Hair loss and Taxol

Another question! I am about to have my 4th weekly Taxol on Monday and I still have my hair. My head is starting to feel funny lilke it did right before it fell out in 1996 duringAC treatments. The weirdest thing is I went to shave my legs and there was no hair after a week. Does this mean I will probably lose my hair? Is hair loss common with weekly Taxol? I am also starting with the weird feelings in hands and feet? Does this mean I will have to stop taking taxol. Thus last recurrence was spotted because of a lump on my chest wall. We didn't take it out and now it is almost gone so I really don't want to stop the taxol now.

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I lost my hair on taxotere, then lost it on taxol and then later when they tried it again I lost it again. The taxol products worked a long time for me. But one of the prices was lack of hair, and secondly peripheral neuropathy. So take those B vitamines! The neuropathy never got so bad they took me off any drugs.
Geez, at least the regimin I'm on now has allowed me to get some hair for this cold, cold, winter. Also I have no
hair underarms or legs (never grew back) nice side effect for a change.

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I also lost my hair with taxol .....I lost my hair 3 times from my various chemos. Now that it has grown back, it is thicker than ever! My new types of meds since last summer are great since they at least to not effect my hair! That it one of the reason I do not want to have to change those meds which are presently Xeloda and Herceptin. The up-coming meds "Tykerb and Xeloda" will not remove my hair either. I realize that being bald is not the end of the world, however, it does remove some of our self esteem, even men will agree to that! So, let's not be too hard on ourselves if we are a little bit sad because of our different looks in regards to hair loss. It is very normal and needs an adjustment process.

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Fragilistic you sure have a pretty head of hair in your picture.

I won't be devastated if I lose my hair but we haven't told the kids and I want my 19 year old to finish the semester without worrying about me. he has been on this journey for the last 17 years with me and he needs a break. He also has OCD which I know will get out if control.

How long did it take you to lose your hair. Did your scalp feel funny?

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It's tough to lose hair, but it's worth living for sure! Mine was already out when I took Taxol but I still had my eyebrows at that time, and then they too feel out.
It will grow back!

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My hair just thinned out on Taxol/avastin i was on it for 5 months.

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Yes, this picture was after the taxotere, when it grew back in kind of curly. I think it depends on the amount of taxol they give you. They gave me enough so I lost my eyebrows, eyelashes etc. I really missed those eyelashes to keep things from getting in my eyes. They grew back in, but not as thick or long (boo - hoo) seriously.
With the taxol it just kept thinning and thinning and thinning. The scalp felt weird and itchy. I need to put a new picture up because the growing back in this time is really pretty very white grey and short and kinda sassy!
The first time, I did go to a wig place where they could see what my hair looked like and I told them to try and get something similar. That is usually a good strategy. The trouble with the wigs is they are so thick that you have to take it to a hairdresser and thin it out or it will look like an animal died on your head! So I ended up with a decent wig, but found it so darned hot and itchy, I just started wearing bigger and flashier ear-rings to make up for the bald head!
When I was put on a taxol the third time, I was so sad. I was embarrassed to admit it to my oncologist because here we were trying to save my life and I was whimpering about my hair.......it really is a loss, some kind of awful symbol of what we are fighting.
Courage to us though. Life is the important thing. (I kept saying that over and over) I like to reassure myself.

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I forgot to add, I hardly ever wear that wig, but keep it handy.
To go to someone's important event I wear it so as to not bring
attention to myself.

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I was on taxatere myself.Just before I lost my hair my scalp itched and actually hurt.I have heard ppl joking about the morning after gettin smashed..my x landlady asked me if my hair hurt one time.Yah,it's definately like that just before it falls out.I cried my head off and had one of the biggest messes ever with hair being all over the house.I shaved it after the chunks fell out.It's horrible to go thru I agree..but like fragilistic said..living is more important.It can be emotionally devastating though.yup.

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I forgot to tell u,it took about six weeks for it to happen.If your hair hurts..brace yourself.

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I lost my hair on weekly taxol, but from what I've read NOT everyone does. I also lost my hair on Taxotere. BUT, to me the cancer that it kicked was SO worth losing my hair. It ALWAYS grows back again. Good Luck to you!

Suzy

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I wonder what causes the "hurting"scalp. Go for another treatment today. I will be amazed if I have hair by the end of the week. Glad the weather around here is suppose to be in the 50's for a while!

Cathy

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A lot of my hair fell out after 2 weeks on Taxol and I shaved it off just because it grossed me out having hte hair go everywhere. Then I lost my body hair, about half of my eyelashes, my eyebrows. While still on Taxol, after about 5 or 6 months, my hair on my head grew back and then a bit on my body, my hair came in all grey, my eyebrows came in very blonde and my eyelashes have grown in weird and sporadic. Peripheral neuropathy is a typical side effect of Taxol although I took 100 mg daily of Vitamin B6 and then alpha lipoic acid. My feet developed neuropathy which is probably what you are feeling and finally after about 6 months I had to go on Lyrica (which helped a lot). I am now off Taxol for two months and I STILL have neuropathy. My neurologist told me that it should go away after about 6 months to a year. My hair has come in great and is growing about an inch every six weeks now. It's all worth it to be on Taxol because my mets to the bones ended up NED. Good luck and stay strong!

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I lost my about hair 2 weeks after I started weekly Taxol. I eventually lost my eyebrows and most of my lashes- of which I miss! After about 6 months my hair started coming back in. Presently I am into my 8th month and have about an inch or more of hair but still no brows (I hate drawing those darn things on but have gotten rather good at it.

