FEC & Cold Cap & T

I’ve had one cycle of FEC with a cold cap and recently got a wig for my Chemo, hair is just starting to come out. The hospital wig lady looked at the hair loss (odd strands) and said it was not too bad. She also said that hair loss with the cold cap plateau’s - i.e. initially the treatment is a shock to the system and there is hair loss / thinning but then the loss it slows down. Is this true?
After 3 cycles of FEC I move onto T for 3 cycles. T side effect being loss of eyelashes and eyebrows. If I’m wearing a cold cap is this lose reduced? And if I’ve finished FEC - am I then left with any hair that I’ve managed to retain?

Hello Rhubarb,
I did the Cold Cap 3 years ago July 2010 and it worked very well for me. I did have small hair loss during FEC T and was originally not going to have the Taxotere , as like you I had read about more permanent side affects. However one of my Chemo nurses said that if I was in India I would be fighting for that drug to save my life , whether I lost my hair or not. I know she was a little harsh but it made me have the 3 cycles of Taxotere and yes I did lose all my hair everywhere on my body except my scalp which was protected by the cold cap!! It didnt feel too bad when we ladies can wear eyeliner and pencil in the eye brow.
Give it a go Rhubarb you have your life to gain , so dont worry about the loss of your eyebrows and eyelashes. Mine all grew back after the treatment ended.
Good luck with it all , let us all know how you get on. Sending you love and positive vibes. Tracy xxx

Hi Rhubarb
I am of afro caribbean decent and I used the cold cap and kept all my hair, in fact I had it cut twice during chemo
kept my eyebrows until my last session of having 6 sessions of FECT . I finished chemo on 7th June and eyebrows now growing back 6 weeks later. Stick with cold cap if youcan, makes you feel normal after
Best wishes x

Hi Rhubarb
i changed my mind at the last minute and decided to try the cold cap, thinking that if it didn’t work then I would give up. I lost quite a bit of hair after my first FEC but it slowed down after later sessions and stopped coming out completely after my 5th chemo (2nd TAX). So I would say if you can put up with it, then it’s worth persevering. A warning though : the 2nd chemo the cap does feel very cold as there is less hair to protect your scalp. You’ll see from my pic what my hair was like at 6th chemo - and last week I had a family party & my small nephews & nieces didn’t even notice (And they are usually the first to ask questions!). Everyone’s different but I am so pleased I stuck with it. I still have a reasonably expensive wig stuffed in my wardrobe & am very grateful I haven’t needed it, especially in this hot weathejust he hair that I did lose is just starting to grow back.
good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Hi there,
Just to wade in with my 2p worth…im having FEC-T x6, im about to have my 2nd dose and im cold capping, and havent lost any hair, on either head or body, and had hardly any side effects(which obviously isnt down to the cold cap). There are a couple of ladies who are “June Jewels” too who have cold capped and its not worked so well, so i think it depends on hair type, how well the cap fits and maybe just luck of the draw, but its certainly worth giving it a go.

Hi Caroline, ive also tried the cold cap and after one FEC I have lost quite a bit, luckily I’ve got a lot of hair so most people don’t notice, I have my second FEC tomorrow and have 2 more with 4xT after, can I ask if your scalp was tender and when did the hair loss start to slow? Im just worried that im wasting my time if im going to lose it anyway? I haven’t had any on my pillow when I wake up but when I comb it quite a lot comes out in fact its amazed me that I have any left! Just wondered if this was the same for u? I don’t want to give up as my thinking is it will grow back quicker if im not completely bald:( sorry for all the questions, thanks, Caroline

My scalp became really tender & itchy about a day or two before my hair started shedding. The first FEC was the worst then it steadily decreased throughout each chemo. i reckon i lost around 30%-40% of my hair overall, but I read somewhere that the average person has around 100,000 head hairs, so couldnt honestly tell you where 30-40,000 of them went to! my advice would be to stick with it for as long as you can. One thing is for sure: if you dont use the cold cap you will almost certainly lose your hair. of course, everyone’s different and the cold cap doesnt come with a guarantee; i was extremely fortunate. Make sure the cc is as tight as you can handle. I also found Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance leave-in conditioner useful before & after. I forgot to say in my previous post that when you move onto Tax you dont need to wear the cold cap for as long as there is only one drug to be administered instead of 3 with a flush in between.
I ‘only’ had 3FEC and 3TAX so don’t know what difference 8FEC-T would make.
good luck tomorrow.

