Rosemary's Cancer Blog

Hair

 I don’t mean to sound like I’m not glad I’m alive. I am very happy to be alive and I try to live each day to the fullest. But my hair keeps getting worse and worse and I look like a freak. I’ve lost a lot of hair where I have no sideburns and half bald around my ears. Guess I just wanted to vent. Guess I need to go Buy a wig. But I’m just having a hard time accepting  that if I want to look decent for the rest of my life however long that is  I may have to wear a wig. I am 5 1/2 years out of treatment. Praise God. One day at a time. 

Richard likes this post.
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Whatever makes you feel better, do it. Hey, Alex Trebeck is wearing one now. I loved my wigs, I got synthetic because in Florida humidity, they stayed looking great, no frizz either! My husband got quite a thrill watching me try them on, thought he could pick his "new woman" brunette, but no, sorry dear!
Nowadays the synthetic ones are made in varied tones and look very genuine.
So many friends of mine are experiencing hair loss, even without chemo, makes me wonder if it's our food? Because food sure isn't what it was when I was growing up! Both of my sisters suffer from this too. I hope you find something that works for you. XX
Christine, Rosemary like this comment
Thanks Tyndall. Appreciate that.
Second Tyndall...get a wig and put your worries to one side. I am sorry you have this hair problem...hope you are otherwise doing ok!
Christine, Rosemary like this comment
Yes I am Helen. And seeing some of yalls posts just encourage me. Thank you and hope you are doing well.
Helen Marshall likes this comment
Have you tried Minoxidil? I used it since I started chemo in 2017 until December 2018. It was working. I found it the cheapest online at Costco. https://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature-Hair-Regrowth-Treatment-Extra-Strength-for-Men%2c-5%25-Minoxidil-Topical-Solution%2c-2-fl.-oz%2c-6-pack.product.11501138.html
I used it in addition to vitamins. Otherwise, a wig may be an option. I've heard you can get it from American Cancer society for free. Hugs!
Go ahead and get a wig! They look so natural today compared to years ago. Enjoy it as long as you need it. You can go anywhere in the spur of the moment without worrying about doing your hair. It will make you feel better which is the important thing.
Rosemary likes this comment
Thank you
Your hair is still falling out from treatment 5 yrs ago?? Did the doctor say you could do anything? I’m sorry you have to feel sad. I had a wig after treatment. I got one that looked exactly like my hair looked prior to chemo. I thought I would go in and get something completely different but I just wanted to feel like me again. But a wig if it makes you feel better. My doctor wrote a prescription for my wig and the insurance paid for it. They don’t cover so many things but they did cover that. Post a pic if you get one! Hugs!!!
Thanks. It was after treatment, I thought my hair was growing back. It was a long time after though I started noticing that I was hairless where my sideburns had been and kind of looked like I’d been scalped around my ears. I have just lived with it but haven’t felt real good about my looks. I’m 70 and decided if I didn’t want to look weird for the rest of my life I was going to have to do something. So now I’m going back to the cancer center and they have a little shop where they provide wigs, turbans, hats etc. and see what can be done.
Allseitz likes this comment
I hope you find something you love! 💙
BECAUSE ITS ME..... I DID NOT KNOW THAT GIRLS HAD SIDEBURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IF ONLY I HAD THAT PROBLEM IN MY NOSE AND EARS.... WHY IS IT THAT YOU GET HAIR WHERE YOU DON'T NEED/WANT IT???

