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All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Post-chemo Hairstyles????

Topic: Post-chemo Hairstyles????

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After — Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jan 11, 2010 02:06PM

2lkh538 wrote:

How about some pictures posts of PFC chemo hairstyles?

What in the world do you do with hair that is growing back?

I have about 2 inches of curls in the back and about 1 inch of straight hair on the top and sides. All of which wants to stick straight out:) My husband says it is sexy but I'm beginning to think he may be a little freaky... or going blind LOL

How about everyone who is growing back hair post pictures at various stages of your styles.... it would be helpful to share what has worked and any tips you might have and hairstyle suggestions... It might also be encouraging for the ones waiting on fuzz to begin

Besides that, I love to see everyones hair coming back. And it is better than all the stories I am getting from all the no-nothings who tell me "i know someone who..." I've heard some outrageous stuff and none of it is personal knowledge...

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Jan 11, 2010 02:16PM, edited Jan 11, 2010 02:17PM by suemed8749

Hi! We have a similar dx, and I am about one year ahead of you in this whole process. I had TCH from April of 2008 through July (I got a little behind schedule due to 3 surgeries - unclean margins). Anyway - the picture in my avatar was at my DD's wedding, April 11, 2009. My hair came in stick straight (as always) and very fine (also nothing new). I DID have it colored and trimmed up before the wedding.

I've never had short hair and I've kept it short - the bangs are longer than the picture, but pretty much the same. My daughter says she's had several friends who don't know me or my story tell her how cute her mom's hair is when they look at her pictures.

Good luck with your curls/straight sides. Listen to your husband!!!

Sue

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 11, 2010 02:36PM CristlC wrote:

I started chemo in Oct 08, finished chemo in Jan09 but did Herceptin until Nov09.  Some say that Herceptin slows the growth.  Who knows.  My hair came back CURLY... curls everywhere.  I am still learning what to do with it.  I really don't know how many inches there are.  Finally my bangs feel long enough to be real bangs.   One tip I have is HEADBANDS.  THey have helped me tame the curls and I can style around those a bit better.

Pathology from Bi-Lateral showed IDC (.4cm) in same breast as DCIS and nodes negative

Dx 6/25/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 11, 2010 04:24PM crusader1 wrote:

Hi,

I too never had short hair but do now. I finished my chemo last May and began to go wigless in October. It was a frustrating time for me no chemo etc but no hair and that was a constant reminder of my BC.

Well I now love my short very curly hair. I am so pleased with it. No more bad hair days just cute curls. I am going to keep it short as long as the curls stay.

Here is a photo taken New Years day.

Photobucket"

Hugs to all,

Francine

At the end of this tunnel will be sunshine! It is a sunny day!

Dx 9/12/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 09:18AM otter wrote:

I have always had stick-straight hair, and for the past, oh, 30 years or so, I've worn it in a shoulder-length or chin-length bob. Then came chemo (4 rounds of Taxotere & Cytoxan), in 2008.  I finished chemo 19 months ago. 

The first hair to grow out was, of course, that incredibly fine, colorless stuff.  By October '08 (4 months post-chemo), I had plenty of real hair.  It was extremely short, straight, and sort of a mouse-brown color.  (My pre-chemo color was medium-brown with red highlights.)  The fastest regrowth was at the nape of my neck, which is still true today.  Actually, that was the first place I could pluck out tufts of hair 2 weeks into my first round of TC.

Within a month, it had started to curl, and was picking up some of the normal color.  This is what it looked like by December '08:

I actually kind of liked it at that stage (6 months post-chemo).  It was curly, but not unruly.  I got lots of help and advice from one of my May '08 chemo sisters, who sort of specializes in curly hair.  She strongly advised all of us new curly-girls to put away our hairbrushes and blow-dryers, and style our curly hair with minimal fussing.  Pat it after a shower; finger-comb it at most; and let it air-dry.  The curls stay defined and manageable then, rather than turning to fuzz.

