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Another step to remind me I am a cancer survivor

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

When I had my first round of chemo/radiation I was told that it's rare for 5FU patients to lose their hair. My hair thinned, but that was it. Had surgery, and now am back on 5FU. Starting with round 1 my hair started falling out in great amounts. Round 2, more hair loss. I am nearly bald on the top and sides. I start round 3 tomorrow, and I just couldn't face another bout of hair-droppings all over the place. Today my wonderful daughter gave me a very close buzz cut. I was OK, I thought. Fortified with a glass of wine and my son-in-law's jokes, we got through it. Then came the mirror. That was tough. I have hats, scarves, etc, but I really didn't expect this feeling of loss. I feel good about being proactive and making the decision, but I am still sad...yet another decision caused by the beast and out of my control.

Thanks for listening. Vicki

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Vicki,
I'm glad you had your family around you and they were full of love for you. I bet it is a hard thing to see yourself with a buzz cut. You are a strong woman and you are beautiful!
Aloha,
Kathleen

dmdwins
Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Vicki

I was suprised to hear that most did not lose their hair during chemo. My hair was falling out in huge clumps and I decided it was easier to just get it shaved. I did not think I would be bothered by it. I was always sort of a wash and go girl-never really spent that much time on my hair. One of my best friends has a Salon (she even volunteered to shave her head too) so I was also surrounded by much love during the time- but cried all the way home. I believe for me it was the reality of it all. Its hard to deny the Cancer when you look in the mirror but as time went on I just got used to my "new" look. It is what is inside that matters and I agree with Kathleen-you are a strong, courageous, beautiful woman.

Smiles,
Dawn

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

I discovered a benefit this morning...quicker showers and I will save a fortune on my hair products.

V

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I had my hair thin a lot at times and on a few occasions I cut it rather short. I always grew back looking even better. You are right about the shower being easier and the savings on hair products (not that I used any)
-phil
I think women look great with the buzz cut, you are beautiful and living with and surviving cancer.

shoppergal
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2009

Vicki, I'm sorry that you had to go thru this with your hair. My onc told me that I would just thin, but after my second chemo, my hair started to fall out in big clumps! I felt that if it continued at that rate I would be bald. Fortunately, I have alot of hair,so it didn't all fall out. Had my hair been thinner, I definately would have lost it all. If you didn't know me you wouldn't have really noticed anything, you would just think I had thin hair. But people that knew me noticed the difference, but didn't really want to mention it to make me feel bad. My hair started to grow back even before I was finished with my chemo, just as I'm sure yours will. Try to think of it as something positive, that it's sign that you are a warrior, fighting for the most important thing, your life, and you will be the winner!! Be proud of yourself that you are doing something positive by fighting and surviving. As a hairdresser, specializing in children, I always stress to them thats it's not their hair that makes them beautiful. They would be beautiful even if they were bald, what matters is if they are beautiful inside, and if they are beautiful inside, then they are beautiful outside. From what I've read from you, you sound like you are beautiful inside, so I know that you are beautiful outside, whether you have hair or not! The important thing is that you are a survivor. Stay strong!

Wendy

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I don't know if it was oxiplaitin, 5fu or avastan, but after only two treatments of the three, my hair was coming out so bad my husband and I couldn't stand it.
Ever since I found I was going to have chemo, I knew I had a good chance of losing my hair. So my family was very behind me to shave my head, because they did too. Yes, my husband, daughter and son shaved their heads for me. I wish I knew how to post a picture and I would show you. They immediately wanted to go out and show people what they did for me. I was so proud.
My son is keeping his shaved, but I told my daughter to let her's grow out. She's shown her love, now I want her to look healthy, not like me.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Your alive, thats all that matters...material things don't seem near as important when your life is at stake.....Your family and this family want you, we don't care about the hair and neither do they..We just want you around, the hair will grow back in time...now smile as usual....... :-)

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

The hair talk makes me think of the Farrah documentary. I got the impression that some of her treatment decisions were based on her fear of losing her hair and also fear of scars so she didn't get a port. No one knows what her outcome will be or if she did different treatments how she'd be now. Personally, hair will grow back or at some point I'll be bald probably anyway. I'd rather be alive and bald than a good looking hairy corpse.
;-)

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

Yes, yesterday was bad/sad/mad. But today, the jokes are rolling in and I feel so much better. I get to go to chemo with my new 'head' and can't wait for the comments there. They did offer me a wig last time I was in, but that's not me. I'll stick with scarves and hats.

Thanks for the support! Vicki

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

You go, girl!! I'm with you when it comes to wigs. I figure, if the time comes where I'm losing my hair and feel I would be better off with it shaved off, then I'm going to be d*mn proud of it and not wear a wig. I can only imagine how, in the summer, they would be so hot and itchy. I wouldn't want to put myself through that kind of discomfort when going through treatments is uncomfortable enough.

You wear that head with pride, girl!! :)

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

JR's picture
JR
Posts: 140
Joined: May 2009

After my surgery and starting chemo, I was actually looking forward to losing my hair. I cut my hair very short anyway. I decided that any day that I didn't have to shave my face was a good day. Just my luck, my hair didn't fall out. I know that hair loss is a much larger issue for a woman than a man but remember, it will grow back. Good luck.