IF YOU WANNA WEAR A PIECE....GO FOR IT! STAY HAPPY
Tyndall likes this comment
I don't blame you! It's hard to lose hair!
I know there is a woman's disorder, that is common and perhaps something to be done; I know it also include weight gain:https://www.thebodywellusa.com/the-most-misdiagnosed-and-mistreated-hormonal-problem-in-women/
*also thyroid disorders can cause this (happened to me after treatment)
Maybe time to have a physical with primary care?
Hugs E
There may be other options than a full wig. My cousin (who did not have cancer) has hair fine hair that is thinning. She uses men's Rogaine (which although may not grow hair, might stabilize the thinning)

She has something called a topper.or a wiglet A hair piece that is attached to a comb or something that sits on your head on top of y0ur hair. It looks great and she is very happy...not uncomfortable like a full wig. Best to find a really good shop that can match your hair colour and help you style the piece.
Rosemary likes this comment
Thank you so much.
If you haven't seen your primary care doctor, I would suggest it. There are conditions, other than having had cancer treatment, that can cause hair loss. Check out this website:

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/women-hair-loss-causes#1

It could very well be related to your treatment, but then again, it may not. If you feel better wearing a wig, then I wouldn't hesitate to get one (or several for different looks).
Rosemary likes this comment
Thank you so much. I’ll check it out!
Smurf likes this comment
Hi Rosemary,
I am also 5 1/2 years out, and about 2 years ago, I had a period of hair loss. Went to a dermatologist and she explained that it was prob from some traumatic event and that was how my body reacted.My hair eventually came back and in the meantime I used taped extensions. Also, my hair is definitely thinner than when it grew back after treatment. I recently had more thorough thyroid testing and it showed that I have Hashimoto's, which is a pre-hypothyroidism condition. So might be a good idea to check in with your GP.
D
Rosemary likes this comment
Thanks Daisy. I’m doing better, maybe it’s because of better shampoo and conditioner or styling or something. I’m not blow drying it anymore and just wash conditioner comb and go to bed. And it’s working for me. Think I was trying too hard to have perfect hair. The story of my life. Now just not worried about it. Hope you’re doing good. Loved that interview by Maria Cross on CBS. Did you see it? Or maybe you were the one that posted it?
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Hair

Do any of y’all wear wigs. I’m considering it. Have some hair loss along my hairline and it looks a little funny. I would like to look more normal.

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Did not need a wig...the only hair I lost was "bikini line!" Have a friend who definitely did. See if there is a local cancer group that offers wigs...
Easterly, Rosemary like this comment
I had a wig for a little while. It was a really nice one that my insurance paid for!! I lost most of my hair. I found the wig to be very uncomfortable so I only wore it a few times. I mainly had on chemo caps. At that time I was having hot flashes every 10 to 15 minutes. The cap was easier to take off and on a lot. The insurance paid for it because the doctor put it through as a prosthetic.
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I lost nearly all of my hair over 90% just a week or so into treatment...my kids were most afraid of this happening as it makes you look like you have cancer and I had long hair to begin with. So I made multiple appointments around town to try on wigs and get a consult, after hours of trying on wigs I was convinced I needed one made of real hair because I would be wearing it for a year plus. I spent $1600 on a beautiful wig and I wore it maybe 5-6 times. It was a huge financial mistake. I realized it made me feel super uncomfortable and I chose to wear hats from that point on until it started to grow in and I got a pixie cut. You may not be considering doing something like this but I thought I would share nonetheless! I made an emotional decision and didn’t really think it through. I should have purchased something far less expensive and given that a whirl first! But everyone has their own feelings on all of this 😊.
Rosemary likes this comment
My hair thinned but did not lose it
Rosemary likes this comment
If there is one thing I’ve learned through our shared cancer it’s you need to do you. If wearing a wig is what you need then do it. I support you in whatever you choose!
Rosemary likes this comment
I bought two wigs prior to chemo but never wore them. Instead I used Batiste dry shampoo plus with coloring effect to cover bold spots. I've lost about 70% of my hair. After the chemo, I got hair a lot of better than it was before.
Easterly, Rosemary like this comment
Good idea (why didn't I think of that:D) and mine is better now.
Olga, Rosemary like this comment
I lost a lot of hair and it had been very thick and past my waist. I ended up cutting it 3 weeks into treatment to save our vacuum. I had a bald spot during summer that I wore hats to cover. It’s all grown back but now I’m dealing with unruly curly thick short hair. I was trying to start growing it out but couldn’t stand being a poof head. I still hate having short hair but I’m going to have to adjust and live through the awkward stage at some point. Hats are a lot easier and cheaper than wigs 😊. Hang in there!
Olga, Rosemary like this comment
My hair only thinned a bit with anal cancer. Lost most of it when I had Hodgkin’s. I just wore hair very short.

