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Avatar universal

hair regrowth

Hi. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last february when I was seven months pregnant with twins.  I started chemo in March and finished in July.  My hair started to regrow shortly thereafter all over my body. It is growing much slower than I had anticipated but atleast its there and I am not walking around with the scarf on my head anymore. The problem is with my eyelashes.  They still have not grown in fully and even seem to be falling out again.  Has anyone experienced this?
13 Responses
326352 tn?1310997895
My eyelashes fell out and came back a couple of times...I think it's because those hairs are short lived and replace themselves pretty quickly.  I always considered the first hair to regrow the "bad" hair.... it seems very brittle and not quite right.  Once that grows out, the newer hair should be more normal.

Congrats on the twins.  I had my last little girl while on chemo.  She and I are doing fairly well, no major side-effects that I don't think she would have had anyway (she has eczema like her mommy, but worse).

Are you done with treatment?
Avatar universal
Hi, thankyou for responding.  Wow your story sounds very similar to mine.  I too was on fertility drugs, follistim, etc and went through 4 IVF's before finally getting pregnant with twins.  
I still have a couple more rounds of herceptin and I will be on tamoxifen for another 4.5 years.  I had a bilateral masect. in August with reconstruction at same time as well.  I'm still not used to being small breasted.  Was formerly a C.
I thought I was finished with the hair issue.  Eyelash fallout has been another dissapointment.  Please tell me they come back quickly!!!!!  Not that it really matters but I was so happy about putting mascara on again and feeling "somewhat" feminine....
326352 tn?1310997895
The second time seems much shorter than the first.  Even after this, you'll lose like 4-6 eyelashes at one time...annoying...but remember they all grew back in at the same time, they are all going to "die" at the same time.  You'll look like normal eventually.

I just had the one breast removed and did a tram reconstruction last year...that was an adventure!  I went back to a C, 2 pregnancies made me almost a DD.

4 IVFs!!  Wow.... miracle twins.  That's just awesome.  Everytime I look at Lauren I wonder how anyone could have ever wanted me to terminate.  She's my challenge child in some respects, but she's so much like me, gotta love her!

Everything will come back in time.  You'll be back to normal and wonder what all the fuss was about eventually.  You don't have to do radiation???  Excellent.

Tamoxifen...not much fun, but doable... HOWEVER, I will warn ya, that starting Tamoxifen after the birth made my mood swings interable to my hubby (and to me).  The hot flashes are awful.  And I was unfortunate NOT to go into menopause.  I think I'm peri-menopause now since I've missed a few periods, but still not confirmed yet.

That, too, settles down after time.  Took about a year and a half after starting Tamoxifen which was about 5 months after Lauren's birth.

Babies do ok when they were born?  boy/girl..combo or same?  Did you have them early?

We're so VERY blessed.  Congrats!  Put up pics when you can, loved to see them!
326352 tn?1310997895
Er, that should be "intolerable" when speaking of Tamoxifen and mood swings.  My fingers type faster than my brain somedays.
Avatar universal
My doctor gave me a choice with the radiation as "insurance", because after the chemo, the surgery found no evidence of cancer anywhere, including the 13 lymph nodes that were removed.  I chose to have the radiation and finished that in October.  I forgot to even mention it because compared to everything else it seemed like nothing. I'm not sure where I stand on the menopause scale.  I haven't had a cycle since the babies were born and to be honest I really don't care one way or the other.

Both baby boys were born healthy and HAPPY, thank god.  I was induced at 35 weeks so I could start chemo.  Even for premies they were a good size.

Did you have any joint pain after the chemo?

Also, you are so lucky to be a size C!!!!!! I'm so jealous.  I NEVER thought I would be jealous of big breasted women because I always was one and clearly took it for granted. Surgery was definitely an "adventure" much worse than anticipated.  My surgeon said he can transfer more fat in a few months if I want. .

You are so blessed with your babies.  Did your doctor tell you to terminate the pregnancy?  Or was it more advice from family and friends.  I don't think I could have handled that.  You're amazing.
326352 tn?1310997895
My surgeon was just about emphatic that I terminate...I was barely 7 weeks pregnant when he did the biopsy and surgery to remove my breast...I was stage 3 with 1 node involved.  He even had the balls to call my onc (who I had already told to work around the baby) to convince me to terminate.  Somedays I want to send him a picture and let him know that "termination is not always the answer".  

