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Shaving head to support family member with cancer?

Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2012

So I have a question... My mom started chemo and radiation today and they said she would lose quite a bit of her in the next 10-14 days. They recommended her to go ahead and completely shave her head. She's really upset about the idea of losing her hair, even with a wig... she's just not happy with it. Soooo... I thought about shaving my head with her. Has anyone else had experience with the hair loss? Has anyone else shaved their heads to support a family member/friend?

4theloveofmysis's picture
Posts: 248
Joined: Apr 2011

My sister didnt want to shave her head, they said she would lose it only where the radiation goes. She did just lose it on one of here head, She never wanted to wear a wig, and wore scarfs. I grew my hair because I wanted to give it to her. We are redheaded so I though my hair would match her the best. But she wouldnt let me do it. I would of shaved it off and given it all to her. So now I have this really long hair, that I dont want to cut yet, because I was growing it for her....

LeslieLand's picture
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2012

My husband had a few friends who offered to do the same for him. Granted, I know it's different because he's a man, but he had a different take on it. I think he didn't want anyone to do that for him, because he didn't want the visual reminder when he had to see his friends. Have you asked her if she'd like that?

Please, please just remind her that it is not her hair that makes her a beautiful person.

cindysuetoyou's picture
Posts: 514
Joined: Dec 2009

Leslie, that's exactly how David felt too. He lost most of his hair during radiation and shaved the little bit that was left. I told him that I would be honored to shave my head to show my support but he did not want me to do that. He said it would make him feel worse to see me like that, and he didn't want to be reminded every time he saw me that he was a "cancer patient." He hated that label.

I did get a tattoo that matches his...his and mine both say, "Trusting in God." It was a big deal for me because I'm not a tattoo kind of person--I'm pretty conservative--and I hate needles. Several of our family members got the same words with different designs and David thought that was pretty cool.....

Just our experience. Whatever your mom wants is what I would do. I think your hair would grow back just fine...

Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2012

Thanks for the insight. I never thought about it possibly having a negative affect. I'll ask her and see what she thinks. I just hate the thought of her going through this and feeling alone or ugly.

@ Cindysuetoyou, matching tattoos is a neat idea. I had thought about that before, but my mom isn't a tattoo kinda person. I'm sorry to hear about your son. He's my age and I can't imagine going through hell like that. I truly feel for the both of you. You're in my thoughts.

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Please tell your mother everyone doesn't lose their hair!!
I was told the exact same thing, and I experienced no noticeable hair loss.
I have Grade III AA and had surgery, radiation (200cGy)+150mg Temodar everyday for 33 days.
I had a radiation burn on and above right eye to scalp.
There is a 3" area from radiation burn that at end of radiation lost some patch of hair, but it has already started growing back.
The Hair Loss is dependant on so many factors, where your treatment site is, what type of treatment you are getting, your own tolerance. My friend with breast cancer lost every hair on her body, but it all grew back.
The Doctors find a patient in control of hair loss "shaving head" will adjust better than one who watches side effects.
I went and got a now popular pixie-razor cut edge to minimize losing pieces of hair. I lost NONE!!
So -- there you go!! There are so many factors.
Biggest Issue- Dead OR Alive without Hair?
Put Perspective on things. Helps Immensely.
Prayers are amazing - they pulled me through.
God Bless your Mother in her treatment - just keep her eye on the End Goal - to Survive!!

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2012

Hello. I have recently been undergoing treatments and did not lose all of my hair, although I wish I would have. :) I have patches on my head where the radiation was given. It kind of shows you the reality of it everyday. I don't let it get to me, but it is a constant reminder when I look in the mirror. I just think, hey, at least I am here to see it. :) Women are so attached to their hair that I think to shave it is a big deal. We recently had a fundraiser for myself and they did a head shaving thing and there was a woman there that said if enough money was donated, she would shave her head. Low and behold, they raised over $600, and like that, her hair was gone. I feel like I'm kind of going from one thing to another, but it's all about the attitude. :) Rock that bald head, that's what I'm doing!!

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

My father inlaw had long hair which he puts in a ponytail. I have never seen him without it. When he was told I would be having chemo he went and donated his hair tp Lochs of Love, and I however didn't lose much of my hair from my treatments and I felt kind of bad. That gesture meant so much to me though. I tear up everytime I think about it. Anytime you can do something like that for a person going through cancer you should do it.

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