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Old 04-17-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
Greg
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Hairless in Seattle (well near Seattle)

Hello caregivers,

I was just wondering if any of you had shaved your heads to help support your caregivee? If so, did they appreciate it or did it make them more distraught? I am thinking of doing just that. I don't have much on top anyway, so its not a great loss. My wife is doing Taxol so I imagine she will lose her hair. This is bothering her a lot and I thought if I shaved my head before she had to it might make it easier on her when she has to do it. Then again, I wonder if looking at my bald pate might make her dread losing her hair even more. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


Thanks,

Greg
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:09 AM   #2
Laurel
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Greg,

Bret Favre shaved his head for his wife's chemo if you recall. She appreciated the gesture, or so she says in her book. Before you run out to shave yours though, why not wait to see if your wife actually loses hers. Many women do not lose their hair with Taxol. Mind you, I was not one of them. I had lost most of my hair with the 4 rounds of AC, but it was the Taxol that took my eyelashes and brows (well thinned my brows markedly!).

Hairloss is no fun, but with a quality wig, no one has any idea you are bald. I wore my baldness as a badge of courage that I did not hide except in public as my children felt less self-conscious with me in my wig. As soon as my hair was a quarter inch I stopped the wig and just went au natural! Wigs and hot flashes just do not mix well!

I applaud your willingness to sacrifice your remaining hair. If you wife does lose hers then play it by ear and do what you think is best. Being bald isn't the most difficult part of chemo, and during the summer months it feels kinda good! It's a drag in the winter! Don't know how you guys stand your short hair in the winter months!

I wish you and your wife many blessings and a complete and full remission.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
Believe51
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Greg, to be honest here I did want to do this for Ed and to rebel against cancer in the beginning. In his case he felt that it was too big of a statement for me to make being a healthy woman and he loved my long hair.

My father did shave his head in tribute for his courageous Son-in-Law and that did prove to help Ed through alot of digesting of things in the start. They used to go do day trips and such together and it helped Ed to feel closer to Dad and not so alone either.

I think this is a beautiful gesture for you to make. To tribute to your love this way, it is not just sweet, it is precious. I am with Laurel in saying to wait and see if shes loses her hair. You will know the answer as time gets closer to the date.

I wish her peace, hope and happiness during her journey. And I want to follow her on the road to beating the heck out of the cancer. I am also thanking you for sharing with us and also helping others, Greg. Praying for you both and sending healing thoughts her way.>>Believe51
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
NanaKaren
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It is so sweet that you are SO supportive of your wife during her treatment. My husband was the best, but didn't shave his head. Losing my hair was very traumatic for me to say the least, even though it is just hair.
My hair came out in the first 10 days of AC and then as Laurel said the eyebrows and eyelashes were next while on Taxol. I bought a wig very near my natural color and had my hairdresser cut and style it for me. At home I wore a ballcap. I tried scarves, but looked like a pirate. It was probably 9 months before my hair was half an inch long and I stopped wearing my wig. Your wife will let you know how she feels about her hair and just let her go with what she is comfortable with.
There will always be someone here to answer your questions or guide you in the right direction.
Please keep in touch.
All my best, NanaKaren
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
Bill
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Hi Greg! I think it's awesome that you would do this for your wife. I'm sure she will appreciate it. Maybe wait to see if she actually loses her hair and then shave off yours. I shaved mine several years ago after my wife, Nikki, lost her hair, as a show of solidarity. She really appreciated it. Except for a brief period a few months back, I've continued to keep my head shaved, for alot of reasons. You guys hang in there. Take care, Bill
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:38 AM   #6
donalddonald
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I think it is more important to take more time to take care of her needs than to think about of your hair.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
Jackie07
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I would wait till she starts to lose her hair. Then, if you all prefer, you can go to the barber and shave your head together. It takes about 2, 3 rounds of chemo to have hairs falling obviously. It took me 4 round of chemo to have most of them gone.