My hair continued to grow out curly-curly.  (Remember, it had always been stick-straight until chemo.)  By February '09, this is what I was dealing with:

Crazy-curls!  I could have played "Little Orphan Annie" at that point.  The nape of my neck was still growing like crazy, but my bangs had caught up.  I had this big, curly, flop of hair hanging down in front; and I didn't know what to do with it.  I'd heard that cutting curly bangs could create all sorts of aesthetic nightmares. 

So, I went in for my first post-chemo haircut in March '09 (9 months post-chemo). My long-time hairdresser (25 years) trimmed off the tips of the hairs, which were still that fine, colorless post-chemo stuff.  She shaped things and evened out the lop-sidedness.  Much better!  I went back for trims every 2 or 3 months, while we tried to work out a "transitional" hairstyle. (I hadn't decided if I wanted to go back to my chin-length hair, or keep it a lot shorter.)  Sorry, but I have no pics of my post-haircut look(s).

My last trim/haircut was in December '09.  All the curl is gone now; I'm back to stick-straight hair again.  My hairdresser thinks it might be even straighter than it used to be, but I think it's about the same.  The color is medium-brown, and I actually have less gray now than I had before all this mess began.  I've decided to keep it much shorter than it was pre-chemo.  It is so much easier to take care of -- no blow-dryer needed; no curling iron; no worries if I get caught in a rainstorm.  It still grows fastest at the nape of my neck, and I have to work hard to keep from looking like I have a mullet!

otter

Dx IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 09:39AM magentagirl wrote:

This is such a good posting! I am having trouble figuring out a short haircut and/or how to get beyond it. My hair came back the same-straight and brown but I don't know what to do with it. I like having it short (so easy!) but I don't like looking like I am still recovering from chemo a year and a half later. I have looked on line for short hair styles and in the books at my hair cutters but there ain't much out there. My new idea is to photograph women I see with really cool cuts. Of course, I have to figure out how to use my phone camera first. My hair looks too crappy for a photo right now-but I am looking forward to seeing more. I did not know it was possible to put a photo in a posting. That is very cool.

Dx 3/13/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 12, 2010 10:00AM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:

It was very helpful for me to know I still looked fab when my hair was buzzed off.  So will rock a variety of looks going forward, which I expect to start in 4-6 months when I am done with chemo and have serious regrowth.

Right now, I am a combination of remaining buzzed off hair plus white fuzz undergrowth.  And who knows what will happen when I do Taxol which starts in two weeks?  All of this is less important to me than knowing I can do most things during this period, and that all should be well hair-wise towards the end of the year.

I do intend to work closely with a hairdresser at one of the edgy salons in town to guide me through the phases of regrowth.  Will also color the whole mess once it is feasible to do so.

My intent is to go back to the chin length bob that is in the picture, but I could be persuaded otherwise.  We'll see.

I believe that having to explore different looks and possibilities is one of the major positives of this journey.  And plan to invest in a good hairdresser going forward.

Completed all active treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, and radiation). Now on to the rest of my life. So much to celebrate.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 10:09AM, edited Jan 12, 2010 10:10AM by Claire_in_Seattle

Dear Magenta Girl,

You need a place that is hip and modern.  They will be able to adapt your hair into something cool and great looking.  And be prepared to spend some money which I would see as an investment in your whole looks and well-being.  I was lucky to find this place prior to needing my long hair cut (which I then donated).  I even bought my two chin-length wigs there. ($27 each.)

If you don't know where to go for help, find some women with cool short hair and ask them where they go.  And look at not just a cut, but haircolor as well.  Will make a ton of difference.

The other thing I would recommend is that once you have your new cut and color, that you go for a makeover to complete the look. This should be with one of the good cosmetics lines.  It's about possibilities, even if you only buy a couple of items at the time.

Because none of us should be looking less than fab going forward.  Good luck. - Claire

Completed all active treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, and radiation). Now on to the rest of my life. So much to celebrate.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 10:19AM lbrewer wrote:

Mine is curly too.  I went back to the woman who made my wig and got extensions for a wedding.  She was able to flat iron it and it really looked good.  I am going to buy a flat iron and have her teach me!  She even drew me a diagram of where to put each extension!

