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White Hair Stories:

BDS's picture
Posts: 172
Joined: Aug 2012

On May 29, 2012 I was diagnosed with RCC. Back then I weighed 194 pounds and did not have a gray hair on my head. On June 11, 2012 my left kidney was surgically removed at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.  I started taking Votrient on July 28, 2012. I now weigh 174 pounds and have Santa Claus white hair. For the most part, I have tolerated Votrient well and my last scans in October shown my tumors shrinking. Next ones are on February 12th and believe me I am all ready suffering from scan anxiety but that not what this post is about. The change in hair color and having lost weight has caused me to have some interesting experiences.

Story 1

I am in line at CVS to pick up my blood pressure medication - minding my own business. A man in the next line (Who was obviously from the southern part of the United States) shouts out loud “Man what is the story with your hair!” This man is thinking that I have lived a life of hard drinking and womanizing and that my hair has turned prematurely grey. I lean over to the man and whisper “It is a side effect of my cancer treatment!” the look of horror and embarrassment on his face was totally priceless! Now in all fairness the man waited outside the CVS until I had concluded my business. He stopped me again and wished me good luck in my cancer treatment. We talked for a bit and wished each other a Merry Christmas.

Story 2

I am taking my family to Orlando Florida for a Christmas vacation. I am in the Philadelphia International Airport. My wife and children have already gone through airport security - it’s now my turn. The TSA agent looks at my passport then calls over another TSA agent and says to the other TSA agent “Do you think this is him?” Once again, I lean over and told the TSA agents that the picture on my passport was taken before I started my cancer treatment.   

Story 3

I am now back from my Florida vacation – Had a great time (Went Scuba diving with sharks – hey it’s on my bucket list). I decide to go to the gym and workout however; I forgot my LA Fitness member ship card. So I give the counter person my phone number to look up my membership on the computer. She then tells me “there is a problem” and calls over two more LA Fitness employees one being a manager. They start asking me questions about my membership. Finally, a personal trainer comes over and says “That him” and I am then allowed to work out after a fifteen minute delay. As you might has guessed my membership photo does not look like me anymore.   


Hey you take your amusement where you can -  Life is good - BDS

Limelife50's picture
Posts: 476
Joined: Nov 2011

Hey just a thought,ever thought about shaving your head and getting a tatoo,i am just having a little fun,hope you have continued success with your treatments

alice124's picture
Posts: 898
Joined: Mar 2012

Funny stories. Gotta laugh!

Liked your idea Mike re tattoo. Maybe something like "Let me out! 25 year old trapped inside 70 year old hair."

redbeard0206's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2011

While visiting my 90 yo Grand Ma, on different occassions have been called Santa and Kenny Rogers.

After a short explaination and telling them I was just 50 yo I walk away humming You picked a fine time to leave me red hair!

Laughter is great medicine.

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 170
Joined: Jul 2012

I have a 6 year old niece who lives in another state. I don't see very often, but when I do see her, I can't get rid of her.  She is always sitting on my lap or walking underfoot.  This one particluar visit I entered the house and she happened to be running down the hallway.  She ran past me and said, "Hi!" and kept going.  I turned around and called her name. She stopped in her tracks, looked at me for a second, then yelled in her Southern accent, "You got gray hay-er! Alot of it!"  Then she ran back and hugged me.  I sat down and she jumped in my lap, as usual, and said quite matter-of-factly, "You might think I'm kidding but you really do look good."

Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2016

Ok, so my hair is coming in completely white. Im not young, it already had alot of silver running through it.  But most is still brown.  Can you dye your hair on Votrient?  Will it hold?  Right now it looks like I stopped dyeing it and over 1/4 inch is solid white, the rest brown.  Not a good look for sure.   Seems trivial to even think about it, but heck we still care how we look too.  

Other than that, I'm in 3rd month of votrient, and doing great.  Tired, sometimes feel pukey, sometimes cold chills, but nothing like some others are feeling.  I feel so bad for those who have terrible side effects. 

My best to all fellow cancer warriors

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2018

I'm not sure if you'd see this, since it was written 1 1/2 years ago, but I am having the same issue now (on Votrient) with light brown hair and white (1/4") in roots.  I had it colored once, but keeps growing in and don't want to pay money every month to keep coloring everything.  Did you treat the roots only or whole head of hair?  


Judy Johnson

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 498
Joined: Jun 2016

Hey.  Count your blessings you have hair to turn white.  I don't wear a cap only for sun protection.

a couple of years ago, I decided the heck with it and just went with the cue ball look full time.  Makes me feel better.

rhominator's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Nov 2015

Once about 1/2" of white hair had grown out I got a short hair cut and just "cut over" to the new white hair style.  Once the white whiskers showed up I shaved off my beard and grew a white one.

JoeyZ's picture
Posts: 210
Joined: Mar 2018

Great stories. My hair is now turning white. I had no gray/white hair at all, at age 64. I was proud of "good genes." Now I have almost 1/4" white coming on. Just as I'm about to begin the 3rd month on Cabo. I figure I've earned it! Bad part is the terrible thinning. Yikes. It's very thin anyway, those darned genetics again...but now it's getting really bad. Both of these things are the least of my worries! But one does think about it anyway. Guess we're all human in spite of ourselves!!

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