I think everyone is different and you just need to try and prepare for whatever comes. For as it has been said, it is dsaving our lives!
Good luck and be strong!

Jenni

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I also started loosing my hair after the first week of Taxol. When the clumps started coming out then I started shaving it. I at times feel like a hairless dog.. I know it's only a temporary thing and thats what helps me get through it. I am now 1 month chemo and cancer free.... but now I wait for the hair, brows and eyelashes to get back to normal again. Staying positive is the main thing to do. You can't change the situation so go along with it and keep on smiling.. Thats my thought and thats what helped me.
Much love to all of you that have battled this for a long time and for more than once.

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I was on Taxol and yes, I lost my hair. When it started coming out in clumps, I had it shaved to a buzz cut, instead of totally bald, just to keep my head warm. I lost all hair everywhere, including my eyebrows and eyelashes. It does grow back, so keep the faith. I just finished taxol at the end of December and my hair is coming back now. It is my second year on taxol and it came in nice the last time, but now it is coming in with too many grey hairs.(It has been a tough year!!) Once it starts itching, it will start coming out in clumps. Then, I recommend shaving it or you can clog your shower/tub. Good luck!!

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I just got home from my onc's office. Tumor markers bumped up a little, so if things don't improve significantly (I'm just on Faslodex...the first baby step, i know....) in the next month, I'll be starting Taxol. I can't believe how much I loathe the idea of losing my hair again. It feels so superficial and vain how sad it makes me, but I'm preaching to the choir. My first time around, I spent a fortune on an auburn human hair wig which I don't see me using again. I've really embraced the gray.

Just a side question about Taxol...if motivated (by financial circumstances), is it realistic to hope that I can keep working with just a day off here and there?

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It took quite a while for me to lose my hair on Taxol, but I just let it fall out in the shower gradually. Finally I had it buzzed cut off. After Taxol I went on Gemzar which didn't take my hair and it came back curly for the first time in my life. I really am enjoying having eyebrows, eyelashes again too. Now I'm about to go on my third chemo, I don't know which as yet. So I'm sure I'll lose it all again. I do have a wig I like very much and which looks quite "natural." I also wore a lot of ball caps which I found comfortable. Scarves and the various chemo caps that I bought just made me look dorky. Find whatever makes you the most confortable.

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Thank you everbody for your repliess. My problem with losing my hair was that I wanted to tell my son about the cancer coming back on his spring break, starting March 12th. He has been affected by my cancer since he was 3. He is in college and my little guy is at home. I don't know if Iwill have enough hair left in one week to keep it from the little one. I am pulling it out daily and I get pretty hysterical and angry. I don't really understand my reaction since the last time I hardly wore my wig. I guess I was hoping to fly under the radar and not have to listen to stupid though kind comments and questions. Throug this 17 year journey have have been called people's hero's an amazing women, a tough woman, and I do not have the stamina to live up to these labels. Right now I am a woman who is not sure I want to go thru this anymore.

sorry, got off topic. The question is can you continually lose your hair but still have enough so I don't look bald, for another week anyway

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Thanks SO much for bringing this up. I'm on my first chemo round: taxol/carboplatin/avastin. And, since this is my third week, I've been told the hair loss will be starting soon. I have to admit this is freaking me out. I had bad hair for 50 years. Then, I let it grow out for the first time in years and years. And discovered, much to my delight, that by going gray gray in places (under the dye, of course!!!), my hair had grown thicker than it's usual baby fine mess and the waviness I'd always had was more pronounced. Well, 5 years later, now, and my single point of vanity is disappearing.

The wigs brought in by the American Cancer Society look like toupees for dogs. With bad hair. Despite the fact I now have long hair of my own, I was told that short hair is more 'appropriate' for me. Say what???? The ACS youngster - of course, all the women there look so young to me!!! ;o) - also told me the fake strawberry blonde worthy of Lucille Ball would suit me just fine. I stood my ground on this one: with short hair, I get mistaken for my siblings' mom. With my longer hair, we are told, "it's obvious you guys are sisters."

So I must admit I'm in mourning for the soon-to-be-gone hair. I also fear that I'm being taken for a 'hairy ride'. I went looking for wigs locally here in chicago. I found a hairdresser who is as nice as he can be and has worked with numerous cancer patients. But he is saying that a natural hair wig, costing $2200, is going to be the one I'll be happiest with. Of course, he'll sell it to me for half that. And style it for an upcoming wedding, for a mere $55. Fragilistic, you said most wigs are so thick they look like a animal died on your head if they are not thinned. This oh-so-expensive-wig doesn't even have as much hair as my own ponytail! the other wig he showed me that would most suit me, was just under chin length and flipped upward and out...it looks like it came from a 60's beach movie. So of course I put a down payment on the expensive one. I feel silly even posting this. My next action, after I post, is going to be to email him to discuss other options.

I also appreciate those of you who posted re: other things: loss of eyelashes and brows, loss of hair on other parts of your body (although I'm convinced, with those nasty perimenopausal chin hairs I've had come in, that those will be the only things left on my body!!!!! ) and your own attitudes and dealing with it.

The subject was very timely for me and helped out a lot. So thanks for posting it..and thanks to those of you who replied!

Leslie

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Well you ladies were right; I lost my hair. My son is home from college so we told our sons what was going on. I then proceded to shave my head. Ahh did that feel good. Bought a wig that pretty much matches my hair color. It is styled in a bob. My 12 year old said I looked like I was from the 60's!

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