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Jan 12, 2010 10:57AM Kathy16 wrote:

Can you tell me if your extensions were "glued in" or "sewn in"?  If "glued in" can you still hot iron hair? I called a couple hair salons and one quoted me $2,000.  I never even considered extensions until now - mine always was curly and thick and now has crazy weird curl on top and straighter in back and sides.  I can't make transition yet b/c of the weird top, but thought extensions might help, but can't really justify $2,000 in my budget for that.  Also, for anyone who colors or foils, how long after chemo until you colored your hair?  

I found this website a couple of weeks ago and had fun looking at super short pixie cuts (although my hair is probably too curly for these cuts).  Enjoy the site.

http://www.haircutsfashion.com/2009/10/short-platinum-blonde-hairstyles-for.html

Thanks.

1st BC May 2009 2 cm IDC, 3/17 nodes, E+, Stage II - T/C x 4 - then 2nd primary ILC found November 2009 less than 1 cm 0/16 nodes. Low oncotype and no more chemo needed, just tamoxifen.

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Jan 12, 2010 11:10AM marie317 wrote:

I think I made the mistake of "trimming" mine when it began growing out.

I probably lost about 90% of my hair.  Naturally, the stubborn grey hairs were the ones that stayed.  I actually liked the look as my hair began growing because the grey hair was a focal point on the top of my head.   It gave me a unique look.  But I had decided to trim it all to get to the same length.  Now I look like GI Jane ready to deploy.  All I've got missing are military fatigues.  I'm tempted to shave it all off except for the patch of gray towards the front and start over with it!

By the way, did anyone find a funny birth mark or port wine stain after the hair fell out? 

http://thepinkbirdie.blogspot.com

Dx 6/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 11:30AM Mai605 wrote:

Otter, I just wanted you to know I LOVE your hair in the pics, the curls are SO pretty, and the color is very pretty too!  I just got mine colored, it was the color of "pencil lead" :).  Wishing for ONE curl, but so far, no luck.  I think it's just too short to tell :).

Diane

Dx 4/8/2009, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIb, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 11:48AM cnemeth wrote:

Mine came back totally salt and pepper grey and curly.  Haven't been grey for the last 25 years . . . hmmm  Although in the back along my neckline there is dark brown.

Anyway I blow the front dry with a round brush to calm down the curls and let the back do it's thing.  Amazing how much my maintenance and expectations went down after being bald with no eyebrows and 5 eyelashes.

Have thought about coloring it again but that is so much work.  Told my DH that if I did color it and didn't like it I could always shave my head ~~ not like I haven't been bald before.

Colleen

Dx 11/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+
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Jan 12, 2010 12:05PM momand2kids wrote:

this is a great thread-because my hair is reaching the difficult point. finished in Feb 09-stopped wearing the wig in July---it grew back curly and black and gray (it was brown and straight).  I always had really thick hair and now it is a thick mass of curls that seem to be tightening up as they grow.  I have been having it colored- but not really cut- because I have no idea what it would look like---- I love that it is short- and it is very easy-but I am not sure what it will morph into!!!  I just know it won't hold this curl forever!

Dx 10/29/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 11/25/2008 Lumpectomy (Right)Chemotherapy 01/16/2009 AdriamycinRadiation Therapy 03/23/2009 ExternalHormonal Therapy 06/15/2009 Femara
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Jan 12, 2010 12:52PM Morgan513 wrote:

I thought I'd chime here!  I finished chemo in August 08.  I didn't get out of my wigs until the first week of January 09.  

When my hair was really short, I was able to get a brush through it and style it.  It looked kind of cool like I had a pixie hair cut.  But...as it grew so did the curls!  Once it got out of hand and couldn't be styled I started using a hairband.  I still use a hair band most of the time as I am letting it grow out.  The hairband kept the sides and top in place but allowed me to let the back be curly.  It is a very low maintenance way to style your hair but I love it!  

I don't know how to upload a picture in to the message or I would post it.  I think I'll change my profile picture and you can see.

Lorrie 

Dx 4/9/2008, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 01:38PM everyminute wrote:

I finished chemo mid Nov 08 - I had trims along the way (because I couldnt stand the inbetween look so my stylist would shape it and highlight it while layers were growing in).  Without the haircuts I think I would already be at a bob but I am darn close!

