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Hair growth
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morrison posted:
Hello everyone,

I had my last chemo treatment 3/2010 and my hair has yet to grow back. I have about two inches of hair in the back and about three inches on top, but the top is very thin. I don't have any hair on the sides and no eye brows or eye lashes. I am so tired of wigs and I just want to take my wigs and trash them, but I am to ashamed to go out without them. Has anyone or is anyone going through this same problem? Is there hope for me? I would love to hear for someone, anyone with information that can help me with my situation.

Thanks.
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rachael67 responded:
I am so sorry that you continue to deal with challenges from breast cancer....Often the treatments come with their own little/big troubles! In choosing our paths we always face a balancing act between risk vs benefit...Hopefully we choose the lesser of two evils, but must realize they will not necessarily come without side-effects.

The one you are dealing with is perhaps one of the most troublesome as it forces us to "share" our battle with the word, to be "different" than other ladies...Our crowning glory is far from what it is supposed to be!

You're far from alone in this situation...Sadly, many of our members have dealt with the loss of hair and it taking forever to return and when it does, it is quite different from what they had prior to chemo! Frustrating and depressing.

Others may come to post their experiences here, but in the meantime, please type "hair growth after chemo" in the "Search This Community" box just above "Popular Discussions". I did and found there to be 45 results. I am unsure if any will offer a cure, but they may help you realize how common this can be...You are far from alone!!

Also, you don't mention if you have asked your medical team, etc. about this...Please do so as they may have suggestions we have not. And if you find any answers or ideas, please come back and share them with us. That is what we do...Hold hands, offer support and share anything we discover with each other. Often times we are aware of problems and solutions even before the "professionals"!!

Please know that you will be in our thoughts, and let us know how things are going for you. We care!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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jenna291 replied to rachael67's response:
morrison,
curious if you are taking any meds, tamoxifen, arimidex? I know they can cause hair thinning and this may be slowing down the process.
I would check with your medical team and see if there is something that would help.
Taxol left me completely bald EVERYWHERE! Hair was slow to come back, but it did eventually come back, thinner but no real complaints.
If someone could come up with a way to have these treatments and not loose hair, they would probably win Nobel peace prize.
good luck -
Jenna
 
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morrison replied to jenna291's response:
First,

Let say thank you for all of your advice and comments. I am not currently taking any meds, but I too took Taxol and as you can guess, it left me completely bald everywhere also. But I just figured after a few years I would be further along. I spoke with my oncologist concerning my situation about a year after my last chemo treatment and his advice was to speak with a dermatologist, but I have yet to do so. He also stated that there are some patients that never grow any hair after chemo. I am still trying to pay off medical bills and I just do not have any extra funds for a dermatologist. I am still hoping for the best.

Again thank you all for the encouraging words and all the advice.

Blessing-
Morrison
 
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judyfams replied to morrison's response:
Unfortunately your oncologist gave you the right info and advice. There are women whose hair does not grow back after chemo.
However, there is some new successful trearments that are being used to promote hair growth. Some of my research shows that there are more options for women with thinning hair than just hair plugs. However, i don't know if the new treatments will be successful for women who have had chemo.
Since funds are limited at this time, may I make the following suggestion. Ask your oncologist to recommend a dermatologist that you can go to and have a consultation with to find out what (if any) options you have and what is being done for women who have the same problem you have.
Then you will have some idea of what you are dealing with and even possibly what you can look forward to in the future. You do not have to do anything else at this time, but at least you will get some answers and peace of mind, and then at a future time decide if you want to go ahead with treatments. Sometimes knowing (even if it is not what we want to hear) is enough to ease your anxiety.
Also, have you thought about getting a good, short buzz cut and wearing some great earrings - that seems to be the new hairdo style. Try it and if you don't like the way you look you can wear your wigs - or you might love the new you look!
Please let us know what you find out.
Judy
 
