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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Ovarian Cancer Discussion Forum

I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby marwin » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:36 am

i have stage 2 ovarian cancer i have to do 6 cycles of chemo (or more it depends) and i will taking Bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin. All meds have hair loss as their side effects.
I have very long thick hair, and i don't want to cut it. I was told that i may want to cut my hair to sholder length. Now im debating on cutting it, and i just wanted to know if i should cut it or leave it alone? and if i was left with no hair, where do you buy human hair wigs? and how much do they cost?
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Merrick » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:37 am

I went through chemo last summer.
I cut my hair short a few weeks before I started and right after the first treatment I had it shaved to stubble.
It was better for me because it was gradual.
I didn't want to wait until it fell out in clumps.
I never looked into human hair wigs but I think they're pretty expensive.
I was going to order a wig for $300 and then decided to wait and ordered an inexpensive one.
I only ended up wearing it one time because it was hot and I wasn't comfortable wearing it.
I got a bunch of different colored bandanas.

If you contact your local cancer society, most will give you a $75 voucher towards a wig.
You can also sign up for their Look Good Feel Better workshop which goes over makeup techniques for eyebrow and eyelash loss.

Best of luck.
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby birnie53 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:39 am

You might want to cut your hair shorter just to be able to manage it when it does start to come out. It will shed in clumps and can be messy . .my son wanted to go through that and refused to have it shaved or cut. It was messy.
He always looked really good without hair and wore a baseball cap to stay warm up top.

You can call the American Cancer Society to see if there are wigs available in your local area . . although most people with hair loss from cancer seem to think that the wigs are uncomfortable and hot . .so you might want to reconsider and wear a scarf or baseball cap . .they even say the synthetic wigs are more comfortable. I have also seen caps or hats with hair attached so that it looks almost real.
Here are a few sites for you to investigate:

ACS: Tender Loving Care http://www.tlcdirect.org/

ACS: Look Good . . Feel Better http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org/

Be sure to get a prescription from your doctor for the wig because it is often covered by insurance.
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Emmott » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:40 am

Victoria, you are a brave lovely person, if I were you, I would have my hair cut really short, becuse when your hair starts to fall, it usually comes out in clumps, so if you get it cut short now, you can make the people around you so proud, and you can say "Look, i,ve beaten the drugs to it"but just think, when your hair grows back, it will grow so healthy and strong and beautiful, everyone will be jealous of you. As far as your question about the wigs, the hospital will advise you on manufacturers and the such. But that only leaves me one more thing to say, God bless you sweetheart, and good luck with your treatment,you,ll soon be back on form, oh brave one.xxxxxxxxxx.
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Rphael » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:42 am

My mother cut hers very short before she started her chemo so it wouldn't be so "everywhere" when it started coming out.
It came out in clumps, LOTS of clumps, and she finally just pulled the rest out with duct tape...got it over with! She had no desire to find hair in her plate, in her mouth (from her pillow) and all over the floor/furniture because she left a trail everywhere she went.
I made her a chemo turban to wear which is very simple and very comfortable and keeps the head warm at night (here's the link for the pattern: http://www.sewing.org/enthusiast/html/ec... )

If your hair is long enough, ask about donating your hair to an organization (cutting it for a donation for a wig for a chemo patient; some hairdressers will cut it free for that) that does wigs for patients. http://hair.lovetoknow.com/Free_Wigs_for... has links to several organizations providing wigs to cancer patients.

Here is a link to chemosavy which sells wigs, synthetic and human hair: http://www.chemosavvy.com/list.asp?d=27&...

Mom did not like her wig...said it was hot and itchy.
Her scalp was somewhat tender any way so she rarely wore it.

I will be happy to make you a cap and mail it to you.
Let me know what color and the size (measure around your head (BENEATH your hair as measuring over your hair will mean your cap won't fit).
A med is about 22", a small about 20" and a large about 24" to give you an idea.
It is comfy and a start!
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Stanwode » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:45 am

During chemo, my doctor had me wear an "ice cap" for 15 minutes before/during treatment. It was *extremely* cold, and it constricts the blood vessels in your scalp so less of the medicine goes to your scalp & hair follicles. He had a bunch of them in a freezer in his office. I kept my hair. Whether it was luck or not I don't know, but my doc is now the head of breast cancer research at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, so he must know something.

