I have had 6 FEC and am now 6 weeks from the last dose. I shed hair throughout but although it thinned a fair bit I had enough to never need wigs, hats or haribands. It is still shedding which is annoying as I thought it would have stopped by now but the new hair is coming through so it looks a lot thicker on the scalp than it did. It isn't in gret condition and as dying it is out for the time being, I am faced with more grey than I realised I had but you do get used to not having beautifully washed and styled hair.
As Maggie says, wash once a week with PH neutral shampoo, comb once a day and to add another bit of advice, buy a silk pillowcase as it stops your hair pulling at night.
The cold cap does get increasingly more painful as your hair thins but as others have said as long as you can grin and bear the first 15 mins it is bearable. As others have said, take paracetamol beforehand.
Hi I'm currently using cold cap, would suggest that you get your hair cut as short as you dare. Mine short back and sides is evenly thinning, not losing clumps, just regular loss. I wash once a week, I comb once a week, I use an organic shampoo and condition and pat dry, sometimes dry off with warm hair dryer... Defo worth a go, and if it's short you are not traumatised with the hair loss... honest.....
No one has noticed my hair loss, as it seems to be the fine hair underneath that goes first, so the top layers are still giving me complete coverage.... Cold cap a doddle the first time, 2nd time uncomfortable for 15 mins then you don't notice.... I also take two pain killers before hand, that helps...
Good luck x
I used it for 6 x FEC-T. I lost hair throughout, so don't give up just cos hair is coming out. It's surprising how much hair you actually have. As Broomstick lady says - make sure it fits tightly as, otherwise, you are wasting your time. Be aware that some nurses will be negative about it because it takes more of their time and effort. I only ever needed a wide headband to cover up the thinnest bits, and my hair thickened up and looked "normal" at the end at about twice the rate of those who went bald. It was definitly worth it at the end.
I cold capped and will again if it comes to it. Tho it was hell on earth and made each session longer I'd still do it again - I didn't keep all my hair which is very thin and fine anyway but I had a good enough cover that I never wore my wig but did sometimes use a cap thing I got from ebay as a Hijab which was jewelled and really pretty.
Using it - it has to be tight - thats the first thing - not tight then it won't work - I think that was one of my problems - one session it wasn't on properly. They smother your head with conditioner before applying it, and then once it's cold enuf they put it on. The fiorst 20 minutes is worst - survive that and you're OK. We had a reflexologist on the chemo ward - they now have 2 - who sat with me telling me 'just another minute for me' until that crucial 20 minutes of hell was over and I got thru it. My language of 'take it off' with added expletives was the worst I've ever used - I'm not lying - it was hard but worth it.
Extra time seems to vary nurse to nurse - about 30 mins to 1 hour before chemo starts which isn't too bad cos often the chemo is late onto the ward anyway - this seems to be standard across chemo wards - and 90 - 120 minutes after.
If you're FEC Ting, they say if your hair survives the FEC you'll be OK for the T, if you're just FECing you'll probably have an easier time of it chemo wise - most people tolerate FEC better than T - it makes you sick but thats controlable andn constipated but tahts controllable whereas T is the tired and achey half for most people which is harder - but your hair will suffer more. Limited washing and tending is recommended afterwards too, to give it the best chance of survival.
I'm on Capecitebine right now for secondaries and floiurishing on it - my hairdresser asked me last tiome I saw her what I was doing to my hair its the best she's seen it - chemo say I!!
Hope this helps
I started chemo in Jan (FEC 75 x 6 ) and am on FEC/2 using the cold cap. For me, losing my hair is the hardest part of the treatment, so I opted to try the cold cap. I was told it doesn't always work for everyone, but for some people it can be very effective and anything is worth trying!! As at 5 days post FEC/2, I still have a full head of hair, although it is slightly thinner, but looks much the same. I think it is well worth giving it a go, even if it just means you hang onto your hair for a little bit longer! If you do try the cold cap, just remember that for the first 15 to 20 minutes of having it on, it can be really painful and uncomfortable - after that time, it will eases off and becomes more bearable as your head adjusts to the cold. Give it a go - what's a freezing couple of hours compared to the chance of keeping your crowning glory!
I didn't use the cold cap because I was advise I'd lose all my hair anyway with fec. As it turned out i ended up only having one fec.
If I'd used the cold cap I think i'd have hung on to at least a covering of hair.
Without it I lost all my hair just over 2 weeks after my fec. It all came out after washing. It was extremely distressing.
With the benefit of hindsight I wish I'd been a cold capper.