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Topic: Hair Hair Hair - Another question

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jun 15, 2008 06:16AM

Deen wrote:

Hi All,

I know that there have been several threads on this, but I'm asking the question again: on average, when did your hair start growing back in after chemo?????

I'm 4 weeks out from my last AC and any positive encouragement (and "you're almost there" posts) would really make this week wonderful.

Deen.

Life's tough, get a helmet. Dx 1/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/35 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 06:20AM caaclark wrote:

Yes, you ARE almost there.  I finished chemo on June 15th (2 years ago) and I went without anything (wig or hat) at the end of August.  It was short but most people thought I was just being trendy.  Ok, well, that's what I told myself.  My avatar pic is from over a year ago, which was one year after finishing chemo.  Once it starts growing it grows quickly.

Carol Clark- Author of WHEN OUR MOM HAD CANCER Diag.1/06 at age 40, 1.6cm, 6+nodes, stage IIIa, er/pr+, her2-, chemo, mast. rads, no recon
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Jun 15, 2008 06:23AM LorenaB wrote:

So glad you posted this, Deen!  I happened to be touching my prickly head while I was reading.  I just want it to grow faster!!!!!!!  Thanks Carol for the positive feedback!

Lauren

Dx 12/20/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 06:31AM Deen wrote:

THANKS CAROL!!!!! Yeah for almost there!!! Anyone else to second that?

Lauren - yeeee haaaa ..... we've had such a close timeline and will hopefully be en par for the hair growth part too.  I'm sparse, prickly, but white, fluffly, thin (my hair - not my body) and ugly. Still looking like a (lopsided half-expanded) monk.

How are / did others find it?

Life's tough, get a helmet. Dx 1/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/35 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 07:08AM abbadoodles wrote:

Deen, I know just how you feel.  My hair didn't start growing back until about 6 1/2 weeks after my last DD A/C.  I had no other chemo.

You can see how much hair I have now, at the thread on Hair Growth Pics.  Those pics were taken at about 1 year post treatment.

Yeah, at first it grows reaallllly slowly, then it just seems to take off.

Tina
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Jun 15, 2008 07:31AM LorenaB wrote:

Where can I find the hair growth pics thread?

Thanks!

Dx 12/20/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 07:47AM jdash wrote:

chemo ended aug 06 - now its almost 2 yrs and i have a ponytail  i will try and take a pic and post it   i have a picture of me at my 50th bday celebration which was in march 07  so that was like 6months after chemo ended   dont know how to attach it?

Lean on me when you are not strong- And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on- For it won't be long till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on... Bill Withers "Lean On Me". Dx 4/22/2006, IDC, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 07:54AM jdash wrote:

here is my hair 10 months after chemo but i used to gel it back - it did grow in really quickly once it started i guess like 2 months after chemo ended  i colored it at home as soon as it was like a 1/2 "

it came in pretty grey  ohhhh and curly too

Lean on me when you are not strong- And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on- For it won't be long till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on... Bill Withers "Lean On Me". Dx 4/22/2006, IDC, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 07:54AM jdash wrote:

hey that didnt work   sorry ......

Lean on me when you are not strong- And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on- For it won't be long till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on... Bill Withers "Lean On Me". Dx 4/22/2006, IDC, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 01:15PM lilith wrote:

My last chemo was Dec. 3rd.

By early January, I saw lashes and hair growing. By March I was able to go wig-less.... and my avatar shows today's growth. I am considering going for a haircut - but I LOVE running my fingers through my hair!!!!

Bilat MX, recon, Arimidex, 3 yrs 6 mths NED and counting! Dx 7/4/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 15, 2008 02:36PM artsee wrote:

Hi there...My last chemo was May 9th and there isin't hardly any NEW growth. It's like it's standing still. The slight stubble on the legs just stay put (that's OK) and the lashes and eyebrows are finally dropping off NOW? Anyone have any clue?

Also where is this HAIR THREAD?

Artsee

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jun 15, 2008 03:39PM otter wrote:

Artsee, I do not want to hear about that eyelash/eyebrow thing.  You are a month past chemo and you are just now losing your lashes and brows?

Seriously, I had heard that from someone else on these threads.  Our eyelashes and brows are normally out-of synch, but chemo synchronizes them.  So, instead of losing a few at a time and not noticing it, we lose them all at once.  Over and over again, until they get back out-of-synch.