I did wear a wig while working during chemo.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:34 AM   #8
Greg
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Thank you all for your input. Donalddonald had a point, its really superficial to worry about hair, but superficial or not she does worry about hair and in my role as caregiver I feel I need to help out with any aspect that I can. Thanks again,

Greg
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
Believe51
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Great advice from all as usual. Greg, you are doing a wonderful job of being a caregiver and I think you are exploring all avenues, is all. This is a concern of hers and you are addressing it now before the fact. I wrote in your other post about blood results and asked you how, Vickie was doing. How is she feeling after her last treatment? Thinking about you both as she moves forward. Caregiving is a difficult endeavor but we are here for you always, for anything.>>Believe51
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9/7/06Husband 50yrs=StageIV IBC/HER2+,BoneMets10/06TaxotereX10,'H'1X wk,Zometa,Tamoxifen4/12/07Last Tax5/18/07Pet=Rapid Cell Activity,No Organ Mets,Lytic Lesions,Degeneration,Some Bone Repair5/07ChemoFail6/01/07Pleural Thoracentisis=Effusions,NoMalignantCells6/19/07+7/2/07DFCI
6/25/07BrainMRI=BrainMets,Many<9mm7/10/07WBR/PelvisRad37.5Gx15&Nutritionist8/19/07T/X9/20/07BrainMRI=2<2mm10/6/07Pet=BoneProgression
10/24/07ChemoFail11/9/07A/Cx10,EndTam12/7/07Faslodex12/10/07Muga7512/13/07BlasticLesions1/7/08BrainMRI=Clear4/1/08Pet=BoneImprovement,
NoProgression,Stable4/7/08BrainPerfect5/16/08Last A/C8/26/08BrainMets=10(<9mm)9/10/08Gamma10/30/08Met=5mm12/19/08Gamma5mets5
12/22/08SpinalMets1/14/09SpinalRads2/17/09BrainMRI=NoNewMets4/20/09BoneScan5/14/09Ixempra6/1/09BrainMRI=NumerousMets6/24/09DFCIw/DrBurstein6/26/09Continue
Ixempra/Faslodex/Zometa~TM now lower7/17/09Stop Ixempra By Choice9/21/09HOSPICE10/16/09Earned His Deserved Wings And Halo=37 Month Fight w/Stage 4 IBC, Her2+++,My Hero!!
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #10
Greg
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Thanks Believe,

She had her second infusion yesterday and it went pretty well. Today though she is worried that her red blood counts are dropping too fast. She is quite the worrier and everything upsets her. She also had a reaction again at 24 hours with a rash and small welts on her face and chest. Since it was on her chest this time and not last time, she is worried that the reactions will get worse with time. She also had a spell today where the left side of her left hand, from the pinkie to the wrist was numb for about 2 hours. Feeling has come back now. This is very difficult for me since she has always been a really up, happy go lucky person and I have always been the worrier!

Oh well, we trudge forward. How is your husband doing? I'm sorry to be so obtuse, does he have breast cancer?

Thanks again for all of your help and for being there for everyone.

Greg
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:15 PM   #11
Believe51
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Hello Greg, I wanted to ask you if she is getting any premeds that could help with some of these side effects such as the rash? What is her exact chemo regime? Is her nausea controlled? Sorry for all the questions, just been thinking about her lately.

And yes my husband has:

Stage IV....Her2+++......Inflammatory Breast Cancer......and Male Breast Cancer of course. Thanks for asking Greg. He is going to the OncoMan tomorrow as a matter of fact. We will be discussing his next treatment. Ughhhhh! Good Night Greg.>>Believe51
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9/7/06Husband 50yrs=StageIV IBC/HER2+,BoneMets10/06TaxotereX10,'H'1X wk,Zometa,Tamoxifen4/12/07Last Tax5/18/07Pet=Rapid Cell Activity,No Organ Mets,Lytic Lesions,Degeneration,Some Bone Repair5/07ChemoFail6/01/07Pleural Thoracentisis=Effusions,NoMalignantCells6/19/07+7/2/07DFCI
6/25/07BrainMRI=BrainMets,Many<9mm7/10/07WBR/PelvisRad37.5Gx15&Nutritionist8/19/07T/X9/20/07BrainMRI=2<2mm10/6/07Pet=BoneProgression
10/24/07ChemoFail11/9/07A/Cx10,EndTam12/7/07Faslodex12/10/07Muga7512/13/07BlasticLesions1/7/08BrainMRI=Clear4/1/08Pet=BoneImprovement,
NoProgression,Stable4/7/08BrainPerfect5/16/08Last A/C8/26/08BrainMets=10(<9mm)9/10/08Gamma10/30/08Met=5mm12/19/08Gamma5mets5
12/22/08SpinalMets1/14/09SpinalRads2/17/09BrainMRI=NoNewMets4/20/09BoneScan5/14/09Ixempra6/1/09BrainMRI=NumerousMets6/24/09DFCIw/DrBurstein6/26/09Continue
Ixempra/Faslodex/Zometa~TM now lower7/17/09Stop Ixempra By Choice9/21/09HOSPICE10/16/09Earned His Deserved Wings And Halo=37 Month Fight w/Stage 4 IBC, Her2+++,My Hero!!
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