First time chemo

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first chemo 17th April any thoughts on cold cap & any tips for a first timer 

  • Good luck with your chemo. Success rates on cold cap vary a lot; definitely worth a try but don’t be surprised if you have significant hair loss anyway. It wasn’t very successful for me, and I lost almost all the hair on top of my head about 2 weeks after my first treatment. I felt better once I had clippered it as I hated the shedding and the trying not to wash it very much. 

    Tips for first timer - expect it to take a long time. Drink a lot of fluid before, during and after. Have you been offered a PICC line or port for treatment? Both will stop your veins being damaged but a port is much easier to live with as you can get it wet. You might have problems with nails, I found using Polybalm worked really well. Keep a symptom diary, makes future rounds easier to plan around. 

  • Hello Codfish 

    thanks for your helpful reply. I think I will try the cold cap “you never know” yes I’ve been offered a picc line having done on the 14th April. 
    hope all is going well with you Blush thanks again 

  • Hi Turtles,

    hAving a picc line is so much easier than having a cannula in everytime.  Especially if the nurse cant get it in first time, can be a pain having it flushed out weekly but did mine the same time i was having my blood test done.  Good luck x

  • Thank you 

    it will just be good to get things going …… I think 

    best wish Blush

  • Hi I had the cold cap and actually washed my hair the next day as the conditioner they put on was scented with Apple.  It was from Waitrose.  I was advised to wash my hair twice a week. Very gently with just one wash and then conditioner. I used Faith in Nature unscented which was fine. I had EC 4 times fortnightly and then 12 weeks of Paclitaxel. The weekly was a slog but it meant I had a more frequent  cold cap and a PICC line flush at the same time. Depending on the treatment is how long before and after treatment.  2 paracetamol before the treatment also helped with any discomfort.  I kept a lot of my hair and finished treatment in November.22.  It is growing back well.  Curley and grey but it is hair.  Eyelashes and eyebrows growing back.

    The Charity Cancer Hair Care was very helpful.

    All the very best..

  • Hello Ricki

    thanks that’s really helpful. I’m going to give the cold cap a go. 
    The conditioner sounds lovely I quite like the smell of apples even though I don't like to eat them.I’m having AC once a week every 3 weeks x4 & then Paclitaxel & carboplatin every week for 12 weeks..

    would you say you were able to carry on as normal most of the time or just shattered & sick? 
    I’ve got some nice weekends coming up through the year & I'm hoping I’ll be able to attend them.

    how are you doing now? 
    best wishes 


  • Hi Turtles

    This is a difficult question to answer as everyone is different. You will get to know your body and how it reacts. I cannot in all honesty say that I carried on as normal.  However if I wanted to do something I planned the event.  Not doing too much before and accepting I may feel rough after the event.  Paracetamol worked wonders. I didn't want to compromise my immunity and again I was cautious how I mixed with people. EC was a challenge as my temperature fluctuated and I didn't want to end up on my local hospital on a drip. I never felt sick although with EC took ant sickness tablets.  They made me constipated and so had a laxative to mitigate this. With EC I was in steroids for the first few days.  I used those days to be active as I was hyper anyway.

    I am doing much more but still get fatigued and still listen to my body.  However I am 71 years old so what is due to my age and my treatments is hard to say. People say it was a year before they feel more normal.

    I am back to doing Pilates and  Yoga classes.  I have started knocking a tennis ball around and so life is more normal. All things I love.

    I also used the MacMillan telephone support line and had counselling through them. Breast cancer now and Cancer hair care were also great. Seek advise and ask for help became my motto.  We are not alone.

    I hope that helps. 

    Best wishes 

  • Sorry I meant Breast Cancer Care as the other organisation I use, I have reread my post and their are so many typos.  I must learn to check my posts!!!

  • Hello Ricki

    thanks again to take the time to reply. I really am finding all the information I received so very helpful. 
    I will take on board what you have said about preparing for a night/ day out. I’m 67 so I’ll see how I go. I’m probably expecting too much as I’ve got a festival coming up in August & I usually steward & spend the 5 days in a tent. 
    I’ve joined one group & will definitely use more if I feel the need. 
    enjoy all your classes & tennis  

    take care