This is mid April....

april09

This is mid May

Photobucket

End of July....

July2509

End of Aug

Mary83009

November - one year from last chemo

one year from last chemo

find "becausemarysaysso" on facebook...Long May She Run

Dx 6/5/2008, IDC, Stage IIIa, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 03:30PM Kathy16 wrote:

Thanks for those pictures - you look adorable in every one - even the first one (which is about where I am except with crazy curls on top) - If my hair were straight I think I could make the transition earlier b/c you looked just great in each pix, but curly hair is tough to work with this short. Maybe I'll consider your advice to get stylist at least start shaping mine.  Thanks.

1st BC May 2009 2 cm IDC, 3/17 nodes, E+, Stage II - T/C x 4 - then 2nd primary ILC found November 2009 less than 1 cm 0/16 nodes. Low oncotype and no more chemo needed, just tamoxifen.

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Jan 12, 2010 03:39PM crusader1 wrote:

Ladies,

Great pictures..Otter and Everyminute.

Otter so your hair became straight once again. I am hoping mine stays curly.

This is a fun topic ..

2lkh538..thanks for starting this thread.

Hugs,

Francine

At the end of this tunnel will be sunshine! It is a sunny day!

Dx 9/12/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2010 03:48PM flash wrote:

This isn't fair, my hair came back straight, straight and straight.  sigh.....

I agree, headbands solve a lot of the problems as you grow it out.

multifocal multicentric IDC, DCIS, pagets et al. - er+,pr+ her2+++, mast,chemo, ooph, hyst

Dx 10/10/2007, Paget's, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 12, 2010 06:18PM everyminute wrote:

I straighted my hair with a tiny little straightner otherwise it was curly as well.  So a little straightening and a little hair wax and I was good to go!  My hair was always curly so I knew how to play with it!  Now i blow dry it some and then just straighten a little to get rid of the frizz so it has lots of body but is not super curly!

Good luck ladies!

find "becausemarysaysso" on facebook...Long May She Run

Dx 6/5/2008, IDC, Stage IIIa, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2010 09:57AM day-by-day wrote:

Thank you so much for sharing your photos!  I finished chemo in July and I am on Herceptin (which is inhibiting my hair growth.)  I am still very insecure about my hair and wear wigs always. Your posting (BTW: your hair is lovely!) is very reassuring that there is hope!

Dx 11/16/2008, DCIS, 2cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 13, 2010 10:45AM MaryNY wrote:

Thanks for this thread! I've been wondering how long it would take to be able to go wigless (or hatless). I will finish chemo in early Feb. Judging about the timelines mentioned above, it seems that it takes at least six months to have enough hair to be comfortable going without a wig. I didn't realize it would take that long.

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4

Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2010 02:08PM Beverly11 wrote:

Claire - love your advice.  I  think we should all get new wardrobes to go with the hair and makeup too!  I have to spend some time educating myself on this mop on my head.  In the meantime, I have grown attached to my wide selection of hats.  I used to have long wavy hair that was quite cooperative.  This short curly stuff has a mind of its own.  I need to buy a mini straightener.

My daughter has pin in hair extensions.  They cost about $200.  They took her a while to get used to but she became pretty pro at it and you couldn't tell.

Dx 11/28/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2010 03:50PM Kathy16 wrote:

Today I took some of the advice from the board and used Paul Mitchell "Straight Stuff" which is a gel (I had it from before when I would blow dry my hair straight) and worked it in with my fingers, blowing it dry, but not with brush, just smoothing with fingers.  I got the curl to calm down a little on the top and actually was able to get a part - I looked like a boy, but it was ok for now. 

Regarding timeline, I don't know how to upload a pix either, but my last chemo was Sept. 2, so 4 months later I have hair a little longer than Jamie Lee Curtis and Everyminute's first pix posted.  It's not anywhere near as long as Everyminute's July picture.  I didn't have to do Herceptin, but I am on Tamoxifen (does that affect hair?  It's plenty thick and my same color and texture, just taking time to grow).  Hope that helps.  I never get tired of this thread and my latest obsession - hair!  :)

1st BC May 2009 2 cm IDC, 3/17 nodes, E+, Stage II - T/C x 4 - then 2nd primary ILC found November 2009 less than 1 cm 0/16 nodes. Low oncotype and no more chemo needed, just tamoxifen.