John

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Good to see you posting!! It was just a matter of time that we'd get to meet you ... so glad to see ya here on the boards :)

Welcome to the club, even though you have sort of been here all along ... via your lovely wife :)

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Vicki,

I lost my hair, too. I never wanted a wig and scarves felt odd. I also don't like those 'canzer hats'. I guess I just didn't want to wear anything I wouldn't have liked before canzer.

I wore baseball caps to sporting events and regular hats to other events. I wore dressy, pretty hats to church and funky, fun hats everywhere else. I have a full collection now in different colors and styles.

I went bald at home. Everyone got used to it and I loved it! My hair is coming back in now and is only about 3/4" long. Just right for swim season. I really am not as anxious as I think I should be to get normal length hair again. Life is full of surprises!

Kimby

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm going to shave it right now so you'll have some company. I'll post a pic some time soon to prove it.

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

What a sweetie you are!

Vicki

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I bet after you get used to it you will consider yourself beautiful just because you are. I know I just got my hair cut short yesterday and my daughter said we will go this short for now and take it from there. If I have to go shorter I will. I do have plenty of wigs though and I wouldn't have a problem wearing them because I used to a long time ago. Hair grows back and I bet it will be healthier and prettier than ever.

Kim

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Vicki:

Good luck with your new look. I just watched GI Jane the movie and Demi looked good with a buzz cut. I'm sure you do as well.

Mike

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...see where you're coming from...my doctor told me I wouldn't lose my hair on Folfiri, but I would have hair thinning...and I do have long, thick hair, but can see the clumps of hair coming out in the shower, and on my brush..it's honestly abit shocking and scary at first, but I been coming to accept that my hair may be gone soon as well, and won't care if I have to shave it, I feel once the time comes, I'm all for it as well, I too, like Phil, would rather be alive, I'm sure my hair will grow in just fine again, even though there may be more gray to it LOL!

Hugssss!
~Donna

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

My hair grows REALLY fast. I had it buzzed really close on Sunday and today (Tuesday) I look like a Chia Pet! It's funny, I had red hair buzzed off, but brown is growing in (not and Aveda color for sure! LOL!) But I have faith it will 'turn' red again when this chemo is done.

Thanks for all the support. I have embraced my new look and am moving forward.

vicki

Debb Hoy
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2009

When I woke up and my hair was in bed with me...that was it! I now have about 60 hats and am the proud owner of 6 totally different wigs, from short red hot red---to blond and beautiful and the best part sometimes people don't even know you are there!!!!! No hair in the summer heat---GREAT!! I love being different all the time I change with my mood. There are things we are never going to be able to control but wigs and caps oh yeah!

Debb

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...who is 14, just told me she would be scared if I shaved my hair, and upset, and I asked her why??? she said she just didn't want to see me with my head shaved, I don't mind, but it seems my child is having more of a hard time thinking of me bald, then I am...heck, my hubby said he was going to shave his head too if I did, and she got all teary-eyed and said NO! and started crying....wow, I didn't think how it would affect one of my kids. My oldest us fine with it, but what do you do when your younger kids don't want you too?? I told her there may be a time when I may have no choice, but she said, "that time isn't here yet"...what does she think I'm going to do? walk around with a few strands of hair in place with all bald spots...she started saying this last night, to my shock :(

And here I am already to get bald, but maybe I better just invest in a bunch of wigs too!

dmdwins
Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Shayenne,

Pretty much the only reason I got a wig was because of my younger daughter(then age 11). She too did not want to see me with a bald head. If she came into the room and I didn't have the wig on she would close here eyes and run out. When we talked about her reason that it was so upsetting to her it was that "I just didn't look like her mommy" She has never been one for change and in the midst of alll the other things we were going through this was just too much for her. Breaks your heart doesn't it? Eventually she was ok if I had a baseball cap or knit cap(it was winter and freezing-I wore them to bed)I never really did the scarves but they look very nice on many people. I had both my daughters help pick out some hats and look at wig styles in a catalog -they actually like being involved.
I feel for her sad little heart.

Dawn

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

My daughter is 30 and she's the one who buzzed me, but she wants my scarves and hats on all the time. I worried about the grandsons, but the 4 year old just likes to rub my fuzz! It's soothing for me too. Give your daughter space, she'll adjust. Reality is so hard on the ones around us.

Many hugs.... Vicki

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Remember: that is your Badge of Courage! Show it with pride...
plus lots of make-up and BIG earrings! >>>>>>grin>>>>>>>>>>

I actually think people are intimidated by us when we go in public with no hair. It shows what strong people we are. Don't you think? I'm rambling now.

You'll probably love it when your hair comes back in. I did. You are right, you can get ready so much faster with no hair.

Lots of good wishes and hugs coming your way

Claudia
Stage III
NED for 2 years

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

My beautiful strong girl....who needs this extra little bump....soon over and you'll be looking like Annie Lennox......coooool.
re makeup my hairdresser said even if your hair is gone make sure to brush on some eyebrows...it's that big sweep of forehead that is different.

I finished my last oxy yesterday and although thin my good old grey locks are hanging in....dang maybe mine would have grown back in red!!

all the best best Vicki
~mags~

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