The time comes when you hear them words “Chemotherapy”. You usually think about it straight away after you’ve been told you have cancer and if like me, ask the question almost instantly after hearing them words ‘cancer’ “Will I need Chemo?”
For most patients with breast cancer, chemotherapy is part of the treatment process. I have been told my chemo is to mop up any stray cancer cells that have slipped through the net. Back in December I had a full body CT scan and thankfully for me this was normal, so my tumour has gone. It’s been cut out. But i have a high risk of it coming back, chemotherapy will hopefully minimize this risk. I am having 6 sessions of chemo, 1 every 3 weeks. My regime is FEC-T.
Most ladies (and men) I imagine think about hair loss mostly. I certainly did. At first I was like ‘I won’t wear a wig’ ‘I don’t really mind that my hair will fall out’ ‘I’m going to embrace the look’ you know the drift, but as the time is drawing near, I’m actually terrified about hair loss.
My daughter (9) has said she feels really anxious that her school friends will take the Micky out of my bald head and the fact that I will be wearing scarfs and wigs, this made me really sad as it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in the same boat as her at school, I only left school in 2001, so I really know how she feels. With this in mind I have really looked into scalp cooling or cold capping to preserve my hair.
I know this doesn’t work for everyone and patients with hematology cancers aren’t allowed to try, but I am going to give it ago. If it fails it fails, but at least I tried.
You get given many leaflets from the oncology clinic and Macmillan about hair loss which is great, but I’ve also done my own research about cold capping and how effective it is. Some real success stories have been really inspiring to read, they have used products and techniques to try and minimize their own hair loss. I am writing another blog with all these products and a bit about them and eagerly waiting to try them out to see if it works!!
Ive been told I will know wether cold capping has been successful by the third treatment. Normal hair loss usually occurs at a very quick rate by about day 21, but again, everyone is different.
In regards to the other side effects of treatment, I don’t want to scare people out there just starting on their journey. In a nutshell, it’s nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and generally feeling very hungover (my own consultant used these words) however I have been told if you stick to your medication such as anti sickness meds, steroids etc, then you should be ok. I will blog about each chemo session I have and give an honest account of how I feel.
This is just a snippet of worries and fears of having chemo, with hair loss being my main one I thought I’d touch upon this the most, please check out my next post ‘Chemo Must haves’ where I will be exploring all the products I have been advised to have whilst on the chemo train.
My first session of chemotherapy is on the 25th of Feb, Picc line being inserted on the 24th Feb, it will soon be here?!?!