Good luck.
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Robbin » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:52 am

First of all good luck with your treatment and speedy recovery.

Second to answer your questions I think specialty salons have human hair wigs and they are expensive.
I don't know exactly how much, but many times that of the artificial ones.

I don't know those chemos - ask your doctors if they are likely to cause hair loss - not all do.
My docs said "Yes you will lose your hair", but I kept hoping.
I have always loved my hair, considered it my best feature, so the thought of losing it was horrible.
The thought was worse than the actuality.
What lo said is true - your scalp will get tender and the hair will drop everywhere.
After a shower you will be scraping it out of the drain.
It really is sort of disgusting.
After mine started going my son buzzed mine off with a clippers and then buzzed himself and another son.

If you have long hair, why not get it cut and make a ponytail of it that you can wear with a ball cap or hat.
They sell things like that, but it would be cooler to have one of your own hair.

I got a wig, but didn't wear it much, hats and scaves or nothing were much more comfortable.

On the plus side, my hair came back thicker than ever, the same colour and curly which turned into a nice wave.
Also I was a bit worried because my husband also loved my hair but he told me he was never more proud of me than when I just went bald with such grace.
He said I looked like some Egyptian priestess.
(I think that was a compliment)

You will get through this, your hair will grow again.
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Pruie » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:54 am

I have a suggestion. If your hair is long enough, usually they need 10 inches, why not cut it and donate it? My girls had a best friend who was going through treatments and even though their friend wa ok with just a bandana and a hoodie they cut and donated theirs in her honor. We lost her 3 months ago and my girls almost have long enough hair to donate again. Locks for Love is a wonderful, fantastic, caring company....My daughters and I wish you well in your battle....
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Wordsworth » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:17 am

I can understand you not wanting to cut your hair; it does make things so much easier though.

When hair is about to fall out, the scalp usually becomes sore and tender - think of the sensation in your scalp when you've had a really tight ponytail and you let it down. The shorter the hair, the less the discomfort.

And when it does start to come out, it gets everywhere - in your food, on your carpet and furniture, on your clothes, in your mouth...everywhere.

Cutting it short around the time you start chemo, and shaving it all off when it starts to fall out avoids these problems.

It also (to me) felt a lot more dignified than having bald patches and clumps of hair.

I know it's probably hard to think of doing that, but it is going to fall out anyway, and once it starts it isn't long before most of it is gone. And it WILL grow back, I promise you it will - often it starts to grow back before chemo is over.

I can't advise about wigs because I found wearing a wig hot, itchy and uncomfortable, and I relied on cotton scarves and hats.

This site has a huge range of hats and scarves, and they are all designed for women with hair loss so they cover the entire head unlike regular hats: http://www.headcovers.com/

My best wishes for next Monday, and for the rest of your treatment
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I Will Be Starting My First Cycle Of Chemo Next Monday?

Postby Berakhiah » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:27 am

Hi Victoria,

I just had 4 rounds of Adriomycin and Cytoxin in the fall after having a double mastectomy. Both drugs caused me to loose my hair after the first round. I also had long hair. I was terrified. So before my chemo I went and had my hair cut short. Believe it or not I loved it short. I didn't love when my hair started falling out. When it did I went to get a real hair wig, cost me $1000, that ended up not being cut correctly so I had to return it. I had to fight to get my money back. I went to a different place and got another wig (not human) that looked pretty good. People didn't even know it was a wig. Your insurance company should pick up the tab. You also should get some of those soft caps to wear when you don't want to wear your wig, like at home. Especially when you sleep. I also had 12 rounds of Taxol; 1 each week. When I stopped that I was able to take my wig off after about three months. That's how fast my hair came back. Everyone comments on how great I look with short hair. I don't think I'll ever grow my hair super long again.

The only mistake I made was not getting my wig before my hair started falling out. I waited 'til the last minute because I couldn't face it. Go with a good friend after you get your cut short because you won't be able to try them on with long hair.

Good Luck with everything!
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