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Losing my hair

Iluvlucy
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2019

Most of you have gone through this a long time ago, but it is my current reality.  In the long run, this will seem less catastrophic but for me this was a reason that I seriously considered delaying or refusing traditional chemo.  It may sound vain, but it totally rocked my world off kilter.  I was not blessed with beauty or a great body, but was blessed with awesome hair.  I had my hair stylist come over to my garage and shave my head to a very short length to avoid ingrown hairs.   I threw my hair outside on the lawn so the birds and bunnies can use it in their nests.  I read someone's blog about chemo hairloss and found this tip to be helpful.  After shaving your hair very short, use a lint roller twice a day to remove the loose hairs and hopefully lessen the aches and itches a bit.  I never realized that losing one's hair would be uncomfortable.   Anyhow....for any of you at the beginning of your journey, I hoe you find this tip helpful.  

 

I had 2 trips out in public and was only a bit self conscious with the stares and second glances.  

Paula

po18guy
Posts: 967
Joined: Nov 2011

For me, a consideration which did not require conscious thought. You may indeed possess great physicl beauty, but what will cancer do to that if unopposed? You've seen the photos. Your hair will grow back. Once you lose your life, that is prety much it. 

dtat67's picture
dtat67
Posts: 15
Joined: Oct 2018

it is part of the process of healing. I had long hair and when I lost mine it made me look and feel like 90 years old. I had 6 rounds of R-CHOP 21 and am now having IGRT radiation but MY BEARD AND HAIR IS COMING BACK....Yahoo! Hoping that my cancer will be gone and it will be well worth it. Hang in there it will pass faster than you think. You've got this!!!

Peace and Love,

Dave

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3155
Joined: May 2012

Dave,

Yes the eyebrows going was somehow worse than losing the hair.  The eyelashes also.  When my lashes fell out, my eyes watered severely for a period, reason unknown.  My mother-in-law told me one day, "I think blad men are handsome, a lot of stars are bald."  I told her "I'm not bald, I'm chemo-bald, a different thing. I do not look like a bald man but a man on chemo; it is a different thing."  This is even more true and hurtful for women, no doubt.

WoodlandGnome's picture
WoodlandGnome
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2019

The hair part really got me, too. Particularly losing my eyebrows! I feel it what made me look “sick,” when I was still keepin up with 90% of my life. I got married less than a year post chemo, and I had someone use a bazillion bobby pins to make it look like I just had an updo, because I didn’t want to have pictures from short-haired me. 

15 years out, it was just my “short hair phase,” and which ranks up there with my “skater hair phase“ (bowl cut, shaved back) in college. 

 

unrelated to chemo, my hair has been thinning over the past few year (thanks, dad!), and that’s been very frustrating. Lint rollers are close friends of mine bc there are long hairs everywhere. Also, a tubshroom for my shower has been saving my pipes. 

Iluvlucy
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2019

Thanks for your comments and encouragement.  Im trying to keep up with my "normalcy" and the hair is my struggle.   I fortunately am tolerating chemo (R-CHOP) well and no longer have palpable nodes in my r axilla, so it appears that treatment is working as best as i can tell.  Just need to keep my spirits up and make it through this phase.  I realize that my journey is not as complicated as most, but remains the worst thing in my life so far.  I started journaling,  doodling and writing which is helping.  Thanks again.

Paula

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3155
Joined: May 2012

Of everything I've lost, I miss my mind the most"  -- popular bumper sticker

Scubamom for two's picture
Scubamom for two
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2018

Greetings Iluvlucy,

I was sad to lose my long hair too!  I went through 6 rounds of DA-R-EPOCH, 11 IT infusions, and 2 rounds of High Dose Methotrexate for my treatments.  I started losing some hair soon after round 1, but we went and had a hair stylist cut it short before any started falling out-just so I could have some control over this.  We looked into having a wig made of my own hair or donating it, but ultimatley, I didn't follow through on either of those ideas.  I am now about 14 months out from my last treatments, in full-remission still, and my hair has grown back much curlier than before and is now shoulder length.  I had to remind myself that my hair won't stay alive and grow if I am not, so it was a very small price to pay in the bigger scheme of things. 

Your hair should grow back eventually.  My eye brows and eye lashes started visably growing back very soon after my treatments were completed.  I actually have thicker and nicer eye brows now as compared to before the treatments.  For whatever reason my eyelashes are not as long or thick as before though.  I viewed these and other inconveniences and losses as friendly fire temporary casualties in a necessary war!  I hope your treatments are successful and you reach full remission!  Hang in there and stay strong!   

Scubamom for two

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2015

Paula, 

I too lost all my hair. Twice! The first time was during R-chop and methotrexate.  It started coming back in when I finished R-chop, but I relapsed after 5 months and lost what started growing back.  That was hard! After tossing my first wig, which I hated, I bought a very nice one and had it trimmed like my natural hair.  Most people Couldn’t even tell. I also wore a lot of baseball type hats. I’m 2 1/2 years in remission from a stem cell transplant and my hair is back to normal!!  The silver lining, if there is one, is that the hair under my arms never came back! I often wonder if I ever have to go through it again whether I would just embrace my baldness. I’m not sure...

Stay strong during your treatments! You can do it! 

Sharon

Iluvlucy
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2019

For the encouragement.   I look forward to hearing "cure" but oh so want to have a new sense of "normal" that includes haircuts.  

 

Paula

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