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Sep 17, 2018 11:27PM
My hair is really quite great. Paxman. All finished now, 4 x TC, every 3 weeks, although final was Taxol instead of Taxotere because of hives allergic reaction (then same happened with Taxol, so I'm still finishing steroids) I know I've been shedding all along. Maybe I still have 60% of my head hair, so I can style it carefully and it looks pretty normal.
One thing I spent a lot of time doing in the oncology suite's bathroom, right before each infusion was wetting down (water + conditioner) the first 2-3 inches of hair, super flat all over my head under the cool cap and combing it to be slicked down under the cap. Didn't worry about long hair ends, but was very obsessive about trying to flatten all of the hair down by the scalp so there'd be good chill-contact at follicles.
I didn't wash my hair often, at all, throughout all of chemo. Just on Day 3 to get out the chemicals that are working out those first few days, as is suggested, and otherwise, not much. Except if there was a special occasion. Mostly just combed it, and wore a shower cap for most showers. Got used to it---chemo seems to have been drying my scalp out, so hair wasn't too greasy, just not fluffy. When home, wore a snood and kerchief a lot to keep the house from looking too hairy, and always when cooking. Sometimes I wear a hair band when going out, to disguise the thin places.
Apparently, an invisible sheep dog (who sheds about 20-50 hairs a day) moved in with us when chemo started, and it drops 4" gray hair all over the place, so that's been something to get used to. I hear that maybe after 4-6 more weeks, he moves out again?
My hair is fairly evenly thinned out, but there are some bare areas, and a wide part. 50% eyebrows, 50% eyelashes, all still dropping. But, overall, I'm super glad I did Cold Capping. THIN SPOTS, but the illusion of a full head. Still shedding. Bare places are possible to style over, and I'm sure no one knows, to look at me, that it's been a chemo summer. The downside to that: I can feel like crap and go out and do things and people probably wonder why I look exhausted and slow ---no bald head--- SECRET chemo, I suppose.
I have noticed itching and tingling all over my scalp around Days 19-21 each time, and that's when more hair falls out.
Eyeliner and eyebrow pencil do the trick if I want my eyes to actually be visible at this point.... But, my eyes are currently especially sensitive to all make-up, and they aren't loving eyeliner right now---I think it's a Taxol thing, so I'm looking a bit eye-less right now most of the time. Eyeliner no matter now non-allergenic kind of makes them reactive at the moment, and same for mascara. Can brush powder on eyebrows to make them show up.
TODAY: DAY 14 PFC --I slept on wet hair last night after I washed it before bed, so it's messy and I haven't styled it today. 61 years old, Natural hair--whiter in front than in the back, and the last picture shows up the silver the most, so it's several shades of gray around my head. Crown is thin--showing that on left photo.
Daughter's wedding day (final photo below) was 1/2-way through chemo, and hair has thinned a bit since this photo--it was 3 weeks after #2 TC infusion, but I can get my hair to mostly look kind of like this still.
3/2003, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2-
4/25/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
6/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)