yes I have read about the cold caps and plan on asking the doctor about it. I must admit I am ready to get the first treatment out of the way so I can move forward.

    Reading about other experiences really helps.

  • Fippyn
    Fippyn Member Posts: 2 Member

    I feel the same way Carrie! I'm 7 weeks out from bilateral mastectomy (ATM gene mutation). My lymph nodes were positive so I'm starting TC chemo on Thursday. My sister went through the same thing and was allergic to taxol so had to go on adriamycin. I hope I don't have the same issues. Fingers crossed. I bought lots of caps to get me through the hair loss period - which is way longer than I had hoped. My hair stylist is giving me a buzz cut on Feb. 18 before my long hair starts falling out in clumps. That would be horrible. Best of luck with your treatment! Please know you aren't in this alone. We're sisters in this journey and we'll make it through. Hugs!!!

  • Srichard
    Srichard Member Posts: 5 Member

    So I had my first treatment today and for right now all is good. Not sure how long that will last, but I am really glad to get the first one behind me. Unfortunately I was told I would have needed to start the cold cap on my first visit which I did not have and was not about to push back my appt.

    I am going to have my husband cut my hair into a buzz cut this weekend as well. I hate the thought of it, but might as well get it over with.

    Best of luck to you as well Fippyn. You are right, we are all sisters in this fight and will make it through.

    Prayers and hugs to you all 🌹

  • GHGH
    GHGH Member Posts: 1 *

    Very same thing with me. The hair loss was so upsetting, which I would think is pretty normal for women. Have tissues handy this weekend when you cut it. This will be very emotional for you and for your husband. Mine cried along with me. And that's okay. Two things....1) tears cleanse the eyes and the heart, and 2) the caps are great and easy to find online. I would also consider getting a cute wig in case you have to attend some function(s) where you don't want to wear a cap (I had just started a new job in a new state). Hint, go to a good, reputable wig shoppe because a good fit is so necessary. And lastly, you'll be surprised at how quickly your hair grows back after your last cycle. Eyes on the finish line! You've got this!

    Prayers & hugs!

  • CarrieF4
    CarrieF4 Member Posts: 8 Member

    Hopefully you don’t have the same issues with Taxol. Good luck with everything. Sisterhood

    . 😊

  • CarrieF4
    CarrieF4 Member Posts: 8 Member

    I’m glad you got started on treatment. Hopefully you will feel less anxious about the whole process. I ordered some baseball caps with hair on Amazon. They were cheap like $25. They worked well for a while but I ended up breaking down and buying an expensive wig. Ask you insurance if they cover cranial prosthesis and you can get get reimbursed from insurance. Mine didn’t cover it but they said most do. Good luck with everything and feel free to contact and chat. Carrie

  • angelas01
    angelas01 Member Posts: 6 Member

    Hi, I, too, was scared of losing my hair. I lost my hair around the third treatment of chemo. It was devasting, but I thought of life, my health, and overcoming side-effects. I ordered a wig and caps before losing all my hair which helped tremendously. It is hard to accept, but the positive outweighs the negative of losing my hair. I still have two treatments before surgery and radiation. Thank you for expressing yourself. Lots and Hugs and Prayers, my survivor sister. We Got This!!

  • Srichard
    Srichard Member Posts: 5 Member

    Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and wisdom, it helps so much to share with others going through this.

    It's tough, but WE WILL get through this 💪🌹

  • kpezold
    kpezold Member Posts: 3 Member

    My surgery was in May 2022 and Chemo from June-August. I was very stressed about losing my hair too. Unfortunately, I was not a candidate to have it shaved because I developed some kind of reaction resulting in red splotches all over my head (over 100 of them). I’m still wearing turbans and scarves, although my hair started to grow back finally. It’s completely gray, which is a real shock to me. I had medium brown hair before, but I had been coloring it for years. I am really struggling coloring my hair because of the chemicals (and the shock factor from everyone, especially my students, if I leave it gray). After chemo, I feel like my body has had enough chemicals. I have not really found a support group, so this discussion board is a nice discovery.

  • Patty_BC2new_her2_AK
    Patty_BC2new_her2_AK Member Posts: 2 Member

    I'm just starting my first round of treatment for a second BC. I had a stage II over 21 yrs ago, same breast. This one is considered a new cancer. They're both invasive ductal carcinoma, but this one is HR-/Her2+; exactly the opposite of the first one those years back. One thing the 2 treatments have in common is the use of Taxol which causes hair loss. It was very emotional to lose my hair at 47, my hair was long and thick. I did as suggested and had it cut shorter before the nadir, about 3 weeks after the first chemo infusion. It was less traumatic than to have my long hair break off everywhere. It felt very weird when it started, the hair poked my scalp. I must have shaved my head, but I don't recall it. So please know that as time passes the intense emotions from these experiences do dull. My hair grew back curly at first then wavy and thick as before.👍️

    In 2001 I was able to get a free wig from the ACS wig exchange in our state's largest city which is about 4 hours from my home. It may be available to you in your area. Not available here now sadly, but I found great resources on the ACS website. Click the tab at the top "Programs and Services". Enter wig in the search engine and there are several sources there for purchasing new, getting one from an exchange, and applying for a no cost cap w/real hair or purchasing it. I also found 2 online websites with discounts on brand name wigs - and; 30 day return and no restocking fees. There are no wig shops where I live and free shipping from those online stores are for the contiguous states only, so not for me. Amazon has reasonably priced caps and hats, just check that the items are eligible for return.

    I looked into cooling caps, but no infusion centers offer them here. Do some research before you decide to buy the inexpensive ones.

    I was in disbelief that this was happening again. But, by recalling what I went through before and other difficult things I have been through in my life I realized that "I can do hard things." It's my mantra now. It's helped me accept what is and find ways to reduce stress. My priorities through the treatment is to make informed decisions about my treatment, seeking out ways for self-care, and asking for and receiving help from loved ones, people, and organizations that are here for we sisters. It's so great to realize that when I feel down, I can receive strength and support from others.

    Thank you for reaching out and thanks to our other sisters who are sharing experiences and support.💖

    Be well,


  • Srichard
    Srichard Member Posts: 5 Member

    So sorry to hear of your of your second BC diagnosis Patty, I can only imagine how hard that was hear. I pray that you have a positive outcome.

    On Sunday I noticed the start of my hair shedding and since then now coming out in small clumps. I had already went ahead and cut it short and tonight will have my husband go ahead and give me the buzz. I knew it was coming and now that it is here, I am of course still a little depressed. All my friends tell me the important thing is my health which of course we all here know that is true, still sucks though.

    I do know this too will pass and my hair will grow back. I have actually been looking at buzz cut pics and there are really some beautiful styles out there for when it starts to grow back.

    I go for my 2nd treatment next week, then 2 more after that then radiation. A long road ahead, but I am bound and determined to not get defeated!!

    Prayers and hugs to you all ❤️🙏