Mom and I were CONVINCED the baby was given to me at that time because God knew I needed something positive to focus on.  And I did...I was the happiest chemo patient ever...didn't gain much weight (other than regular preggie weight).  I walked every day with my other child, drank my water and ate very well (except for that Coke-a-Cola habit I tried to gain).  I was probably healthier than most patients because I had to be.  We had Lauren at 33 weeks 5 days so I could start Taxol (Abraxane ended up my drug b/c of an allergy).  She was 5 pounds 10 ounces and stayed in NICU for a week to make sure she was OK.  My OB and my ONC worked well together to make sure it was all going to go on schedule.  Did radiation after Abraxane and FINALLY got my new breast in '07.

I was "buddha with one boob" for the longest.  I wish I had taken more pictures.

No lasting joint pain...Abraxane was pretty easy.  I had tingling for the longest in my fingers and toes, but that cleared up....hair came back just as before (not a single CURL!) and I mean EXACTLY.  I pretty much look like me before babies with shorter hair and 20 pounds heavier.

You really can't tell that I've had cancer.  I look like me until you see my scars, then....well....mostly no one can see those.

Wow!  Boys!!!  I'm glad they came into the world well.  Sometimes boys can have more difficulty than girls with lung development.  My OB was SO GLAD we were having another girl since we were forced to deliver her so early.  The pregnancy went off without a hitch...no problems at all there.  The chemo was ... chemo... lost my hair, gained a lot of confidence to be bald and not matter what people thing.  We were very blessed it went so easy, not everyone is that lucky.

Chemo can sometimes knock you into menopause, but mine came back with a vengence until just recently.  Now they are unpredictable, so it's probably peri-menopause.  And Tamoxifen wigged me out to start...I took Effexor for a while, then was able to wean off of that eventually.  Now, I'm just a hot-natured person running around in 24 degree weather without a coat thinking..."Man it feels GOOD!"

I don't think I have any lasting issues from all this except scars and regular doc visits.  I was very blessed with everything.  Sounds like you have been "double" blessed.  :)  I would have loved boys, but not in our picture.  What did you name them, if I can ask?
Avatar universal
Wow.  Amazing story.  You should DEFINITELY send the surgeon a picture.  Even though he was doing what he thought was best for you, he should see the amazing results.  I feel the same way with the first plastic surgeon I saw.  She was so cold and told me she could not reconstruct my breasts because I didn't have enough body fat to transfer (can you believe the irony in that?). She also went on to say that implants were no good because she didn't want to operate on radiated skin.  My next plastic surgeon was amazing and transfered the fat with no problem and now I have small but really perky and round breasts!!!  For two months I tried to fatten up so I would have more tissue for transfer but I still only wound up with A cups.  I would love to send the first plastic surgeon a photo along with a NY Times article that discussed how plastic surgeons are reluctant to work on breast cancer patients and provide options because of their inexperience!!
I had an allergic reaction to taxetere.  It was terrifying.  So I went to A/C. Was your allergic reaction severe?
My twins names are Joshua and Nathan.  Thank god for them.  I would have been so miserable going through the past year if they hadn't been there to come home to each day after chemo.
Where are you from? etc. etc
326352 tn?1310997895
NATHAN!!!!  Aw....  that was going to be our little boy's name if we would have ever had a boy.  I'm so jealous...well, not really, but well...it was a COOL name:  Nathan Jackson.  So Lauren is Lauren Jackson after my dad.

Aren't you glad that you don't have to wear a bra, though???  I can go most days without one, even with C cups because they are perky again!  It's quite nice.  I ran across my plastic surgeon totally by accident.  I had gone to a baby shower (of all things) and a mom there had a friend who had reconstruction done and LOVED this doc.  Then some stranger (seriously...someone stopped me in Hobby Lobby in B'ham) stopped to talk and mentioned the same surgeon and how everyone she knew just loved him and his work.  Then I asked my docs about him and they were all over me going to see him.  His name:  Dr Fix.  So Dr Fix fixed me.  Did quite a nice job too.

