I was diagnosed with IDC late in March, had a mastectomy in June and just started 6 months of chemo with CMF today. I have alternated (at intervals of several years) between wearing my hair in a press & curl and an Afro. I got bored with the Afro...my complaint was "you can only do two things with it, cut it off or let it grow". And, it's not politically correct, but I think I look prettier with long hair than short, and since I have very thick hair there's a limit to how long I can grow it without straightening, before it becomes impossible to comb it.
I would describe my hair type as a loose 4-c. The curls are bigger than a coffee stirrer, but smaller than a pencil, and they don't form any kind of a wave pattern if left to their own devices. Oddly enough, this past winter before I got diagnosed, I got an intense curiosity about head-wraps and natural hair care, looking at lots of You-Tube videos on both subjects. I tried doing a "braid out/tuck & roll" style one time and it didn't look half bad, but that was just an experiment--I washed my hair, wore the tuck & roll for one day and pressed my hair that night when it was completely dry. Then, right before surgery, I didn't know how soon I'd be able to put my hands over my head to press it or put it up in curlers, so my mom and I divided it up in sections and braided yarn into it (an idea from those videos). I'd always wanted to have really long hair, so I made the braids down to the small of my back. It was fun, and I got lots of compliments, although putting the braids in was by no means as easy as those videos made it look, and by a few weeks after surgery I was ready to take them all out again and get a comb through my hair. You're supposed to be able to wash the hair and yarn and all, but I was really afraid if I did that I'd end up with dreadlocks and have to cut the yarn out rather than being able to un-braid it.
Anyway, I've continued to wonder about natural hair, and whether if I really need to press my hair to grow it long and have it look pretty. Discovering that a product I've relied upon for years to give it that smooth silky feel to my hair after pressing has parabens in it is another incentive to change my ways. I don't know if there is any definitive proof that parabens promote breast cancer, but if there's an easy way to eliminate them, it can't do any harm and may do good.
Anyway, from what I have read, the chemo treatment I will be receiving for the next several months usually does not cause total hair loss like some do, but that's not outside the realm of possibility and at a minimum I can expect that it will cause some thinning--how much remains to be seen. I've decided to cut my hair and go back to an Afro for now. I figure cleaning up hair that has fallen out is probably easier if it's short than if it's long.So I am just wondering, did anyone go natural during treatment, and did you just do it temporarily or continue on even after your treatment was completed? I'm especially interested to hear if anyone was on a CMF chemo regimen, and how it affected your hair, if at all.
Oncotype score 28--Age 56 at initial DX--mets found at 57 (but I suspect they were there from the start)--mixed IDC & carcenoid (neuroendocrine) tumor. Octreotide (a carcenoid treatment) June-Sept 2013, failed.
3/23/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/10/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole)
2/26/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/13 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
6/3/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
10/30/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
1/22/2014 Doxil (doxorubicin)
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