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Apr 6, 2021 03:46PM
So sorry to hear you are facing the trauma of hair loss, on TOP of your treatments. Oy. Just the worst, isn't it? Ugh!
May I ask: What kind of chemo are you receiving and for how long? (I didn't see it listed on your profile.) That makes a big difference.
Here's my story, for what it's worth:
-I finished my chemo January 21st of this year (2021).
-I had a total of four Taxotere/Cytoxan treatments, one every (3) weeks.
-I started with a ton of hair, but Taxotere is well-known for hair loss so I was told to give it a try if I could afford it.
-I used the "machine" cold capping system at Dana Farber in Boston. My RNs say that without it, I'd likely have lost it all during treatment.
-I'm coming up on 11 weeks out from my last treatment (Yay!) and, as I was warned by one of my BC.org elder sisters, I am still losing hair each morning when I gently brush it, and definitely when I shower (still washing my hair only once a week.) (Boo!)
-I have baldish spots on top and in the back, but a "friar's fringe" as I like to call it all the way around, so when I wear a hat, NO ONE knows I'm a big baldie on top. I've actually had people ask where I got my hats! Hah! : )
ADVICE to consider:
1. Gently brush your hair once a day with a wide tooth flexible brush, starting at the ends to pull any loose strands though.
2. Washing with gentle shampoo and only warm water no more than once a week. I mix mild shampoo in a bowl and pour it gently over my head in the shower, gently "pushing" it through the strands I have left.
3. Do not style or blow dry it. Thank goodness the days are getting warmer.
4. Drink tons of water (I aim for 3 liters/day) This is just generally super good for you and your recovery! : )
5. You 'may' want to sleep with a satin/silky hair covering, like a satin shower cap.
If you do all this, rest assured you are doing everything right. (At least I've not found or heard of any other "miracle cures".)
Bonus: You may decide to add Vitamin B (Biotin) to your regimen with your doc's permission, of course.
My key advice: Try to just accept and relax about it as best you can. Learn to be "okay" with the hair loss and just say "This is happening now, and I may lose more/all of my hair, but this is TEMPORARY and it will grow back." Because IT WILL. Fighting it gets you absolutely nowhere and only causes more stress, and possibly more hair loss. I even imagined reinventing myself: punk rock bald Renbird? (I'm almost 50, but who cares?) Sari-wearing sage advice giving Renbird?
Also, take picture of the worst of it now, so you can track your progress when things get better. It helps! I'm so glad I did.
Status: Although my hair is still falling out, new "baby fuzz" is now rapidly taking it's place. On Jan 28th I took a photo of my bald spots, which were white. Now, they look "spray painted in" with dark baby fuzz. I am told that that will gradually be replaced by my new hair. Excited for that.
In other news, I started losing my eyebrows "right on time" at 6 weeks POST treatment, (UGH!) but now, just 4 weeks later, they are growing in FAST. You can't even tell they were almost all gone last month. This is what my lady elders on this site also told me, but I didn't believe them. Anyway, easy for me to tell you all this too, but I hope hope hope you can let go for now and have hope in the future. You might be lucky and it will stop (have definitely heard of that happening) but just in case, it might be best to just accept each day and know that this will be behind you one day, and you will be ME writing to a future YOU! : )
I'm still wearing hats out in public, (here's one I love!) but starting to not care now that the weather is nice. My family and friends love me and are so proud of me and that's enough to get me through. Hope you have lots of love around you–– I can tell you that I am VERY proud of you. Reaching out for help is so smart!
Be well and XO -Renbird