You are right Cat, we have come a long way
I do think this forum has helped a lot, communicating with people who are going through it & understand the mental & emotional side as well as the physical
Friends, family & work have been great but they don’t fully get it however hard they try
Gave a brill weekend evetyone
Agree there are definitely benefits in going back to work with short hair straight away, and hopefully it means getting the questions / conversations out of the way sooner rather than later. Although in my role I work with different people at different times depending on which project I am on so likely to be a while before I see everyone for the first time! I imagine it's going to be quite difficult to have the conversations initially but after a while should get used to it. I know where you're coming from Tarnia, I definitely feel in a very different place now compared to all those months ago. We've all come a long way!
Hair on rest of my body pretty much back to normal now other than under my arms where hair has barely grown back at all so I won't be complaining about that!
Take care all, Cat xxx
your hair looks great! Coming along nicely. Nice and thick too!
Jude my hair is very curly at the back. When it first starting growing the waves looked very 1920’s!!
My body hair is also back to normal! Can’t believe I’ve got to pay to be waxed next week before my holidays 🙄. My eyebrows are back and bottom lashes. Top lashes are short and still a bit gappy 🤨 but getting there!
I was also very anxious about going out and about with short hair but after the first couple of times it became very normal and I stopped even thinking about it! I even explain to people about my diagnosis who comment on it! I feel that now I’ve come through it I can talk about it easier!
Great piece of advice about the wig and people forgetting you are not 100%. That is so true.
i have to remind people that Ive only just come back so going in with short hair will be a constant reminder.
Your hair is coming back really well Jo, you’ve got some height on top & it looking really thick at the back. Yours also seems to be coming back straight, mine has tight waves at the back which is at bit weird
Cat - this might sound strange but one benefit of not wearing a wig will be that people will realise that you are not 100%, as when you are wearing a wig I do think people forget what you’ve been through, so people may be a bit more considered - going back to work is a little tricky mentally (I’ve got list after list to refer to!)
In other hair areas - body & nasal hair nearly back to normal, eyelashes back fully but short & eyebrows are getting there!
Hi Jo and Jude,
Your hairs looking good, I know it’s a big change but it suits you both short. You have both got a little bit more growth than me.
Jo I’m in a similar situation, I work for a large company and whilst a lot of people will know about me, many won’t. I’m hoping that after I have my hair coloured I am confident enough to go without the wig, that’s my current plan anyway...going back to work with my new hairstyle...time will tell!
Take care, Cat 😘
Well I thought I would follow Jude’s example. This is me with my new hair growth! Wig on for me though for work today.
Your hair looks good but I know what you mean about going wig free at work. The thought of that for me is so daunting...I think because I work in a large organisation and people outside of my direct team don’t necessarily know why I was off- I’m sure the jungle drums have been beating but the wig looked good and it wasn’t obvious that I didn’t have any hair. Going back with hair the length of mine is obvious! Need to build up the confidence first.
Jo - enjoy the break, hopefully you will find it really relaxing. My plan was to ditch the wig at work this week as I’d not worn my wig at all on holiday but I just couldn’t ☹️. However I have been to Morrison’s & out for a couple of walks bareheaded so I’m getting there slowly. My latest plan is after Easter to lose the wig, as I will have had it coloured again & hopefully there may be a bit more style to it.
Tarnia - thank you!
Cat - Santorini does look absolutely lovely!
Take care all
Its good to hear your stories of hair growth and holidays. I actually went to the hairdresser yesterday and had a trim of all the straggly bits. Mine hasn’t grown much in length but has just been getting thicker and thicker, which is good.....I think! Hopefully as it as has now thickened up it will start to grow. I’ll go back in about 4 weeks for another tidy up.
I’ve been having the same problem with the wig movement!
Im going away on Sunday for a few days to Devon. Staying at an activity centre - hubby can play golf, kids can go to activities and I can sit around read a book and maybe go for a swim or a gentle relaxation class! I might venture out on a guided walk across Dartmoor. Really looking forward to it, jut nice to have some time away with the family, away from hospitals and treatment.