It really sucks.  No, that belongs on Traci's thread... 

otter 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 06:36PM artsee wrote:

Correction....Otter.....I am "5 1/2" weeks passed chemo. Get it straight will ya? I have NO time for this out -of- sync crap. What the heck do the brows and lashes think they are,special or something? I've give up almost 6 month of mascara and quite frankly I'm getting #*%@ fed up with this.

I gotta go and see where the whine and bitch thread is....good bye.

Artsee

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jun 15, 2008 06:52PM beegirl wrote:

I'm now 7-1/2 weeks past last chemo (hard to believe!) and have maybe a half-inch of hair. There was some even after the 2nd chemo, but it was always white or gray. In the past week, there's now some that's dark. Since I've colored my hair for I don't remember how many years, the dark hair is a surprise. I expect to keep waering my wig for quite awhile--I really like the style and color and don't find it too uncomfortable. I want to ask my stylist if she can make my own hair look like the wig!

I was surpirsed today to discover that I actually have some hair on my lower legs--somehow I'd missed it! I guess I was expecting it to come in stubbly, but since I normally use an epilator on my lower legs, these hairs are thin and not really dark.  So I put the epilator to work. Also discovered armpit hair so use the electric shaver attachment on that. I seem to still have most of my lashes, but the one brow that wasn't thin already has become more sparse--of course, the white hairs that are out of line are still growing!

Dx 11/2007, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 07:02PM artsee wrote:

Thank God, there is life after hair loss.....

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jun 15, 2008 07:44PM - edited Jun 15, 2008 07:44PM by LorenaB

Artsee, I finished chemo on almost the same day as  you, May 8th.  My eyelashes and brows continued to thin but I never lost them completely -- at this point they seem to be hanging in there. 

I am starting to get scared that I'll never have MY hair back.  My hair was always medium brown (at age 41 I had only a few gray hairs that hid themselves most of the time), always very thick, always rather curly. (I am one of those unusual women who never colored or straightened or experimented with her hair -- it was just part of me, like my blue eyes.)  What I see growing on my head now are dark prickly hairs down the center and on the back of my head, and a very fine, barely-there whitish fuzz on the sides and in front.  It is bad enough being bald; the thought of having thin, straight gray hair after it grows back completely terrifies me. 

Will I ever feel like me again???????

Lauren

Dx 12/20/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 08:05PM GrammyNancy wrote:

Hi Girls,

I finished chemo June 26, 2007 and I have had 3 hair cuts since then (first 2 where trims and the last one was a cut).  I would say about 4 weeks out of chemo I started noticing some clear stuble.  I had course hair before chemo and now it is very fine and grey but it looks normal and has for several months.  Mine never really got curly but did get frizzy and still is in the front.  It came back very thick but it was always so.  As far as legs, pits, brows and lashes....my lashes thinned during chemo but came back quickly and are still hanging in there, lost the lashes after chemo but they too came back quickly...they have thinned but haven't lost them totally, leg hair came back after chemo very thin and then lost them again for a couple of months but they are now back with a vengenance.

I am on herceptin and I've been told that it can slow hair growth and I think it has.  I will finish herceptin the end of July and I'll see if it really takes off.

Girls, enjoy rubbing that peach fuzz, it seemed to change overnight for me.  Congratulations on finishing chemo!!!!!

Nancy 

Dx 2/5/2007, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 15, 2008 08:16PM dhettish wrote:

Hi,

My last chemo was 3/11/08. It took so long to grow. My crown and part took forever to come in. I was worried that I would have a bald spot on top. I had completely lost my eyelashes and eyebrows and they are slowly coming back. My hair came back very grey and is finally filling in on the crown and part. It is still very short but I am now going without a hat or wig. It is just too hot. My eyelashes are are about 1/8 inch and my eyebrows are getting thick but still have enough bare spots that I still use a pencil. I took 4 rounds of A/C and 4 of Taxotere. The last time I lost my hair, it came back very curly. Right now it is not curly or it is just too short to be curly. It seemed like it took 7 months before I got my first hair cut.

I miss being a able to twirl my hair (a nervous habit) but I enjoy being able to take a shower and go straight to bed w/o having to blow dry my hair. I have not had hair since October that I am not sure I will remember how to style it.

Debbie 

Debbie...Chemo's a bitch and then you live Dx 8/6/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/23 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2008 08:20PM - edited Jun 15, 2008 08:24PM by FitChik

I tried to link to the thread y'all were referring to, but couldn't, so I'll bump it up over on "Moving Beyond..." It starts with these pics taken by photojournalist, Karen Stack, as she recovered her hair after chemo. I remember comparing my growth constantly with hers:

http://www.karinstack.com/images/hair/HS_grid.jpg

Hang in there, everyone!