Hi Caroline, thank u that really helps, I think I will persevere with it as I may as well see it through, the thought of seeing myself bald terrifies me so keeping some will be a bonus! I think ive lost about the same amount so like u im hoping the shedding will stop, I thought about using the aussie leave in conditioner so thanks for the tip:)
Good luck too and thank you again:) x

Hi, any particular hair type it works better for? I’ve got thick, wavy, curly hair had it cut to just above shoulder, don’t want it any shorter . What’s my chances of keeping it if I cold cap do any of you think who’ve been there or are doing it now? Thanks x

Hi lols, im not sure if there is a particular hair type I think its more luck of the draw, all I can say is that its worth giving it a go as if u dont u know ull lose it pretty much anyway. As I said earlier my logic is that I would rather lose sum than all of it and have to grow it from scratch! I know I don’t think the same as sum ladies on here who have shaved it all off, they are really brave and only wish I had the nerve, but like I say definitely worth a try, good luck:) x

Thanks cazzer , not sure I’m going to handle it if I loose hair, sounds daft really with everything else we have to face , I’m planning to give cold cap a go get very bad headaches though, so will have to see how it goes. X

Hi I have had 1 session of fec with cold cap, no hair loss yet but it has only been 6 days so need to wait and see. My problem is my hair is v fine and normally wash my hair most days whereas now I am restricted to twice a week so my hair looks r greasy and awful. Does anyone know if washing it more often so that I can feel normal will affect the hair loss?

Hi lols, I can totally relate to what ur saying and isn’t daft, it’s sad that we have to face losing our hair on top of everything else in fact it’s just plain cruel:( we already have to fight so y can’t we look normal whilst we’re doing it?! It sounds ridiculous but I love my hair and that was my first thought when I was told I had cancer now that’s daft! Hopefully we can get through this and keep some hair, good luck:) x

Also I forgot to add that I suffer with headaches but I only felt pain for about the first 15 minutes then after that I felt fine, take sum paracetamol before hand and u should be fine:) x

Ok will do, hope you hang onto your hair. I had my hair cut to shoulder last week at home, when hairdresser left I found myself sat on floor surrounded by cut hair crying , my OH came in crying to , cos I was!! And he tried to pick me up off floor, what the hells that all about, didnt cry after ops or as much with dx! Xx crap disease I hate it , xx hope cc works for you x

Sound normal to me lols, I had a complete meltdown in the car after shopping for wide tooth comb and ph neutral skin and hair care ,sat clutching my plastic bag with tears streaming down my face like some loony bag lady, got hairdresser on Saturday going short so it’s not such a shock if it goes. Never had short hair so that’s gonna be another meltdown I guess. So wishing us all a few good hair days. Caroline your hair looks good, hope I do as well Lynda

Hi, I finished my chemo 3 weeks ago, used the cold cap & now have a very short but growing very fast & thickening up head of hair. I had 6 fec-t 100, I don’t know if the higher dose makes a difference to hair loss? I started to lose my hair on 2nd cycle & carried on then I managed to downsize to smaller cap which slowed down the hair loss. Before chemo I had my hair cut into a short bob, but should have probably gone shorter.I didn’t clipper it until after my last chemo session as I was left with a friar tuck look where larger cap wasn’t tight enough. I felt better for trimming it to one length but for some reason couldn’t part with it up until then. Somebody I know used the cold cap successfully but she left her hair slightly longer & kept it in a loose pony tail but maybe her head was the perfect shape for the cap. I think it is worth using it because even like me you lose lots & have to wear a wig (Theres lots of realistic looking ones) your hair does grow back alot quicker. It must have worked as rest of body is still nice n smooth! It is a horrible traumatic time & I thought how can I be so vain at a time like this but on the days I felt well I didn’t want to be reminded of my cancer. Good luck ladies it’s definatley worth trying & stick with it xxx

Omg, dreading it, but want to get it over with x thanks for all advice

Hi - I too had 6 FECT and finished in February this year. The cold caps weren’t pleasant but worth persevering with if you can. I began to lose quite a lot of my hair following FEC cycle 2, but kept using the cold caps and managed to keep most of mine. The caps have to be really tight and well fitting on your scalp for them to be effective though. I found it helped to have my long hair cut to just above shoulder length so that the cap fitted well, and I could still clip back my wispy bits.
Just take it one day at a time and treatment will be be over with in no time! X x

U too lols, had my second FEC today so fingers crossed although scared to touch it! don’t dread it ull be fine:) im sending positive thoughts ur way:) x x x Great advice from all other ladies :slight_smile: good luck x x