My Hair Loss Journey
I started losing my hair around 1 week after my first dose of ABVD. I was literally washing my hair and a few strands came out. It wasn't much to start off with, but after each dose I lost more and more. I was very thankful to keep a good amount of hair. However I also lost a lot. I think I didn't lose all my hair because I had such thick hair to start of with. If I had thinner hair, then I don't think I would have kept much hair. If you have a good amount of hair at the beginning of treatment and you are prepared to watch your hair fall out, I would advice not to shave your head, as you may not lose it all. I am very thankful that I can still even put my hair in a ponytail.
It is traumatising to watch your hair fall out, knowing you can't do anything about it. Seeing it fall out so quickly and knowing that it will take years to be the length it once was is very hard to deal with. I hate seeing myself in the mirror now, as I see a different person, a person that has had part of herself took away from her because of cancer. I realised the other day that I need to learn to love myself again. I don't feel pretty or as confident anymore. I am very grateful to even have hair still, as I know a lot of people lose it all or have to shave it off, but it is still so hard for me to see this short haired person looking back in the mirror, when there should be this girl, with long, thick hair. I loved my hair so much, it was the part I liked most about myself, and I had it taken from me. I know people may say, why are you complaining? you have your life back, your hair will grow back and it's only hair. Well yes you may have some truth in that, but losing your hair is a traumatising experience, especially when you had no choice. It can have a huge impact on your mental health. You really don't realise how much your hair means to you, until it is taken away.
Throughout treatment, I found that washing my hair caused a lot of hair to fall out, so I decided to only wash it now and again. Yes I may have had greasy hair, but I preferred that to none. I also tried to minimise the amount of times I brushed my hair, as I seemed to lose a lot when I did. I decided to let my hair dry naturally, so it would be kept away from any heat damage.
Little princess trust provided myself with the most amazing, long, blonde wig, that made me feel more like myself. It was real hair and you could use straighteners etc on it, which was fantastic as I could style it anyway I wanted. However it is nothing compared to having your own hair. I really hope one day they find a treatment for cancer's that means you don't have to go through these physical changes. Mental Health is just as important as physical.
I searched on the internet for ages, without success, to find out how long it would take for your hair to stop falling out. I really wanted to know how long I would have to deal with this hair loss, and if I would still hold on to my hair. After I finished treatment I found that I kept losing a lot of hair, for around 3 weeks. From 3 weeks post treatment my hair loss started to decline. I still am losing some hair more than normal, and I am now 10 weeks post treatment, however it has greatly reduced. I have to accept that it will take time for my hair follicles to repair themselves, but I am slowly getting there, and I hope my hair loss will stop soon.