Did you start biotin?
Rosemary likes this comment
No
I’ve been on biotin for yrs. I do believe it helps the hair grow back faster I’m still on it. My sister in law lost her hair. She bought pretty silky scarfs and wore as a wrap. She always looked nice.
I bought a wig when I had chemo for Hodgkin’s but never wore it.
Rosemary likes this comment
I would suggest something along the lines of what Helen said. Most states do have places to get these items, usually free; because of what you will read from folks that try them. Call around to your local hospital groups, or ask you health providers. (Breast cancer groups have the most organized resources) The people that do end up liking wigs really well, sometimes wear them the rest of their lives. There were too many other things to cope with to bother with hair. However with a product called "Living Proof; 5 in 1"(bought online) it's grown back with vigor. It took 9 months out, to stop falling out, but started growing back at about 6 months out; Meaning is that I never lost it all at once, the grow back was 1.5 inches the ending of fall out.

What ever you do; treat yourself! I remember reading a story, from our Michele, (above) told, about buying sunglasses, when I was in treatment; and I incorporated that frame of mind; luxuries, if you can find them, are very healing.
Rosemary likes this comment
My husband bought me a halo wig to wear under a hat or cap, but I never wore it.
Rosemary likes this comment
I am losing a lot of hair this weekend. Maybe just a major thinning, or not. Still have another chemo so who knows. I don't think I want a wig, but I have given myself permission to change my mind! I am going to do whatever makes me feel good and you should too!
Rosemary likes this comment
Rosemary American Cancer Society will give you a wig. Go to their website for the number(I don't have it off hand here) they will take all your info and get you in contact with a local volunteer to meet with you. I got mine last week and going to my beautician for her to shape it up for me.Right now I'm wearing scarves and turbans, plus my sister crocheted me a few winter hats. I lost all my hair in my first round of chemo, going to do my second round this week. Whatever you decide,prayers to you. Sandy
Rosemary likes this comment
i've never looked normal...so why start now!

i say that whatever makes your day.....do it.

That’s cute
My hair grew back thick as ever, so I can't get my wigs on comfortably, even with a cap. Which is a bummer, because I would like to wear the short curly one once in a while. I could use a toupee down below though, lol
A clever hairdresser could be an answer, might have a solution for you. Do what makes you feel great! I'm getting braces (!) on Thursday, the lower teeth are moving at this age. It's probably gonna be me and a bunch of teenagers in the office :) Never too old to look good, I say!
Rosemary, Avyka like this comment
Thanks Tyndall. Boy it’s great to be alive and living, isn’t it???
Hi Rosemary, I say wear a wig if you want, or not. My sister, mom and two female cousins all wore wigs from time to time during their hair loss days. But, my sister said wearing wigs was irritating. The good thing is that wigs have come a long way. And, you can get a good looking, natural like one for a little of nothing. Beauty supply stores have the best prices, as does online wig websites. You are beautiful with or without.
Though I too had complete hair loss I decided not to buy a wig because the ones that give you a normal look are too expensive and the cheaper ones look stupid. As my original hair was greyish, one can't find anything close to it so I abandoned the idea and instead wore scarves. Most of the other ladies who had bought wigs swore they could use them only 2-3 times as they are irritating and itchy. As time pass people around you kind of accept the changes in your appearances and don't pay too much attention.
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Vital Info

Posts

May 10, 2018

Midland, Texas 79701

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma

March 15, 2013

Stage 2

Yes

Mitomycin

I stopped going to my oncologist after my first exam after finishing treatment. Don't know if I would recommend that for anybody else as I've wondered a million times if any cancer has come back. I've tried to eat a plant based diet.

I feel the chemo did weaken organs in my body.

Lymph nodes maybe.

October 4, 2013

December 30, 2013

Bleeding, painful protrusion.

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