Even though my hair isn’t that long, I am going to ditch the wig for the week.....eek.....brave the very very, short hair.....eek...just makes life easier with swimming and classes etc. I’m not sure yet though if I am brave enough to back to work without the wig, might need hair to grow some more. I will try and send a picture of my hair growth, but as I am in my PJs and almost ready for bed, I might leave it for another day 😀
Cat you will definitely feel better about your hair when it’s been coloured I know I did and I’m sure you will soon get used to Your new style and just keep telling yourself it will soon grow and be long again - I remind myself everyday 🤗 I’ve also heard it might go straight again too 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
Jude your hair looks great! Looks nice and thick already and lovely colour too.
I’m been brave & am posting some photos!
The numbers on the photos relate to the week relating to my last chemo so week 1 was a week after & week 20 is this week
So I can see by the photos that my hair has grown a lot but I still feel quite unattractive. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t drop dead gorgeous before but it has made me realise how much we need our hair to feel good
In a positive note I’ve just about got mascara on today!!
I tried Yoga years ago and couldn’t get to grips with it at all back then but maybe it’s time to try again. I would definitely need a more relaxed group too!
Not sure how long everybody’s hair is, mine is about half an inch and seems to be thickening up nicely…..I hope the Tamoxifen doesn’t counteract that! I'm taking weekly pictures/videos too, good to look back and see progress. I’m having it coloured for the first time on 18th April (can’t wait!) and as long as the colour takes well I plan to ditch the wig from then, will be a big change after long blonde hair for 30 years!
Sue, I’m using a wig liner and it is definitely helping to keep mine in place.
Your phased return sounds sensible. I will have a session with Occupational Health in the next few weeks so hopefully they will suggest something similar.
Tarnia I think it’s quite common for people who had straight hair previously to grow curly hair after chemo (the chemo curl) but it may go straight again eventually, that’s what happened to somebody I know.
Jude, Santorini in September sounds absolutely perfect!
Take care, Cat xxx
Sue just reading your comments about Yoga made me giggle! I would be absolutely hopeless 😂😂
Good luck everyone returning to work, hope it all goes well.
Good news for me is that my hair is growing well, colour held well but roots are showing so going to get them done day before I go on holiday. Problem I have though is that it’s growing really curly which is bizarre as I’ve always had dead straight hair!! I’ve no idea what to do with it!!! Suppose I should just be grateful it’s hair!
Sue I also had the problem of my wig moving about as my hair got thicker and longer 🤨 I did find using a hair net underneath helped a little bit.
My hair sounds a bit like yours. I called in to see my hairdresser on Friday (I've been going to him for nearly 20 yrs!!). He started my complimenting my wig and said if he hasn't known differently he would have thought I'd been cheating on him and going somewhere else to have my hair done - he kept saying how fab it was. Anyhow he thinks it's growing well, says it slightly thicker than it probably was before (but that doesn't take much as it's always been quite fine. But its not long enough to do anything with it. I'm going back next week to have a cut to get rid of the scraggy ends and hes going to shape it for me but he's reluctant to colour it as he's concerned it could end up getting damaged but he also thinks it might not hold a colour. I'm currently a greyish white where I've been used to being blond so I think I'll be sticking with my wig for a while longer. The problem now is that as my hair is a bit longer my wig moves around so I'm forever having to readjust it. Grrrrrr........
One thing that keeps me going is that I've been taking weekly photos to document it's progress and it's come a huge way since I finished chemo.
Think long hair everyone!!!!
Hi Sue & Cat
I’m also planning our next holiday 😂, looking st Santorini early September - trying to get through our bucket list!
Good luck to both of you on your return to work, take it easy & don’t expect too much of yourselves. I find the tiredness comes & goes so a few early nights might be in order...
That sort of yoga might be a bit happy clappy for me as well!
We have some Pilates classes near us which I might try as there aren’t any local yoga classes
My hair is a lot thicker now but not growing much lengthwise which is a bit disappointing- my plan was to lose the wig after our holiday but I don’t think I’m brave enough to go to work without it ☹️
Hope everyone is doing ok
Hope you've been enjoying the lovely weather we have at the moment!
Jude - yes I do find yoga relaxing - I found myself snoring on a couple of occasions during the relaxation part at the end of the sessions 😴. I'm hoping to start going regularly - it's really good for flexibility and I'm hoping it will help with aches and pains for my joints. I'm searching for a local class that suits me timings wise but is also one that's not too 'spiritual' for my tastes - I've found some classes in the past to be a bit intense in that regard and it's just not me. I nearly got myself into trouble on the yoga retreat with inappropriate giggling. Imagine a room full of women laid on their backs, legs in the air, wide open being asked by the yoga instructor to consider ' what does it mean to you to be in this pose - what does it mean to feel open' ??? I mean really - that's just asking for trouble in my book.......