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Jan 14, 2010 04:31AM everyminute wrote:

That is about where I was at 4 months after chemo - It wasnt til about 6 months that I was comfortable with my hair but I couldnt keep wearing wig either.  It was not a great time for me but I tried to smile through it. 

find "becausemarysaysso" on facebook...Long May She Run

Dx 6/5/2008, IDC, Stage IIIa, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2010 12:13PM Kathy16 wrote:

Today I had a consult at an upscale salon re: transitioning from the wig and got some interesting information.  Apparently  it takes 8 months until your hair really grows back in for a style.  Right now, at my 3-month point mine is too short for extensions of any sort. They said my current choices are:

1.  A "partial clip in" made from human hair - I really loved one or two of these, but they start at $995 (no - I didn't forget the decimal).  I can't justify $1,000, so I passed;

2.  Stay with wig for now and in a month, they can try to pull my hair thru cap and add in blond highlights like my wig has and shape my hair a little into a trendy short style. 

The people were very nice and gave me a lot of time, so I made an appointment for #2.  Still nervous and wavering a little about going wigless in mid-Feb. with my own hair, but will see how it goes. 

1st BC May 2009 2 cm IDC, 3/17 nodes, E+, Stage II - T/C x 4 - then 2nd primary ILC found November 2009 less than 1 cm 0/16 nodes. Low oncotype and no more chemo needed, just tamoxifen.

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Jan 23, 2010 02:56PM, edited Jan 23, 2010 02:57PM by Claire_in_Seattle

Thanks Beverly.  I have done such a good job in creating a great new look for pre/during that my neighbor Greg says he will hire a hit man to cut my hair if I ever go back to long.  It is also a style I can grow into.

I will most likely be doing something different clothes-wise as well.  Had let my weight creep up after my divorce and move to Seattle, and with chemo, it is going back to where it was about 4 years ago.  So will be wearing my "thin wardrobe" very soon.

Thus with short hair and "thin clothes", I will be sporting a new look anyway.  Just a few accessories, and I will be there, though will be something like October before it all comes together.

Glad my super short will coincide with the hottest period of the year....well warm as this is Seattle.  Thanks for the tip on hats.  Will be fun to rock this summer and I never have enough excuses to wear my collection!

Completed all active treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, and radiation). Now on to the rest of my life. So much to celebrate.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 1, 2010 10:53AM ccbaby wrote:

I am 7 months PFC and I LOVE looking at the hair re-growth pics over time. If anyone else has some pics, please post them!! It is so encouraging! Thanks!

~Christy~ left side mastectomy/TE February 2009 Finished TC July 2009 Rads finished Oct 2009 Stage 1 lymphedema Removed failed TE, HIP flap surgery Dec 2009 Finished Herceptin March 2010 Second stage March 2010 Third stage revisions Oct 2011

Dx 1/29/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 1, 2010 01:56PM faithfulc wrote:

MaryNY, I started a topic for all of us ladies going into chemo in Feb 2010.  Would you like to join us there?

Lumpectomy 12/23/2009. Reexcision/port 1/15/2010. TC 6x finished 5/19. Rads finished 8/5. "De-ported" 9/3. Oncotype 9. BRCA1/2 neg. Fareston started 10/2010.

Dx 12/9/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 1, 2010 05:14PM MaryNY wrote:

Faithfulc: I just finished chemo today. I hope to going onto rads in late Feb/early March.

Mary ~~ lumpectomy 8/10/2009, Oncotype DX 18, Chemo 10/28/09--2/1/10 AC*4, CMF*4

Dx 5/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 1, 2010 10:10PM cesle wrote:

What a great email, otter!  I mirror so much of your story - always had stick-straight hair.  Last chemo was early Sept 2009 and my hair is turning curly and browny-dk gray.  My hair looks just like yours at the same time-frame.  I'm planning to go wigless in a month.  Thanks for taking the time to include your pics!

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