Yes, my little ones made all the ****** that is required much easier.  I think that is why my experience was so good...I had good things to think on.  It was tough, but I look back on the whole thing as a positive regardless of the replacement part I now tote around.  Hey, 2 babies, a boob job, and a flat tummy!  What MORE can a woman ask for?

I'm from Alabama.  I did my chemo in Montgomery with (literally) our family oncologist.  He treated my mom for breast cancer about 10 years ago and my father for prostate cancer (which he succumbed to in 2006 just before Lauren was born).  So, I really didn't get a say in my onc.  I later transferred my surgical and onc treatments to Univ of Alabama at Birmingham.  I needed a radiologist and had gone up there to get a new surgeon, and I liked the radiologist I visited with (they do teams, not just one doc here and one doc there).  So, it was set.  I have a new surgeon should I need her, my radiologist still follows me, and my oncologist there has me in a trial on survival of young cancer patients and their quality of life.  My old onc retired this past year (so getting a new one turned out to be a good thing) and he is now just my GP.  Saves a lot of explanation.  :)

My allergy was short lived, hardly knew what was going on.  My onc does his thing in office, so it was me, hubby, and Cheryl (his nurse).  By the time I said "I feel funny and can't breathe too well" she had already stopped treatment and was pulling out as much of the Taxol as she could from the IV.  Apparently my chest area had turned bright red before I realized and Cheryl had seen the discoloration.  It *could* have been bad, but she's good.  I was only the 3rd patient of his to have a reaction.  

Where are you from?  etc etc... do you work outside the home or SAHM?

And feel lucky that yours aren't girls.  My two girls are currently all about "Hannah Montana".... it's so teeny-bopper.
Avatar universal
Hi !!  Its been a week, but things have been crazy as you know.  I am a stay at home mom, and recently single.  We broke up in October, so its strange to be single again after six years.  But being home with my boys is the best job I could ever have.  No matter how stressful or tiresome, I can NEVER complain because of all the Sh-t I had to go through to get here.

Interestingly enough, my chemo was absolutely nothing compared to my pregnancy. Almost immediately after finding out I was finally pregnant I suffered from severe morning sickness and had to be medicated.  I was literally stuck in the house for months and CONSTANTLY sick.  I was affraid that chemo would be like that again, but it never made me sick, just extremely tired.  But then again I was dealing with newborn twins as well.

I was looking at your photos and your girls are GORGEOUS.  It must be fun to do girly things with them.  I have four neices and love being girly and going shopping with them.  If my twins had been girls, they would have been named Leah and Sophia.  Maybe one day I'll get the nerve to try for a girl.  But I highly doubt it. (never say never)
Avatar universal
i had the same problem, i finished my treatment in august 08 and my lashes kept falling out once they grew back.
They seem to be ok now not as long and are still a little brittle.
I have been using elizabeth arden lash optimiser and it has really strenghten them up, costs £12, but is worth it.
326352 tn?1310997895
To Philly...cool!  I used Estee Lauder's lash enhancer (also pricey)...I went and had them do a full makeover and bought WAY too much makeup and skin conditioning stuff once my radiation was over.  Kind of a celebration back to normalcy.

To Leslie...you ever want to trade for a day and enjoy the girlie things while I get an experience with the boy-side of life, just give me a call.  Hate you are now single.  That's the toughest job (being a mom, SAHM at that) and not having a partner around to give you a break sometimes.

Where 'bouts do you live?  Anywhere close to me?
Avatar universal
Hi.  I live just outside of Philadelphia.

It is hard being a single mom but this is the best thing for me right now.  I have a very large family all around me and they do EVERYTHNG for me (get the groceries, watch the babies etc) so I am really lucky.  Hopefully one day I'll get back into the "swing of things" and start dating but at the moment I am not feeling really "sexy" if you know what I mean.
326352 tn?1310997895
Totally understand the "not sexy" part... then of course there's the "everything is impacted by the medications" part, too.  I'm glad you have a large family to help out.  That makes ALL the difference -- help!

Best of luck to you and the twins!
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