CSN Login
Members Online: 14

You are here

A hot mess!!!

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Hey Ladies, the 1st week after  1st chemo treatment I only was really tired for a few days.  Then I had a great week and a half.  Doing regular routine at home , running errands and enjoyed getting back to my walking routine. By Day 15 I have UTI and day later Thrush. UTI med not working after 4 days so got a new script. Thrush isnt getting a better and no worse.

Sadly the worst part of the week was my hair slowly shedding. By the end of the week, last night, it was in a dry matted mess and falling out by the clumps.Ugh , so extremely hard for me. Dam chemo. Why cant it kill the bad cells and leave your hair and dignity in tact. I'll be getting cut off this afternoon...sadly but it's a tangled mess not much I can do with it. Im trying to reassure myself that I have a pretty wig but it's not my hair. I just want to look normal to my son and pretty to my husband whom says he'll love me no matter what. I wanted to show my son the wig on me b4 I had to cut it but now he'll return from being away this weekend and my hair the hair he has always known his mother to have will be gone. :-( 

Any advice or hope is appreciated!

MAbound
Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 2016

Having cancer can be a very humbling experience, but because it tests us, it can also reveal things to us that we didn't know or believe about ourselves before.

One thing cancer teaches us is that we are a lot stronger than we ever knew we were. Even if we kick and scream our way through all that we have to do, on the other side you can't help but feel like "Whew! I did it!"  If you can get through this, you can do anything. It puts life's other inconveniences into proper perspective.

Secondly, you find out how much your life matters to others that you may not have realized before. They really don't put such a high priority on your looks the way you think they do; they just want to keep you and you should take strength from that to do what you have to do. It's you yourself that matters to them, not how you look.

This experience is probably also going to leave you with a better ability to find the silver lining in even unpleasant things. When things are really bad, you learn to really appreciate any little thing that helps to make it a bit better. A wig is not our own hair, it can be uncomfortable, it's not how we see our "normal" selves, but what-the-hey! It can be rather liberating to not have hair to fuss with each morning! Things like that.

I also think having cancer confers a greater degree of empathy and understanding of others troubles than we had before. When you've been there and done that, it really gets to you when you hear others struggling. Sometimes the experience you've had is just what someone else needs to hear about to help them through their rough times. It really helps to feel that what you went through mattered and has value to others.

While you may feel like you are a hot mess going through treatment, keep reminding yourself that it's not forever. You perhaps won't be the same person you were before all of this started, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Be kind to yourself as you go through this.

 

 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

MAbound, thank u as always for your replies, words of wisdom , encouragement and support. Sharing your experience and knowing you've done is so inspiring! I hope to be able to do the same some day.

I'm hoping to be stronger than I think I am. If my body stays strong it will keep my mind strong! It's amazing how much it changes u. I already look at things differently.  It's funny how the simple things mean so much and how some things that were such a big deal dont matter so much. I look forward to December for treatment to be over and pray to have NED. I can imagine my perspective will change even more.

I look forward to long work days. Being home so far for 2 months has been exhausting itself.  I like to keep my mind and  body busy

My family reassures me that it's not my looks that matter to them but I know it's going to be really hard for me. I will try to think of all the encouragement u and others have given me in my weak  moments.

If I can get my wig to make me feel good about myself I will relish in the fact of less fuss . Long hair definitely was fine consuming so hopefully this will be a welcoming blessing.

I forget to remind myself its only temporary but my husband keeps telling me that same thing and that it's just a bump in the road.

I will try my best to be kind to myself....especially with the no hair.

Thank u again

Warmly, 

Michelle 

Armywife
Posts: 279
Joined: Feb 2018

Dear girl, you have a gift with words, and I may need to print this particular comment out and prop it on my desk, because it surely says everything I've felt through this experience.  Thank you for your consistent encouragement.

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Armywife , she sure does!

Warmly, Michelle 

dgrdalton's picture
dgrdalton
Posts: 58
Joined: Jun 2017

Mabound said it so beautifully that there isn’t much to add. 

The stress reliever that worked for me was walking in the woods and praying/meditating when I felt well enough. If not then just sitting in nature. Find what works for you. Wishing you well.