I've agreed a very gentle phased return - I'm starting back on the 8th April with the intention of being back to full time by mid June.
I've also just started taking gloucosamin and chrondrotin so I'm hoping that works.
Have a lovely holiday Tarnia
Ttfn Sue xx
I have been ‘off grid’ for a few weeks, just back from a lovely holiday in Tenerife. It was just what the doctor ordered, very relaxing.
Jude and Sue glad you enjoyed your holidays too!
Tarnia, great that you have yours to look forward to, I want to book another one now!
I also used Factor 50 (mainly) whilst I was away. During the latter part of the holiday I did develop prickly heat on my back and the back of my arms so took antihistamines, I haven’t had prickly heat on holiday for years so wonder if due to skin being extra sensitive at the moment.
Good luck going back to work Sue. I plan to go back 1st May, phased return, so will make the most of the next few weeks. I expect we will feel really tired when we first go back.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sunshine.
My skin was fine, I used factor 50 everywhere but for the last couple of days gambled & used factor 30 on my legs as they take ages to tan. I’ve come back with a healthy glow! No issues at all with the radiotherapy area
I also took an antihistamine each day in case I got prickly heat rash which worked
Hope you have a fab hols
How was skin whilst in Mexico? Do you think it was more sensitive than normal and what factor Sun cream did you use?
I’m glad you feel well rested, I’m hoping it has that affect on me (off in just under 2 weeks, not that I’m counting or anything)!
Mexico was fabulous Sue, I feel really well & rested now
Pleased you had a good time on your hols - I think I need to take up yoga, does it help you to relax?
Hello Tarnia & Jude
Thanks both for your comments. The info re Black Cohosh backs up what I'd read during chemo - something to do with the estrogen like substance in Black Cohosh. I'm wondering if my GP thought it would be ok for me as I was triple negative but I'm not going to risk it. My physio yesterday recommended glucosamine and chrondrotin so I'll give that a go. I'm also old lady like when going from resting to moving exacerbated by an inflamed Achilles so I've got some exercises to try to ease that.
Hope ur enjoying Mexico Jude - I've just returned from a week in Austria and then a yoga retreat - I'm feeling very relaxed. Returning to work next month will be a real shock!
Sue xx 🧘🧘🧘
Hola Sue & Tarnia from sunny Mexico!
I take glucosamine & chondritin 1000mg (I did stop taking them when I was on chemo) & they really do help particularly when sleeping. But even so from sitting to standing to walking I’m like an old lady for a couple of steps!
My daughter is a 5th year medical student (qualifying as a doctor this year) and I’ve been speaking to her about this as I’m also suffering from joint pain. She says according to the Nice guidelines they don’t recommend Black Cohosh for women who have had breast cancer. I will attach the screen shots she’s sent me.
She’s told me to try taking a Glucosamine and Chondritin supplements to see if this helps with my joint pain but I haven’t started taking them yet so can’t comment if it works or not!
For me I’m fine when I’m resting and fine when I’m moving but it’s going from resting to moving that’s the issue I’m like someone who’s 90 and it’s driving me mad!!
Hope everyone is enjoying / has enjoyed their well deserved holidays.
Just wanted to canvas opinion on something. Given I can't go back on HRT my GP has suggested I try Black Cohosh for the menopausal joint aches I'm getting. He assures me there are no issues having had breast cancer but I have a few doubts. Any thoughts or knowledge on the subject?
Is anyone else using it?
The acupuncture I had back in January for the hot flushes still seems to be holding up so I definitely recommend you give it a try if you are suffering.
Enjoy the sunshine all
I have no idea what to suggest for your nails. I lost a couple of toe nails but thankfully my finger nails have been ok....well up to now anyway. It might be worth asking your chemo nurse for advice as I bet she will have seen this kind of thing before!
Hope everyone is doing ok.
Ive seen a cew comments about nails. My chemo finished at the very end of December (8 cycles) and previously had no problems with my nails. I have kept them painted with dark varnish and they have been fine. As the weeks have gone by I could see a clear line from ‘chemo’ nail (basically brown and bumpy) to new nail.