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brcansur responded:
Morrison,
Hello, I was dx Feb 2008 had chemo in may and ended in aug 2008 and I still have thin hair on top and very few eye brows they are so thin and spaced out it looks like I have none. My eye lashes still fall out on me very easy. My hair has gotten thicker on the sides and back but it is thin on the top. I found that taking muti vit everyday and washing my hair every 3 days and not everyday or 2 helped also. I don't use a close toothed brush or comb use wide tooth ones they don't pull on your hair as bad wich also helps. So when your hair is growing we aren't pulling it right back out. When mine is short I tend to just use my fingers no comb or brush it is much more gental on your hair and skin of your head. I went to a group that had a women that does the makeup tattoos for eye brows and I am thinking about having them done. A few of the other ladies from group have had them done and they look very real even a year out. She will fill them in and touch up for life free. She is also known to do them for free for breast cancer survivors. A friend of mine had her done for free but gave her money for doing them. I hope this has helped you some good luck and hang in there. Angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
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goody2chords responded:
Hi, I feel your pain! When I had to go through chemo (last year) I had long locks down to my waist. I cut them off when the chemo started and made a wig of my own hair. it looked awesome! I still have it. A girlfriend gave me some of her hair so I would have enough. Yes it was a pain, just like all wigs are. I recommend a real hair wig for the most comfort and for a natural look. These are expensive, but a completely woven hair wig is best. Your hair should be growing back soon, I hope. Mine started growing back a month before I was done with chemo, and now it is a big curly mess. (It was never curly.) Get some "hair growth" supplements at the health food store or online, they can't hurt. Maybe that will help. GOOD LUCK!
 
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mhall6252 responded:
I'm so sorry you find yourself not growing back your hair. The harsh reality is that about 6% of women suffer permanent hair loss after being treated with a taxane (taxol, taxotere, abraxane). It's one of those things that the oncs don't tell you but if you look up the side effects of these drugs, you can find out all the dirt.

One thing you might do is have your thyroid level checked. If it's not functioning properly, it could cause slow or no hair growth.

I recently underwent whole brain radiation and I've been warned that my hair will probably not come back at all or very little, so I can truly sympathize with your plight. I hope you find some answers.

Hugs,
Michelle
Michelle
Read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com
Smile and the world smiles with you!
 
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jenna291 replied to mhall6252's response:
I know how frustrating this can be. I was lucky enough for my hair to grow back, but it was very thick before chemo and has thinned out quite a bit. If I don't wash it every few days, it looks even thinner.
I also had taxol and had no idea the hair loss could be permanent. The docs don't tell you these things which is one reason why a forum like this is so helfpul. I take Arimidex which causes hair thinning as one of its many side effects, so the whole thing can be really frustrating.
I also have much thinner eyelashes which make my eyes much more sensitive to dust and sun. I don't go anywhere without sunglasses!

I hope your doc can give you some real answers on your individual situation.

hugs,
Jenna
 
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GGrandmaJan replied to mhall6252's response:
Michelle, Glad to see you posting again. You were sorely missed.

I did not know that having chemo (taxol, taxotere, and or abraxane) might cause permanent hair loss. I was on Abraxane all summer of 2011. WOW can't believe it was a year ago already. I was wondering why my hair was so slow in growing back. I figured cause it was the 2nd time for losing it---that was the answer.

I have decided to keep it cut short and wear my wigs. I am a liberated women due to my wigs. I adore them and never have a bad hair day. LOL.

Michelle, have you checked out "TLC" catalog on wigs? They have petite wigs and I had ordered 2 before. If they do not fit or you do not like the looks on you they are returnable (Unless they are on sale). I have bought 4 wigs from them and really pleased with the looks and fit. Now that my hair has sort of grew back the petite ones were toooo small. I just ordered 2 more that are Average. I get the ones with the most curl as then all I have to do is shake them out---put them on and smooth them down a little. Waaalaaa- out the door I go.

"TLC" is having a close-out sale going on right now. This is the catalog that is in most every cancer clinic. Have you checked it out??? Just a thought. They are very in-expensive. That is why I can afford several. I ask DH who he wants to go with---a red-head, blonde or brunette. LOL.

Hope this helps.
Fondly
Jan
He who laughs at himself--never runs out of things to laugh at!! by Me.
 
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mhall6252 replied to GGrandmaJan's response:
Jan - thanks, I do get the TLC catalog and saw the sale. I ordered some petite sleep caps from them (and other things in the past) and their prices are pretty good, along with the quality. I'm holding off on buying anyonther wig until I attend the Look Good Feel Better class next Tuesday. The last time I attended, they gave certificates for a free wig and provided a list of participating wig shops. I'm going to try again for a curly version with a "brown with red highlights", surely there is one in my future somewhere!

Hugs,
Michelle
Michelle
Read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com
Smile and the world smiles with you!
 
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brcansur replied to mhall6252's response:
I too love the TLC catalog I have some of the sleep hats they are or should I say were great now I get to hot to wear them. But when I had no hair they were so soft and kept me head warm at night plus they are pretty. I even got some hats to wear out for summer time winter and just for fun days out I still wear them. This is coming from someone that never liked wearing a hat before now I love them because theirs are so comfortable and cute. Plus the price is right !!!
I also went to the look good feel better program had a blast, great program have fun and hope you get the wig of your dreams Michelle. Have a great weekend ladies angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta


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