 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Walking definitely is a stress reliever for me. I always walked 3 miles right after work everyday before my evening with my daily . began. I'm walk the hills still just not as long and I'm walking my same pace so that makes me happy.

Warmly ,

Michelle 

 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1521
Joined: Jun 2015

MAbound - Perfect! 

 

MAbound
Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 2016

Thanks for the compliments...you guys are so good for my ego! Just remember this the next time I have footinmouthitis! ;-)

Fridays Child
Posts: 41
Joined: Jul 2019

and that you're feeling stronger, physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I did look for the silver linings, one of which was - hey, it's summer and it's hot and I can just take my hair off if I want to! My natural hair, especially once it started going gray, wasn't at its best in the summer so I thought it was a good time to be bald if it had to happen. I was fortunate to have a wig I could put on and shake my head and it pretty much fell into place - not something I've ever been able to do with my own hair!   Another silver lining is not having to shave our legs.

You may feel a little down about it occasionally but as you get used to it it's likely to bother you less and less.

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Thanks so much Fridayschild, I'm trying to do feel strong physically and emotionally . Just hard battling these infections that with different med they arent going away and I'm suppose to have my 2nd treatment Wednesday.

Idefinitely not having to shave my legs will definitely be a silver lining for sure!!! If I can adapt to my wig it definitely will be quicker to get ready in the morning. Your lucky you were able to shake yours and put it on. I bet it looked beautiful! Mine needs a little fussing with. Pretty though

 But I may look for one with less hassle.

Thanks for your encouragement!

Warmly, Michelle 

janaes
Posts: 752
Joined: May 2016

Feeling alone,

Sorry i didnt get to this sooner. MAbound said it so elequantly. We do find the silver lining in all this. Sounds like your making it and thats great. Im glad you can keep walking. You are doing great. Im glad your coming here for continued support.

Love

Janae

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Thanks Janae, you ladies are so amazing for continued support as I go through each new phase of this process. 

Walking definently helps keep my mind at ease.

Some days are harder than others. But I'm trying to be strong and keep  positive though it can be hard.

Warmly, 

Michelle 

zsazsa1
Posts: 313
Joined: Oct 2018

What helped for me was laughing.  My husband and son both have great senses of humor, and they gently teased me through the whole process.  Incredible that we found what to laugh about during chemo, but we did.  One day, they sent the dog in wearing my wig.  He looked pretty cute in it.  

It was a huge shock to me to lose my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows.  I couldn't believe it was happening to me.  But you'll be surprised - the time you're on chemo goes by very quickly, and the hair grows back very soon after stopping treatment.

I couldn't believe that my husband could still find me attractive bald, but mother nature is a great motivator.  I admitted to him how unattractive I felt, and he teased me, saying, "Oh honey, all cats are black in the dark!"  We just found what to laugh about, during the entire process, and it helped.

Armywife
Posts: 279
Joined: Feb 2018

I wish we had a "like" button like they do on facebook, because I'd be pressing that thing hard right now if I wasn't laughing so hard about cats!

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

I was thinking the same thing Armywife about a "like" button.

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Zsazsa1,  I'm glad to hear that your sense of humor help you through your process. 

I too think loosing the eyebrows and eyelashes is going to be quite the shock to me! It was so hard getting my haircut yesterday.  It  stinks enough not feeling well and then not looking like yourself on top of it is a lot to endure for oneself and your loved ones. 

I'm hoping my chemo treatment goes by faster than I anticipate.  December seems so far away! 

Your husband sounds so sweet.

Mine keeps telling g me I will always be beautiful to him. And that this is just temporary. Of course the half full cup says how can he find me attractive if I cant.

Glad to hear that your hair grows back soon after treatment because the lady who cut my hair yesterday kinda gave me a response when I asked her that it will take a long time for it to start growing.

Warmly, 

Michelle 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

What should I use to wash the little hair I have left. Shampoo, soap, baby shampoo. 

What did u all wash your bald head with

Thanks 

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 555
Joined: Nov 2016

I used Alra mild conditioning shampoo. It's developed specifically for people undergoing chemo. It's available on Amazon. 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Ok Janaes,  that's a huge help. I'll look it up on Amazon.  Today I used my Pantene as I have some hair left on top but wasnt sure if regular shampoo would be too harsh.