This time when I took the varnish off the old nail varnish I was shocked to realise the chemo nail bit is basically coming away from the nail bed. When opening a can of beans or drink or catching something with the tips It hurts and the nail feels unstable. The edges seem to be keeping the tops in place.
My worry is that since the healthy bit is now about 50% of the nail if the top comes away completely is going to tear out the new bit and its going to really hurt.
Has anyone used medical superglue or liquid plaster to stick down the loose bit? If this helps keep them on, the rest has a bit longer to grow. I should be able to squirt it down the gap behind the nail. What do you think?
Thanks everyone. It sounds like we just need to be sensible and extra careful in the sun!
Hope that everyone going on holiday has a lovely time! We certainly deserve it!
Take care all
Tarnia, I plan to use Factor 50 too. I have fair skin so used to being careful in the sun and will aim to limit the time I am in direct sunlight.
Oh there seems to be a lot of you jetting off on holiday over the next few weeks. Have a fab time, you all deserve it.
Myradiotherapy consultant says factor 50 but not to overdo it, ie cover up when walking around etc
Apparently your skin overall is more sensitive after chemo as well as the specific area with the radiotherapy
just wondering what you are doing when away on holiday with regards to your skin that was treated with radiotherapy. Do you plan on keeping covered or wearing a high factor sunscreen? I’ve read to to wear factor 50 for a least a year but I mentioned to the radiologist that I was going away in April and she insisted it needed to be covered 😫
Hi Lovely Ladies,
Glad the cold cap worked well for you Tarnia. Now I know why you have so much more hair than me 😂 It’s looking good.
My hair is still very short too Jo although it’s starting to thicken up a bit now.
Im going on holiday on Sunday too ☀️, I plan to leave the wig at home but won’t be ditching it completely until I’ve dyed it after I get back.
Jude, I seem to be coping quite well with Herceptin, Bisophanates and Tamoxifen so far although not sure the full extent of the SEs from Tamoxifen have kicked in yet. I get joint aches and pains (I think from Herceptin) and my body thermostat doesn’t seem to work anymore (Tamoxifen), I go from hot to cold and vice versa all the time....especially at night time.
I’m also struggling to lose the weight I put on during chemo, but won’t worry about that until after my holiday! 😀 Enjoy Mexico!
Take care everyone, Cat 😘
Thanks for all the nail feedback, I suppose as nails are slower growing the damage takes longer to show, hopefully by the summer we will all have reasonable nails again
My hair is definately thickening, hopefully the length will start to come soon... I've been having mine coloured every 3 weeks as the new hair coming though on the thinner patches is grey - my hair & scalp have been fine with the colour.
I'm going to Mexico on Sunday & am hoping that when I come back I can ditch the wig - if I'm brave enough
Well done on finishing radiotherapy Tarnia, the prickly heat won't last very long. Your hair looks great, I know that you used the cold cap & it looks like it worked really well for you
Hows everyone getting on with the targetted therapies herceptin, tamoxifan, bisphosphonates etc?
Also I'm struggling to lose weight, I've only lost 4lbs since beginning of January, was hoping to have lost about 10lbs pre holiday so have had to buy some new holiday clothes - every cloud...
You did well with the cold cap, I didn’t try that.
I know what you mean about the difficulty in ditching the wig. There are a lot of people at work who don’t know about my diagnosis and that has been the beauty of wearing the wig, but when I brave the “natural look” I am sure it will raise questions.
My wig has been a good buy, felt very confident wearing it and it looks very natural, although it proved challenging today when I went out in all that wind!
As you say Tarnia, at least my hair is growing and it is getting thicker by the day.
Thank you Jo.
Because I used the cold cap I didn’t lose all my hair. I went very thin and at the end of chemo had it cut really short. So now although stil Short it’s a decent length and thickening up nicely. I’m still amazed at how curly it’s growing as I’m normally dead straight and my fringe is almost Afro!! But my hair dresser yesterday was explaining how it always affects the hairline and crown the worst 🤨
it’s very hard to ditch the wigs and hat because people who know me are going to see such a difference and I haven’t really told that many people about me 🤨 but I hate my wig now it’s gone a bit like dolls hair at the ends so it’s kind of forced my hand.
I’m sure you look lovely Jo whatever the length of your hair and the positive thing here is that it’s growing and once it starts it doesn’t take long!!
Looks good Tarnia.
Must be great to ditch the wig.