~Marin

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Jun 16, 2008 01:45AM Deen wrote:

I hate this fuzz stuff.  It's just teasing me!!!!! I have this white-ish /non-color growth (that really just looks like man's bum-fluff) on my head.  I had growth (minimal) almost the whole way through chemo (AC), but keep shaving it off.  At the final tx I decided to let it go and see what happens.  Now I just want to shave this stuff off, but I'm worried that it is the beginning of real growth.

Problem is, I expected "real growth" to begin with a 5 o'clock shadow and come in like regular hair.  Am I wrong?

Artsee - I'm with you there on the eyelashes.  I have about 3 left and if I lose them now, I'm gonna scream!

Otter - yes. my lashes and brows only started to thin (and now are barely there) after my final tx (bitter, bitter irony)

Beegirl - 7 1/2 weeks!!!! Noooooo.  I was hoping for quicker than that.  It's so confusing, because others have it come in faster. 

Lauren - email Timtam and ask for access to the picture site that she moderates / runs.

Anyone else want to throw in their 2 cents worth????

Thanks so much to those who already have.

D.

Life's tough, get a helmet. Dx 1/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/35 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 16, 2008 06:00AM - edited Jun 16, 2008 08:31AM by abbadoodles

Yes, go to the Moving Beyond category, then look for the "Hair Growth Pictures" thread. 

I also want to add that the type of chemo you have had generally affects the timing and pattern of hair regrowth.  If you go from A/C to a taxane, you may start seeing regrowth while still on the taxane.

And, yes, many people report that their initial hair growth is colorless or looks gray but then starts to show color.  Mine was just my old mix of brown and some gray.  Very unattractive at first and not all over at once, sort of moth-eaten LOL.  Not so funny at the time.

I also lost brows and lashes about five or six weeks out from my last A/C.  Then, I've lost my lashes four times, that is, every three months since then.  How's THAT for a pip?

Tina
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Jun 16, 2008 06:17AM Deen wrote:

Noooooooo.  Say it isn't so.  You lost your lashes 3 times????? Oh my god.

Life's tough, get a helmet. Dx 1/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/35 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 16, 2008 06:41AM NancyD wrote:

I'm just over three weeks from my 4th TAC dose, and won't have anymore chemo until 8/1...after my surgery. I see a very slight blush of lunago (fine white hairs) have come in on my head, but are thinly placed. My lashes thinned quite a bit, and I have continued to lose some each week. Same with brows.

Anyone have neo adj chemo and adj chemo?  Does the second hit of chemo slow the regrowth? The chemo won't be totally out of my system until September!

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/21/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/10/2008 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 8/31/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/4/2008 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/27/2010 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 16, 2008 07:05AM artsee wrote:

Good Mornig ladies,

I guess the original question was  about 'hair loss and how permanent it is' after having Taxotere. I had that and if the hair loss is permanent I will be CRUSHED. I'm a hairdresser and my world is all about hair. So I'm hoping this light peach fuzz turns into something....sometime soon.

Artsee

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jun 16, 2008 07:11AM BMac wrote:

Artsee, never fear!  My first three chemos were FEC, the last three taxotere plus that's when I started my herceptin.  Last chemo Mar 13th; got husband to buzz hair Mar 27th to get rid of the long "strays".  I now have about 1/2 inch of salt and pepper.  I'm 55 and have been colouring (sorry Canadian spelling!) since 39 because of all the grey.  My hair, which has always been fine, is coming in quite thick so hang in there.

On another note, I asked you a question on another thread about colouring my hair (it's so nice to have a hairdresser on board!).  How long should I wait.  When I finished chemo 5 years ago for ovarian I waited 2 1/2 months and coloured when I had just finished 3 rads.  The colour didn't take.  I've heard that you should wait 6 months!  Is that true?

Barbara Dx 10/23/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 16, 2008 07:21AM - edited Jun 16, 2008 07:24AM by PAlady

Hi Ladies,

I am 14 weeks out from my last TC infusion (March 7). My hair came back in very thick. I was using the Nioxin since my 3rd treatment (out of 4). My hair came in VERY dark. Much, much darker than what I used to have. I cannot tell at this point if it will curl or not. My hair has always been "poker straight". It is probably about an inch long.

