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Nov 15, 2015 11:13PM
Nov 15, 2015 11:41PM
Suzanne50, three weeks is totally normal for PFC shedding and a sort of ridiculously optimistic estimate on the part of your MO. (Chime in if anyone was that lucky, but the drugs are still working their way out of your system at that point. For those who just never shed that much, that might be the case, but not so for most of us I think.) My capping was very successful and I only stopped shedding around 5.5 months PFC. It had slowed WAY down, but I was definitely shedding more than prechemo for longer than I expected. (I was also plunged into menopause, which didn't help.) I'd say I'm back to a normal shedding pattern now at 7 months PFC. And while that sounds dreadful, my hair looks fine and is getting thicker at the base all the time. I cut it often (1-2 inches at least four times since my last chemo because it's been growing so fast since it ended). And at a couple of inches below collarbone length there's only about a 4-5 inch difference now between most of my new and my prechemo hair. Anyway, don't worry. You have more hair than you can possibly imagine and it works out. If you have very thin spots anywhere visible like the crown, then just use Toppik hair fibers to fill it in while your hair regrows. Also, the fastest-growing hair falls out the fastest (i.e., your brazilian), and the slowest growing falls out last (apparently eyelashes, etc.). I think the same goes for regrowth. You will probably see the fastest-growing hair come back first. And remember hair regrowth means from the follicle out. There's a lot going on in there before you actually see and feel it.
Re: Latisse. See if you can get Lumigan (a less expensive alternative with the same active ingredients) approved by your insurance with a note from your MO saying that it's for chemo-related eyelash loss. With a little persuasion and a note from your doc your insurance company may reverse its decision and cover it. It's a higher copay (mine was $40), but totally worth it. I tried using it during chemo, but it isn't effective at maintaining lashes (and doesn't claim to be). It will, however, jumpstart regrowth like crazy. I also have much thicker lashes than prechemo after using it. Don't be surprised if you experience a second thinning (less severe than during or at the end of chemo) about two months out. It's just your body recalibrating and it will self-correct within a couple of weeks. (It's disturbing, but just keep using the Lumigan and try not to stress over it. It's expected and worrying will only bum you out. It won't change anything. I don't think this happens to everyone, but I know a few who have experienced it.)
malonejen, I'm no expert on AC, but shedding that starts at 18-21 days is the magic number. As long as the shedding is diffuse and didn't start earlier than three weeks give or take, you are on the right track. You will shed. That's the deal. But I kept 65% of my hair and nobody had any idea I'd gone through chemo unless I told them. (Most people are too self-absorbed to notice if you're a few hairs short. And since we're heading into the holidays, I'll go back to the tried-and-true party analogy. When everyone gets too drunk at a party, they worry about how they acted, not you!) You can check out my pics in the success stories section. (Seriously, almost 6 months PFC shedding and that's how it came out.)
Jbandkb1, I think it took about three weeks give or take for lashes/brows to start coming back in. They were downy at first, very light. I started using Lumigan again (I quit when it didn't work during chemo) and that very much hastened the regrowth. I don't know if it made them darker faster, but once it started, it went pretty fast. I know it's hard to be patient after having been through all the capping and everything, but have faith! (And try either to get your hands on Latisse/Lumigan or try that natural product that was suggested above!)
Mkhtx, the tip sheet is awesome on the newbie thread. And I think people have seen the most success using Penguin caps. They are adjustable and that allows you to get the best fit. They unfortunately are the priciest, but you may be able to get a grant to help subsidize the cost and sometimes "seconds" are available for significantly less. I used seconds (which means there may be an ink mark, stain, or tiny tear along a seam) and did fine with them. They were 300/mo.
Anway, good luck everyone! You can make it!