losing my eyelashes for the second time, help!

Hi All,
Just wondering if anyone has had the same problem of losing their eylashes/eyebrows for the second time.

Had my op last june, 19mm grade 3 triple neg tumor HER2 neg, finished my chemo 4 EPI and 8 CMF 4 weeks ago, eyelashes came back in at an aminzing speed after EPI and I was over the moon ( missed them so much).

I am about to start my Rads on Friday but have noticed how thin and sparce my eyelashes have been over the last week and they have dropped out all but on my left eye, I have started to take some vitamins to build up my immune system pre rads, Spirilina, cod liver oil, multi vit, do you think it may be too soon and it’s effecting my lashes!!.

Thanks for looking and hope anyone can help me!.

Love to you all.

Carol xx

(Eventually found an old posting of mine!I do think that the theory about the lashes having to re-learn their normal growth pattern is right.)

This has happened to me too. Finished Taxotere on 11/5/2007, started Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Lashes and brows came back wonderfully well in early July, but began falling out again in October. They didn’t go completely - just thinned dramatically so that I couldn’t wear mascara on the 5 or 6 pathetic bottom lashes… Since then they have gone through cycles of coming and going.
As to answers for this, I’ve had a few. Firstly, as “normal” lashes have a 6 week growth and fall out, we should expect some loss, but it seems that it takes some time for our bodies to re-learn the normal cycle and a lot go all at once, instead of individually. Sounds logical, but I’ve noticed that the greatest loss is always in the same places.
Scoured the net and found an American Herceptin website and 2 women who reported exactly the same loss I’m having. Having no 14 of 18 next week, so the end is near. Are you having Herceptin?
Oncologist suggested that this “thinning” is Menopausal related, as brows/ lashes thin as we get older. How cheery.
As I’m obviously too vain, I mentioned it to the GP and she immediately asked if I had had my Thyroid checked recently. Turns out I have an over-active thyroid and have just had Radio-active Iodine treatment yesterday. Both over and under active Thyroid can result in hair loss, so you may want to get that checked. ( With my usual luck I was one of the 20% who didn’t loose weight with an overactive Thyroid, nor did I pass Go…)
So, what do I do about it? Have bought French eyelash and eyebrow stuff. If you Google “lipocils”, you’ll find it. I’ve been using it since Christmas and the lashes have never been as bad as October. Is it working or are they just sorting themselves out? Don’t know and I’m not going to stop using it just in case!
As to dealing with what little you’ve got (as they’re still thin) someone on this site led me to Jica Lash Extension Treatment. This is a Cosmetic, not a “treatment”.It’s got little fibres and really thickens the lashes. Apparently make-up artists use it all the time on photo shoots, so that’s why celebs’ lashes always look so good! You apply 1 coat of mascara (I use a “wet” runnier one for this) and then a coat of the Jica straight away while the lashes are still wet. Then you apply another coat of mascara to keep it in place and then I use a good build up mascara. (Obsessed? Moi?) I use it practically every day and I don’t think it’s harming the lashes in any way, as I don’t use it on the bottom ones and have equal problems with loss, top and bottom. I buy it on ebay and it’s not dear.
Perhaps I should have sent this as a PM and avoided exposure to all as vain in the extreme! Really, I don’t think it’s that trivial. I had a great wig and during chemo I felt that to the outside world I looked completely unremarkable until the lashes went. Then I felt “marked” and that the whole world knew about my illness, so I completely empathise with you.
Good luck with it and I hope it’s just a few weeks’ blip.x

Hi Alloway,

Please see the reply from a Cancer website I wrote to called ICON, great website for cancer patients, take a look, picked up a mag in the hospital and it was so informative.
Thanks so much for your reply and comments, it’s nice to know there’s someone out there the same as me, eyelashes are very important and make you feel bald if you have none!. I am not on Tamoxifen as my cancer was hormone driven as it would be no good for me.I will look on Ebay for the items you said, anything is worth a try.
My eyelashes are just starting to grow again but I don’t hold as much faith in the eyebrows as they were failing before chemo due to over plucking in my youth!.I am just starting my 3 weeks of Rads so hopefully it won’t efect my lashes.
Hair on the head is doing fine and OH says I nearly need a haircut, can’t wait till it’s long enough to colour as Grey is soooo not me!.

Don’t worry there is nothing wrong, it is not unusual for things not to return to normal quickly. Though the CMF does not cause hair loss directly, because it was on the back of EPI it exacerbated it. The hair loss is due to damage to the fine hair follicles, the finer the tissues such as nerves, the more they are damaged so hair comes out quickly. What has probably happened is your eyebrows grew back, but the follicles were still rather damaged and unable to retain the hairs due to the build up of toxins in the body with the accumulation of treatment.

Once the chemo is cleared in a few weeks your cells should start to really heal properly and they will grow back. It takes a few cycles of cell growth with both hair and eyebrows to get back to normal strength.

Thanks once again for the comment and good luck to you, keep smiling!.

Love, Carol