Warmly,  Michelle 

jan9wils's picture
jan9wils
Posts: 56
Joined: Mar 2017

I knew, but I never understood what a great service our eyebrows and eyelashes provide. Cooking, being outside, petting the cat and dog, all changed when I didn't have mine. I wore glasses most of the time to keep my eyes from being irritated.

A friend of me told me about "Look Good, Feel Better" which is a class that is offered for women going through chemotherapy. In this class I was shown different ways to tie and wear head scarves, apply eyebrows  to look more natural, to apply other cosmetics to bring out eyes, cheekbones, etc.  All of the participants received bags filled with cosmetics, higher end ones from Bobbi Brown, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel and others. For about two hours we visited, listened to tips, played with our kits and shared our stories. I left feeling so much better.http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs/program-finder/

When I washed my scalp I used my facial cleanser about two or three times a week. The rest of the time I just let the shower water rinse my head. which actually felt good to me. I had a wig which I wore to work and if I went out to dinner and events. But I didn't really get accustomed to how I looked and how it felt wearing it. I opted to wear head scarves and hats at home and to work some days. I was teaching First Graders and they can be brutally honest. The first time I wore a head scarf instead of a wig a little girl asked me why I was wearing it. I replied, "Do you like it?" And she said, "I do like it!" and off she went. 

Jan

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Awww Jan that is so sweet about your 1st Grader. I am working in 3rd and 4th Grade this year whe. I return and yes kids are  honest so that worries me a little. 

I always wear mascara so I think when I cant it will be hard and worried I wont do well applying fake eyebrows. A local salon helped me get my wig has a class like that I  unfortunately I missed the first one because I hadn't met her yet but she is beyond sweet and gave me a private lesson. So unbelievably kind if her.she's having another one in two weeks I'm hoping to work that day but not sure how I'll be feeling and whether or not the school I work that they're going to let me work intermittently.

Warmly,  Michelle 

Fridays Child
Posts: 41
Joined: Jul 2019

Of course we are all different, but I had five low dose treatments followed by six full dose treatments, and with all that my eyelashes didn't go away until almost the very end, and they were the first to come back.  My eyebrows never completely fell out - maybe some of the hairs had begun to grow back before the last ones gave up - although there was a point when the only ones I had were white and didn't show up very well. I used eyebrow pencil but it seemed to melt away quickly.  Some ladies have talked about using brow powder so that might work better.

Look Good, Feel Better is a class put on by the American Cancer Society, so if you look on their web site or call the office near you they might be able to tell you if there's a class nearby.

Ribbons's picture
Ribbons
Posts: 73
Joined: Jan 2019

my last chemo was in Feb. my hair is a good 3” very curly, it feels like a sheep but I get compliments all the time. One lady asked me if I had a perm! I liked my smooth hairless arms. The most interesting thing was how free and easy it is to breathe with no nose hairs blocking the way! also I am riding my horse with no problems and regularly unload hay bales. The one lingering effect is my mild fibromyalgia has been stirred up and I get achy in the evenings.

 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Ribbons, I bet your curly hair is beautiful! Sheep curls are pretty!!!

Good to know smooth arms and no nose hair can be a plus.

I do hope your fibromyalgia gets better!

Enjoy riding your horses!

Warmly, Michelle

 

 

I was wondering how long after chemo did it start growing back?

janaes
Posts: 752
Joined: May 2016

I will say one of the silver linings for me was how easy it was to jist slip my wig on when i was going somewhere. I could bush my wig way before i was going somehere (really whenever i felt up to it). My wig was ready to go whenever. I didnt where it in the house so laying down didnt mess up my wig. I waa si glad for my hair to come back but It really was an ujustment to going back because i realiy enjoyed the good things about my wig.

Feelingalone74
Posts: 187
Joined: Jun 2019

Janae, that is a silver lining. Last night I brushed and styled my wig so it would be all set to put on this morning for appts and lunch with family . 

Going to enjoy the day before 2nd treatment tonorrow.

Subscribe to Comments for "A hot mess!!!"