I cold capped for my first chemo but still shedded a lot of hair so didn't bother again after that as I felt the pain wasn't worth the gain. I shaved my head grade 2 all over and still have about 40% of my hair after 5 chemos. I have a bald patch on top which is growing some peach fuzz on it since I started Docetaxol.
The cold cap does not work on everyone. They don't seem to know why that is, it can be uncomfortable for the first few minutes so if you are going to try it take a couple of pain killers about half an hour before your appointment. After the first few minutes most people don't notice it because your head goes numb but some people find it too uncomfortable and ask for it to be removed. The nurses will ask you if you are OK or you want to take it off.
Even if you keep it on it might not work but in any event you will shed some hair. My hair thinned but not by much and I have never needed a wig. I do wear a few clip in extensions or a topper (wide extension) if I am going anywhere nice (I went to a wedding and used them then).
The advantage for me was that I was "back to normal" far quicker than I would have been without hair. Unless they know me nobody would know I had had chemo because I have shoulder length hair - a bit thinner but still lots of it.
I'm good at the organising bit, which is why I think it's so hard to get my head round. Read lots, got notebooks, pens and pencils, lots of lists of questions, and folders to put it all in! The difficult bit is coming to terms with the fact that it's all about me. I'm not really sure what support I'm going to want at the moment, but thank you for the reference to Macmillan - something else to look into 😊
Thank you everyone for your replies.
I am wondering about the cold cap, but have seen mixed reviews. I have very short hair anyway which might be good in some ways, but won't hide any fall out when it happens. I think I'm going to give it a go and see how I feel. The alternative is to hide away, which I have a tendency to do when things get tough.
You've mentioned limiting food intake before a chemo session, and I've seen that mentioned a couple of times too so will take a look. Makes me feel sick just thinking about what's to come, so goodness knows what I'll be like when it gets going!
I am HER2 positive and have had chemo and am still on Herceptin.
I did not believe them we they told me because I looked and felt perfectly healthy!
I used a cold cap and kept lots of hair so you might want to try that. I limited my food intake before chemo because I followed the guidelines of Valter Longo (Google him) and I was a lot better off that most others that did not follow the guidelines in that I did not have tummy troubles or cold sores/mouth ulcers. I still got a bad taste and after a few treatments my blood counts went low making me very tired.
I had surgery first, then chemo, then rads plus Herceptin for a year (2 injections to go).
I still take Claritn hay fever tablets because of this:
Herceptin can cause runny nose so I still take it and I don't have many problems on the Herceptin.
Hi Butterfly, sorry to hear of your diagnosis and welcome to this lovely forum. We're all members of the same club which none of wanted to join. I'm similar to you except the HER2 bit, I'm HER2-. I've recently had my 5th out of 8 chemos of the FEC-T. Finding out you need chemo us quite scary but once you get started you just deal with it somehow. Of course I would rather not have to have chemo but I know I need it so have to toughen up. Get yourself prepared in advance with wig, headscarves etc whilst you can still shop freely. Make sure you join the treatment, chemo monthly thread on this website and others will join you who are going through treatment at the same time. The support you give each other is incredible. Have a read through previous monthly threads to see how others have managed their side effect, like It's really important that you drink plenty of water. I wish you well on your treatment journey. You can do this. Xx
The early days of diagnosis are such a shock, Butterfly, so what you're feeling is quite normal, although horrible to go through. We've all been where you are now. It feels like it's happening to someone else.
There's no reason not to be positive as your Drs are saying, with your diagnosis, there are lots of effective treatment options & now it can be dealt with.
These feelings do settle down & there's loads of support here, so do come & chat whenever you need to.
Thank you Claire, I think it's the chemo I'm finding hard to get my head round. Saw the oncologist today, and I know it's the right course of action, just never expected any of this 😢
Hello and welcome to this forum where you will get loads of help and support from the lovely ladies on here.
It is early days for you and you have so much information to take in, give yourself some time to adjust. I am assuming that you have had your treatment plan which will set out what you are going to have and when which will help going forward.
Come on here as when you want and there will always someone on here to help.
If you go on to the Going through treatment section there is a thread entitled chemotherapy where you will get lots of support
Sending you a hug
Still can't believe it's happening to me. Diagnosed with IDC, ER+, HEP2 + Grade 2 with confirmed lymph node involvement. Need 8 cycles of chemo, followed by surgery and radiotherapy. Doctors all sounding very positive but it just feels so unreal. Maybe it'll kick in when treatment starts?