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New to Cancer


hk24fan

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Hi, my name is Holly and I was diagnosed on August 15. I have started treatments and was very upset and confused, but I'm starting to get a handle on the routine and let go of the fear. I spend a lot of time alone, which makes it a little more difficult. Too much time to think!

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Hi Holly and welcome here. It's good that you're getting a handle on the routine of treatment and beginning to let go of fear. Please let us hear more from you. If you feel comfortable  writing about your diagonisis and treatment, you'll probably hear from others who have or had similar. In any event this is a good place to find hope and information.

Bridget O

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Hi Holly, glad you found us.  Sounds like you started chemo or radiation.  That is how my treatment started.

Boy I see you live in Florida.  Hope you didn't have to contend with the worst of the storm too !  Do you have some family

there with you or near by ?   Being told you have cancer does bring up feelings of fear.  I know that.  Hope you respond well 

to the treatment.  Please keep us posted.   Feel free to talk or ask questions.

Donna G

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Hi Donna, 

Thank ;you for the response. My treatment is both Chemo and Radiation. I do the radiation 5 days a week and the chemo once a week. I've only had 1 chemo treatment and it made for a really long day because I went from chemo to radiation before going home. I didn't have a real bad reaction to the chemo so far and have not yet lost my hair, but they indicated I would. I'm currently working on how I'm going to deal with that. I'm guessing it will start within the next couple weeks. I'm preparing myself as best I can.  My best friend passed from lung cancer on November 4, 2016 and I sat with her through the whole thing, spending hours at the hospital and worrying at home. I'm trying to stay positive so that my loved ones do not have to go through it. I think of her fight often, but am trying to stay as positive as I can.

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Holly,                                                                                Sorry to hear about your cancer. My Husband has been fighting for almost three years now. I understand what you are going through. I will be thinking of you. 

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Hi 

I didn't need chemo for my lung cancer, but  I did have  concurrent chemo and radiation, plus additional radiation.  for a prior non-lung cancer. I had the 5 days a week radiation along with weekly cisplatin. I didn't lose my hair with that, although I thought I might. My understanding is that when cisplatin is given  weekly, concurrently with radiation, it iis given at half the dose usually given if you're on an every-three-week schedule. So maybe that's why my hair didn't aall out then. The additional chemo was carboplatin and taxoterre and I did lose my hair with that. I had been prepared for it. Prior to my surgery, I had my long hair cut to above shoulder length, because I thought it would get to be a tangled mess in the hospital. Prior to chemo, I bought a cheap wig and had it style free at a local hospital. When the hair started to go, I got a buzz  cut. Having no hair was less distressing to me than handsful coming out. Turned out I wore the wig seldom, but i did get quite a few hats and scarves. Some of them were pretty cute and I still wear them. Generally, I didn't find the hair thing to be a big deal. I know that some people do and that they spend a lot of time, money and effort dealing with it. A friend of a friend went to great lengths to keep her cancer and hair loss secret from a family member who was very seriously ill herself. She got her hair cut prior to chemo, and then got an expensive wig that duplicated her hairstyle so she could have a seamless transition. We each do what makes us most comfortable. 

Bridget O

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Bridget O,

My chemo is carboplatin and taxol and my caregivers have told me that hair loss is probable. My sister had breast cancer and lost her hair. She was devastated and often cried, which she rarely does. I have decided that I'm going to take the "bull by the horns" so to speak. When my "shedding" starts, I have ask my husband to shave my head (he has the clippers for it) and have already picked up a few turbans to wear. I did tell him that if I started crying, just keep going and reassure me that everything will be fine. I guess it gives me a small feeling of having some control of my life moving through treatment. He laughed when I told him I would wear the turbans and long earrings and just tell everyone I've turned gypsy! I just don't like the pitying looks when people find out I have cancer. I will continue to fight for as long as humanly possible and with God's blessing I will get through this just fine. Sometimes feeling positive about this situation is difficult, but I plan on staying confident and trusting my medical team. So far they have been wonderful.

Holly K

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Holly,

Welcome.  I finished 8 rounds of carboplatin and taxol (6 "lite" doses, 2 full doses) in July.  My doc told me I'd lose my hair.  I didn't believe him because he told me I'd lose it with my first round of chemo with different drugs, and I didn't.  But boy was he right about this round.  After my first full dose, my hair started coming out.  About 10 days after that first full dose, my entire scalp hurt - like when you've had your hair pulled up too tight for too long.  I read that after the scalp pain, the hair would really start coming out and it did.  My husband shaved my head on July 10th and it's growing back quite nicely now.  The thought of losing my hair didn't sit well with me; I didn't want to look sick.  But if losing my hair was just a step towards survival, so be it.  The best part about shaving my head? Cut 20 minutes off of my morning routine.  I can always find a silver lining.

Hang in there, Holly, and let us know how we can help you.

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Susan,

Thank you for the response. My sister had breast cancer (9 yrs cancer free) and she was devastated. But she has been helping me through. So far, have not lost hair, but only second treatment. I was informed it will probable happen in the next couple weeks. Not looking forward to it, but I have very understanding friends and family. It really helps. I no longer work. I am 71 in November and retired so I only have to be in public when I want to be and with whom I want to be. That also helps. I know with God's help I will get through this but I really appreciate all the feedback I get.  Thanks again for the response.

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Hi Holly,

I like your hair loss plan!  By all means, try the long earrings with the turbans. I'm 72 and retired.   I found it interesting to be bald.  If we were younger, we could think of it as a fashion statement.

Bridget

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Hi Holly,

I may be completely out of line commenting on your post because I am a caregiver, not the warrior.  My mom lost her hair about 2 years ago when going through her first fight of lung cancer.  She's always had short hair and really isn't attached to it, so losing it was not a huge deal for her.  I shaved her head when she couldn't handle the shedding anymore (hair falling into her food was the breaking point for her) and it was the most intimate time.  It was a way to "pamper" her and save her from having to do it herself or go to a salon.  She never lost her eyebrows and her eyelashes fell out after treatment was over and were gone for about a month.  A few things that she really likes now - her hair grew back wavy (which she has always wanted), and her leg hair is still mostly gone (fabulous during swimming season!!).  She got a free wig from an agency that helps with those things, but only wore it once.  The one thing she really used the most was a soft knitted beanie.  Her head got cold easily and she wore it all day at home and especially when she slept.

 

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