I can’t believe how long your hair is.....mine is still very much a crew cut. I finished chemo mid November and I’m not brave enough to go wig free just yet!
Looks fantastic!!! I bet you feel fabulous 👍
I can’t believe how long your hair is, I’m 12 weeks post chemo and have no where near as much hair as you. So great that you don’t need your wig or hats anymore, yippee!
Well today couldn’t come quick enough! I’ve dyed my hair and have to say it’s covered really well and I’ve had no problems at all! Was a bit worried as I know they advise to wait 6 months but I really wanted to Ditch my wig! It’s been just over 3 months since I finished chemo. Thought I’d share incase others are thinking about it but may also be a bit worried!
Have a good weekend all.
I kept my nails short during chemo as they were very weak and peeling. Since then they have been improving very slowly. I have booked in for a manicure and pedicure as a treat next week!
I can’t imagine being very efficient at work yet! You’re doing great Jude. Current plan is to return to work in April / May….will see how I go. Like you Sue, hope to be firing on a few more cylinders by then!
Great news that you only have 3 radiotherapy sessions left Tarnia! I had a prickly heat rash too, I took antihistamine tablets which seemed to help.
Your toe sounds painful Jo – ouch! Hope it gets better soon.
I’ve decided to wait until April (after holiday) before dyeing my hair for the first time, hopefully I will have a bit more by then!
Take care everyone
I have to admit that my nails have been shocking, my fingernails gave up towards the end of chemo but with a bit of TLC they seem to be coming round. They were so brittle and the top layer could be peeled off.
My toe nails are really bad at the moment. Treated myself to a trip to the chiropodist the other day as the toe nail on my big toe has split right near the nail bed ....eek...however they can’t take it off just yet as the underneath is not ready to be exposed!
Hair is getting thicker but not getting any longer....
Still feeling tired and muscle aches but slowly getting stronger 😀
Hope everyone is doing ok.
My nails have gone all weird - the white tips are expanding down my nail (if you can visualize that) so I've put that down to the chemo in that what I'm seeing now at the tips is what would have grown at the start of my treatment - toe nails seem ok at the moment though! . I've never had the strongest nails - they always peeled and flaked at the drop of a hat. Bizarrely they were quite good through chemo but I put that down to me having the time to look after them and I did treat myself to a manicure just before each chemo cycle.
Not back at work yet - I'm going back early April - I'm hoping by then I'll be firing on all cylinders 😂🤔😂
I’ve had no issues with my finger nails but I’ve had a toe nail go black just a couple of weeks ago 😕
unfortunately I think the side effects of chemo are going to be with us for a while yet 🙄
I’m still having problems with my joints /muscles after resting. It’s driving me mad 😠
I have 3 radiotherapy sessions left and I’m suffering with a prickly heat rash which is also driving me mad, but just keep thinking I’m almost at the finish line.
Having my hair coloured on Saturday which l’m really looking forward to and will hopefully be able to ditch the wig and hat 😊 If all goes well I will try and post a picture.
Hope everyone is doing well.
Take care all,
Hope you are all ok
jyst wondered if anyone has had issues with their finger nails in recent weeks? For the last week or so my nails are very brittle & are breaking very easily - yet during chemo I had no issues?
I’ve been back at work now for a month & it’s all gone ok but I have noticed that I’m not as precise as I used to be - I’m having to check & double check my work!!
Thanks! I’ve dyed my hair (blonde) for many years too. My natural hair colour pre chemo was light brown with a sprinkling of grey, it’s growing back darker with a lot more grey! 😳 Although based on what I’ve read the texture/colour of our hair will likely change during first 12 months of growth.
I’ve coloured my hair forever as I started going grey at 18 👀
So prior to chemo it was coloured a mid brown with a few lighter & a few warmer highlights & my wig is a similar colour.
The first colour I had at 10 weeks post chemo was a light brown with a little bit of added warmth but I wasn’t mad keen as it had a gingery tinge to it.
I then had it coloured again 3 weeks after the first time & my hairdresser calls it an ashy blonde but to me it’s a light brown & I much prefer it. Because it’s very short & I’ve not got an even coverage I think you do need to colour it more often - i will have it coloured every 3 weeks until it has some length
When I can work out how to post photos I will put some photos on here!
Thanks, that’s helpful to know. Did you go lighter or darker?
I think the 6 months guidance is more precautionary, no way I can wait that long! 🤦♀️