Oncologist Update

lighting joss sticks and rattling the luck beads

Good thoughts and prayers and loud cheers of encouragement for your surgeon headed out!


Let me know if you need a ride or anything!

Give that cancer an extra kick in the ass for my mom, ivylass. You can beat it. Sending good vibes your way!

Wishing you successful surgery and keeping you in my thoughts.

My 103 year old grandmother is a 13 year survivor! Here’s to hoping you exceed her record!

Sending you the Mighty Kitteh Healing Power. It helped my brother during his last round of lymphoma-related difficulties. I think he was the first human to receive it, but, hey, it worked for him. Screw clinical trials. I know it will do the same for you. :slight_smile:

Thanks for keeping us updated, ivylass.

Good luck to you.

I’m cheering for you ivylass. Literally! :smiley:

Caaaar’mon Ivy come on, come on,
Caaaar’mon Ivy come on.

(sung to the tune of that Great Aussie Cricket Song….C’mon Aussie.)

We’re rooting for you girl.

elucidator May I suggest the next best thing? [NSFW!!!] Perhaps only Canadians ‘get’ Pierre Burton, but I’m thinking maybe not.

Ivylass sending every kind of good vibe I can summon your way. Maintain your sense of humour, and thrive!

What Goblinboy said. Shave it! Bald is beautiful!

Cutting it short means when it falls out, you’ll have little sharp hairs all over that can actually pierce the skin like splinters. Better to leave the mess on someone else’s floor.

I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center back in the '70s. Everyone was bald. We made the head shave something of a ceremony. It actually helped keep spirits high.

I’m still sending lots of good thoughts. Stay strong, m’dear.

Best wishes, Ivylass.

My friend with stage IV lung cancer had some mystic healing guy come over and beat a huge African drum over her chest. She’s doing great now! (well, the chemo and radiation probably helped a tad, too :wink: ) But if you happen to know some hunky dude with big bongos, here’s your chance!

ivylass: fervent and noisy Animist intercession on your behalf!!

One of my aunts had breast cancer twice, 15 years apart. While it’s no trip to the zoo, the second time was a lot less bad than the first, for nausea, skin problems and the like. She’s always been quite a colorful dresser (think Janis Joplin meets the cover for Sgt Pepper’s, with extra colors, for her days off - red or lime-green suits to work, as a receptionist); during her second cancer she got some hats that made the rest of her wardrobe seem discreet. She’d heard about the “different hair” thing, in her case the hair that came back looks the same as the original. I remember her saying “dangit, and me wanting to be a blonde!” The first time she’d only cut it; the second time she shaved it directly.

Here’s to a speedy and full recovery, ivylass

When I started chemo last summer, my scalp ached like I had a sunburn, so I had my stylist cut it really short. I looked like I had just enlisted. But no more achy scalp. Then when it started coming out in clumps (after about two weeks) I had my husband shave it. We have hilarious :rolleyes: pics of that event. No, I will NOT cite. Too embarrassing. But it did feel weird for a while…almost like my scalp was numb. I don’t know whether your chemo involves steroids, but I had massive doses of Prednisone, which caused menopause-like symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, irritability. I went back to teaching last fall bald as an egg, and I refused to wear wigs – way too creepy and itchy. I wore bandannas, which with my constant sweaty “power surges” also helped keep me cool. My all time fave was one of flaming skulls. In a conservative private school.

I don’t know that I’m prepared to shave my head. That’s a big step, and although Ivylad has said he’s never had sex with a bald woman (yet :smiley: ), I’d rather cut it as short as possible and see what happens from there.

So does it all fall out and grow back as stubble and fall out, or does it fall out and stay out until the chemo is done?

Hormone therapy is also on the schedule…I am so NOT looking forward to chemically induced early menopause. :mad:

It eventually (after three treatments, I think) stopped growing back in, then about two months after the last major treatment, it started growing back, really fine fuzz. I can’t remember the name of the chemical that really killed it, but it was red and they called it “Red Death” or “Red Devil” or something like that. After it was about an inch and a half long, it turned curly. Like Arnold Horseshack. I have a white 'fro. My stylist said it sometimes comes back curly, but then over time it relaxes. I did hear that it is very brittle and easily broken off when it comes in, and to sleep on a satin pillowcase, as it is gentler on your hair. I did, and it came in nice and full.
I did hate being bald, but it passes, and you gradually get used to catching a glimpse of your bald self in the mirror. I got in a car wreck a month or so after I went bald, and the poor girl who hit me was in sobbing hysterics over it, so I am out in the middle of the road, holding this teeny-bopper and soothing her that no one was hurt, and it would be okay, etc. But my evil twin suddenly popped up the idea that I should have jumped out of the van and screamed, “OMG! I had hair when you hit me!” Bad me. So after a while I sort of enjoyed scaring the normals, as we referred to it.

Red Death, huh? One of the drugs I’m getting (AC) is red, and I’ve been told my pee will be orangey-red for a few days after I have it. I wonder if that’s same thing?

ivylass, you may lose ALL your hair, eye lashes, brows and … It all grows back once the chemo is finished.

It usually falls out over a couple days. You can wait until it starts to fall out, then shave.

When it grows back, it may have a different texture &/or color. I’ve had patients with straight hair prior to chemo that got back curly hair. One little girl had nearly black hair that came back strawberry blonde.

Yep. Red pee, and even red-tinted tears. They said I couldn’t wear contact lenses because they would be permanently dyed. And yes, every bit of hair on my body fell out, even down there. That made me feel odder than anything else. And that hair grew back in, fell out, grew in again very thin. My eyebrows never fell out completely, but got very short/narrow. The nurses said that people tend to feel you “look sick” when you lose your eyebrows because they form so much of your expression.
A lot of chemo patients complain of a metallic taste in their mouths, which I had with the red stuff. Oddly, two things helped with that: dill pickles, and chocolate milk. Don’t ask.