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Topic: Wearing a wig with hot flashes

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

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

Posted on: Nov 11, 2019 03:10PM

Karen2019 wrote:

Ok ladies, I've tried to find a thread on this topic specifically, but haven't seen one. I am 52 years old and have always been hot-natured in general, but I've been on several medications (anti-depressants, etc.) for the past 10 years or so that have made me incredibly (almost unbearably) heat sensitive. My head sweats profusely when someone even whispers the words "heat and humidity". And now that I will be starting TC chemo next week, I am sure my insensitivity and hot flashes will be exacerbated even more. That being said, I would like to hear about people who have similar issues and their experiences with trying to wear wigs after losing their hair to chemo. Is it even possible? I would really like to be able to wear one to work (where I have a fan in every room of the office and can control my temperature for the most part). I have watched YouTube videos of women who wear wigs everywhere, every day, but I never hear anything said about if they are bearable for people with heat sensitivity and hot flashes. So if you will share your experiences, plus any tips you might have on keeping cool(ish) in a wig, I would greatly appreciate it!

Diagnosed at 52, right lumpectomy with bilateral oncoplasty, Oncotype score 42 Dx 7/15/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 11/20/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 11, 2019 03:22PM 2019whatayear wrote:

Well at the end of the day a wig is a hair hat. So, it's not cooling that is for sure. They do have some wigs that are made to be more cooling- like based on the weave of it. I would say go to a wig shop and see if anything might work. Also I recommend if you wear a wig that you get a bamboo silk cap to wear under it so you aren't itchy. The fabric of the cap is so light and breathable it won't make you any hotter.

HTH!

I found myself reading others signatures & comparing my dx to others. I decided to delete my info off my sig, b/c I felt like I was viewing people as their dx vrs. as individuals BRCA-2-BMX 6/25 -chemo 7/24 AC/T
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Nov 11, 2019 04:12PM Racy wrote:

Effexor/Venlafaxine medication works well in reducing hot flashes. Talk to your doctor to find out if it would be compatible with or could replace one of your other medications.

Dx 2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 11, 2019 04:14PM Spookiesmom wrote:

I lost my hair in August, in Florida. It’s still hot and very humid here. Till about November. My wig was making me miserable. No hot flashes, just hot and sweaty. I couldn’t wear it, so went without. You didn’t say where you are, but with winter coming, it may not be a bother, and function more like a hat.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Nov 11, 2019 04:27PM buttonsmachine wrote:

I'm also "hot-natured" but I was surprised how much colder my head was with no hair! I did go through chemo in the winter though. I actually found that the wig was not a problem in that sense.

One word of advice about choosing a wig though - depending on the cap construction and length of the wig, some wigs are much cooler than others. A mono-top or mono-part wig with open wefting is cooler than a double monofilament wig, for example. Also, above-shoulder wigs are cooler than long wigs, just because your neck and shoulders are free. Some wig brands make lighter, cooler options too, so that might be a possibility. It might help to talk to a wig professional - either online or in person. There really are a lot of options in wigs these days.

I hope that helps, best wishes!

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/26/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/9/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 6/30/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/14/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Nov 11, 2019 05:55PM ElaineTherese wrote:

I wore a wig in Oklahoma (hot & humid) from August to March of the following year. It was OK, but itchy by the end of the six months. I should have had it trimmed professionally by my wig lady after I got it, but I was busy working by then and didn't have time to drive to the city. It did help keep my head warm during the winter months.

I just wore a wig at work and in public. At home, I wore a little cotton cap to keep my head warm. Since I get most of my hot flashes in the evening, the wig wasn't a problem.

Good luck! I'm glad I went to a wig lady and tried on a bunch of different wigs before I bought one.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/22/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/16/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/11/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/8/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 11, 2019 06:39PM Runrcrb wrote:

I like the advice of talking to the women in the wig store. Mine was short, super cute and fairly comfortable. I wore it Nov-May. Like others mentioned most of my wicked hot flashes occurred at home and I liked being able to whip off whatever was on my head. I slept in a Buff worn as a beanie. I still slept naked but my head was cold 😀


Dx 6/27/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/27/2016, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2016 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/9/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 12/13/2017 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Nov 11, 2019 06:40PM MinusTwo wrote:

I LOVED Buffs and rarely wore my wig.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 11, 2019 08:37PM Flower216 wrote:

I went through chemo last winter, and even though I am always hot, my head was so cold. I didn't love wearing my wig, so I wore soft (Barefoot Dreams) beanie hats outside of the house. AND, I needed a scarf always for my cold neck. In the house I wore very soft thin knit hats. Karen, whatever works for you is great, just remember it must be soft as your scalp will probably be very sensitive. Good luck!

Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right Surgery 10/14/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 11/29/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/16/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Radiation Therapy 3/10/2019 Hormonal Therapy 5/12/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 11, 2019 09:08PM Karen2019 wrote:

Thanks ladies! I live in Atlanta, and hope to be able to wear a wig to work through spring. At home I plan to just wear soft sleep caps, etc. Did anyone actually enjoy wearing a wig? I've watched a lot of wig videos and some of them are so cute I'd think about trying them if they were cheaper and I wasn't such a human oven

Diagnosed at 52, right lumpectomy with bilateral oncoplasty, Oncotype score 42 Dx 7/15/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 11/20/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 11, 2019 09:22PM ElaineTherese wrote:

I enjoyed wearing a wig at first because I have such limp natural hair. Lots of people complimented me on my "hair," and it was definitely shinier and more interesting than anything I could produce on my own. When my natural hair began to grow in, though, it got itchy. I was happy to ditch it.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/22/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/16/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/11/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/8/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 12, 2019 07:30AM Spookiesmom wrote:

Your MO or BS staff should be able to direct you to a wig shop. And your insurance will cover a rx for crainial prosthesis. Wig.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Nov 12, 2019 02:05PM Ingerp wrote:

I don’t know how formal your office is but I never wore a wig. I wore bandannas to the gym and baseball caps everywhere else. There are some pretty nice/feminine looking baseball caps!

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 12, 2019 05:11PM MinusTwo wrote:

I actually bought a baseball cap that had hair around the sides. Hats with Hair I think. Check out this link for ideas.

https://www.tlcdirect.org/Hats-with-Hair-for-Cance...


2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 12, 2019 05:23PM Karen2019 wrote:

Ingerp, I work in a law firm. It's fairly casual, but I don't think I could wear a ball cap or a bandanna in the office and certainly not to court. I think I would be more comfortable not having all of my clients know about my cancer, or even everyone in my building. I may turn out to be wrong, but I feel like a wig will make me feel more normal while I'm at work and help me focus on my getting my work done without having people ask about it all the time. Though I will definitely look into those options for errands, etc. on the weekends

Diagnosed at 52, right lumpectomy with bilateral oncoplasty, Oncotype score 42 Dx 7/15/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 11/20/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 12, 2019 07:05PM Runrcrb wrote:

Karen- that was a primary reason for me wearing a wig. I didn’t want to be the woman with cancer.

My wig was synthetic and 100% covered by my insurance. Honest- I had strangers compliment my hair. Rarely happens with my natural hair.


Dx 6/27/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/27/2016, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2016 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/9/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 12/13/2017 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Nov 12, 2019 07:58PM DogMomRunner wrote:

I bought a wig but ended up wearing it once. It gave me a headache. I found a number of soft hats on Amazon and Headcovers. I wore neutral colored gray and brown caps for work but also had print ones. My insurance did not cover wigs. I was about $200 out of pocket for the wig which I will donate somewhere

You ain't run far enough to say My legs have failed You ain't gone far enough You ain't worked hard enough You ain't run far enough to say It ain't gonna get any better. Nathaniel Rateliff Dx 4/24/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 5/16/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 6/5/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/5/2019 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 9/21/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 16, 2019 05:30PM msphil wrote:

hello sweetie I was diagnosed in September so I was wearing hats when outside or getting chemo inside I wore nothing or scarf if I felt chilly. I was 42 at diagnosis and then started feeling hot flashes cause I went into menopause because of treatment. I was also planning our 2nd marriages at time of diagnosis. I got married had on a white small hat while hair starting to come back in . I was on leave from my job at a medical center for 6mo so it wasn't a problem for me.Take care. msphil idc stage2 0/3 nodes 3mo chemo adriamycin cytoxin 5fu then Lmast 3mo chemo after we got married then 7wks rads 5 yrs on Tamoxifen.

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Nov 16, 2019 10:29PM Jackster51 wrote:

Karen2019, Have you considered cold capping? I had TC 8 years ago and never got my hair back after Taxotere. Not to alarm you, but it is a 10% chance of permanent hair loss with Taxotere. I wish I had known before I was given it. I would have made a different decision had I known all the facts. Best of luck to you and Atlanta is my home town! Nothing like that heat and humidity in the summer :-( Best of luck to you!

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Nov 17, 2019 06:56AM Flnana2 wrote:

Just another note on the cost of wigs. The ACS has a site called TLC.org. If you email them they will send you a coupon towards $75 for a wig on their site. Also, I was able to get a beautiful wig from my cancer center for free from their “angel wigs”. These are wigs that ladies have donated back after they are through with their treatments. The one I got never looked like it had been worn and was extremely well made.

I have two wigs and actually love them both. I’m in central Florida so I know about the heat and didn’t find them too hot but I’m not wearing them all day. I’m retired so I wear them when I go out but wear nothing or hats around the house. On a side note, my husband loves the wigs since I can shower and ready to leave the house in under 15 minutes with no hair styling to deal with.

Good luck!

Julie

Dx 6/19/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/23/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)

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