chemotherapy side effects

After the Hair Loss, Early Menopause: Finally Something Exciting While Living with Cancer

Natalia Hernandez Health Guide May 27, 2008
  • My new hair

     

    Hi everyone!  So I'm sure a lot of you are dealing with your hair falling out from chemo. And if you're like me, and cancer treatment pushed you into early menopause (I'm in my late 20s), then you absolutely understand the agony of hot flashes and being hot all the time.  This time that I have been away, I have been trying to accept that I have become a new person and understand that my body has changed. I think I have finally come to peace with having cancer and accepted that for the moment it is not going anywhere. 

     

    He or she has decided to make my body their home, but only a vacation home because pretty soon I know there will be a cure and they're going to have to pack up and leave.  Until then I'm stuck with it and my body has had to adjust.  

     

    It's Getting Hot in Here: Early Menopause and Dealing with Hot Flashes

     

    My hot flashes had seriously become a nightmare.  We kept the AC so high that everyone in my house had gotten used to walking around in Mt. Everest climbing gear and huddling together for warmth. But leaving my igloo was a problem. Every time I would go out to eat, I would have to call the server over to the table and pack all the food to go.  My poor boyfriend would be so excited to leave the house just to come back in.  When my dog wouldn't come out of his bed anymore because it was too cold, something had to change. 

     

    Taking Low-Dose Zoloft (Anti-Depressant) to Control the Hot Flashes

     

    Unfortunately, after my chemo, my mentrual cycle never came back.  My doctor decided to put me on Zoloft.  Zoloft is an anti-depressant, but when given in a small dose it eliminates hot flashes.  That had sooooo much to do with the change in my mood.  It was also an instant reaction as soon as I started taking it, my hot flashes stopped.  Once I stopped being so hot I got a whole lot of my life back. I wanted to go out again and be just like before and just in time for our fabulous Texan summers. 

     

    Finding the Right Hair Piece for Me

     

    I also wanted to tell you guys about these permanent hair pieces that I heard about.  I have bought many wigs and I'm sure all of you know how uncomfortable they can be, not to mention hot and itchy.  As soon as I get home, I take it off my head.  The problem is I have one of my brothers whom I live with and his friends come over all the time.  They just walk through my front door, and I run to my room to throw on my wig, totally embarrassing. 

     

    I looked into extensions, but my hair is only a few inches long.  I went into a Sally beauty shop to buy some wig caps and started talking with the store attendant and she mentioned that there are semi-permanent wigs available and that they feel like your own hair.  She gave me a card for a hair dresser that had been doing this for 30 years.  I went to see him and he explained that the wig was 100% human hair and the cap for the wig was especially made for chemo patients who have lost their hair and also have hot flashes.  It is made of some special material that keeps your head cool and is light as a feather.  They attach it to your hairline and skin using a special glue that is completely safe for your skin.  The glue comes undone very easily with rubbing alcohol.  I can't tell you guys how much this has changed me.  I chose the length and color myself and had it cut to my perfection. 

  •  

    Why My Hair Is So Important

     

    It is so amazing to wake up with hair and be able to wash it and flat iron and curl it as I want.  I feel like a woman again, and I feel sexy.  I know how hard it is to feel sexy without your hair.  I still had my confidence, but I felt like a boy.  The wig stays on for about 4 to 6 weeks or you can remove it earlier if you want to. 

     

    I'm telling you all about this because I had no idea these type of things existed, and I'm glad someone shared it with me.  If anyone wants to know more about it I would be happy to tell you.  I know that in the beginning of the journey with cancer your entire world seems to disappear as you know it, but eventually things get better and you will be a better person for it. 

     

    I learn something new every day, and I realize that I am finally happy in a way that I wasn't before I had my cancer.  Life is amazing and all of us who have to fight even harder to live it and stay in this world will get so much more out of it, we are awesome, we're survivors.  I love you all!! 

Helpful Tools and Devices How to Make Life with RA Easier