I think I am going to be done with my scarves this week. I have been going without around home and just trying to let the sun lighten it some. I would really like to get it colored as I have always had it highlighted, but do not want to pay to have it colored when there is so little there. For quite a few weeks I have just been waiting for it to grow longer as it filled in pretty quickly.  I think you will find that once it starts coming in it seems to fill in dramatically every day!

I lost the last of my lower eyelashes at 10 weeks out but they were replaced almost instantly with very fine white lashes. They are still short, but I can at least get mascara on them. I wore mascara throughout my treatments. I never did lose my top lashes, though they thinned a bit. I do have new lashes coming in on top and they irritate my eyes as they seem to come in at all directions and poke my eye at times.

Eyebrows, thinned dramatically. They were their thinnest at 10 weeks out also. They are coming in pretty well. Again, it seems I have a lot of the white hairs and looks just fine if I dust them with some eyebrow powder.

So for now, I am just wishing I could get my hair to stand up a bit (It is really flat). I think if I could get it to "spike" a bit (as well as lighten) I would feel a bit more feminine and I would feel like I actually have a hair style.

Dx 10/22/2007, IDC, 1.2cm, Stage I, Grade 2/3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-...Cancer is a word, not a sentence. John Diamond
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Jun 16, 2008 11:46AM - edited Jun 16, 2008 11:59AM by gramadeb

The hair or lack of it has had me pretty upset the last few days - glad to hear I am not alone. I have no patience to wait for it to grow - I am done with chemo so now I want my hair back! I think I am driving my dh crazy with my obsession! I do have some white fuzzies on top - can feel a little stubble growing. Thin hair on sides and back.

My brows are thinning - so far have lashes but after reading your posts I am not hopeful they are going to stay.

Hoping that something dramatic will happen and I can throw away the scarves about the same time I finish rads in August!

Deb

Dx 2/7/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 16, 2008 11:54AM otter wrote:

The thing I hadn't realized was that I can't even count the first 3 weeks post-chemo as part of my hair-regrowth period. Of course not--that's the time when my hair was falling out during my first cycle; why would it try to grow back under the same toxic conditions?

So I think I'll have to start counting at week 12 of chemo--that's 3 wks after my last tx.  I'm still more than a week away from that magic day.

otter 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 16, 2008 12:20PM suz45 wrote:

Hi girls,

My chemo was DD A/C then taxol, I started on Dec 12, 07 and last chemo was March 18, 08. Am also just out of rads not even two weeks. My hair also started off as pure white fuzz, but its slowly starting to fill in darker. I cant tell what color it is yet, very ash looking (yeah.. light & dark grayTongue out) But honestly its getting thicker daily & Im happy to just have some hair up there. I have given up the wig and hats as I just feel way to phony. Here is a pic from last week...

Photobucket

I still feel a little uncomfortable as its soooo short, but no one else seems  to even give it a second glance when Im out in public. Oh and I also lost all my eyebrows and eyelashes two weeks after the last chemo. My eyelashes are now short but in, and those are my eyebrows in the pic (no pencil)

Hang in there ladies, Hugs, Suz

Laugh your heart out, dance in the rain, cherish the memories & ignore the pain, love and learn, forget & forgive. Remember you only have one life to Live. Dx 11/25/2010, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, 8/23 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 16, 2008 01:28PM artsee wrote:

Thanks for sharing Suz....Now we would like a picture of you EVERY Mon. so we can all compare.Kiss

BeMac...All I can say about the time to wait for coloring is.....whenever it's long enough for you to see a little length, go to it and color. We never put a time line on it and the less time I have to go with nobody seeing gray on my head the better it'll be for me.

I can't say that color doesn't turn out just because you had rads. Have it professionally done, you'll be better off. BTW, sorry I missed the post you directed at me. Sometimes I don't know where I've been (and where I'm going).Undecided

I'm glad to hear the lashes come back. Maybe that the irritation I'm feeling in the left eye? It's growing into the eyeball.YUK!

Take care all, Artsee

Oh, my onco said my hair would start coming in at 4 weeks and he was right. The length of growth is at the right length for that coment.

Now all it needs to do is get a lot thicker.

Plady...Slap some thick gel on your hair and It'll stand up I promise. Be assertive and let it know who's boss.

Artsee

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jun 16, 2008 05:57PM - edited Jun 16, 2008 05:58PM by Deen

thanks everyone, for your input so far.  Suz, that picture was soooooo encouraging - you look great.

Artsee, after your 4 weeks comment, I'm squirming in my seat.  I'm exactly at that now.  Have to run to the mirror......

Life's tough, get a helmet. Dx 1/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/35 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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