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    hcsady shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Surgery): Esophogetomy is not for wimps!

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    Celebration (Finished treatment): Chemo, radiation and esophegetomy all complete!

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    hcsady asked a questionEsophagus (Esophageal) Cancer

    Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Chemo

    6 answers
    • cam32505's Avatar

      I had the exact same chemo that you will received. I was told I would lose my hair before the second treatment. It came out on day 10-12.

      over 3 years ago
    • BILLY22's Avatar

      Some advice from my wife who is diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, Stage IV. As for me, I had chemo consisting of 5-FU and Carboplatin. I did not lose my hair. However, my wife took the chemo drugs Carboplatin & Taxol.

      “It’s okay to wait and see how the chemo affects you, but if you’re like I was, by Week 2 the hair was coming out in the brush in big amounts. So by the 3rd week, you will know for certain how your hair is going to respond to the treatments.

      Although I know that loss of hair can be “demoralizing”, you must remember that the hair will grow back in time, but we hope the cancer will not. Both Carboplatin and Taxol can result in hair loss. And my oh my, wouldn’t it be wonderful if while going through chemotherapy one only had the side effect of hair loss to worry about.

      I have just completed her second series of Carboplatin and Taxol. Each time my hair began to “turn loose” (fall out) in two weeks of treatment. So it became so thin I just went to the beauty salon and had my head shaved.

      With the second series of Chemo of Carboplatin & Taxol, once more the hair started to fall out by the second week. So I didn’t wait this time. I had my head shaved. Granted the second time around, the shock is not as great. Yes it is disconcerting, but the prospect that the chemo will kill the cancer cells, is by far the greater benefit. Hair will grow back.

      Not only did I lose the hair on top of my head, it took the eyebrows and eyelashes as well. But they will grow back as well. These are the “tradeoffs” to living longer. When you ask yourself, do I want to look a bit worse for wear on the “outside,” while I get better on the inside? I think you will adjust to the hair loss more quickly when you think of the good that the chemo will be doing to kill the cancer. Furthermore, there are hair pieces, wigs, turbans, etc. that you can wear that can make you look normal. My wife wears her hair pieces and/or wigs when she goes out, but at home she just goes bald. In the summer, it’s cooler, but in the winter, she always wears a covering to keep her head warm.

      If you’re interested in choosing something that matches your hair, if and when it begins to fall out, save a larger swatch of your hair, and then you can “match” it to the hair colors in this book. You may order a free catalog.

      · http://thewigcompany.com/?EID=GL03262007001mkwid=s3DBhtXYW_dc|pcrid|77108427150|pkw|the%20wig%20company|pmt|b&SID=GBRAND&gclid=Cj0KEQjwtaexBRCohZOAoOPL88oBEiQAr96eSNpzDk0CUucdCVgM7cpC1WaHHsYUgOLNI9qmnbAMM5AaArNc8P8HAQ

      · http://thewigcompany.com/face-framer-regular-length-halo-headband-hairpiece/p/J182/

      I have one of these headband hairpieces that I wear under my turbans and people never know it isn’t real.


      I have several of these turbans in different colors. With different colors to match my clothes, and my hairpieces, I feel like myself when I go out in public. People all think it is my real hair until I tell them. So for the best look, like I have said before, if your hair starts to fall out, save enough to match the colors in their catalog, and I think you will be very happy. J

      One last thing, depending on your insurance company, your doctor may write a prescription for a wig, and it may be covered by insurance. However, my insurance didn’t pay for it. I found the wigs in this catalog were far more reasonably priced than the one I purchased at a local wig shoppe. Returns can be made if the hairpiece hasn’t been worn, and it is returned promptly.

      I have been totally satisfied with the hair pieces that I have ordered. And no, I don’t own any stock in this company! Hope this information helps.” (Billy22’s wife)

      Below are helpful web links from ChemoCare.com that will inform you as to the side effects of these two chemo drugs.

      1. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/

      Chemotherapy Drugs and Drugs often used During Chemotherapy Home Page

      2. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/carboplatin.aspx

      Web link for how Carboplatin is administered and its accompanying side effects

      3. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/hair-loss-and-chemotherapy.aspx

      “…Hair Loss and Chemotherapy


      What is hair loss and how is chemotherapy related?
      •Believe it or not, hair loss (alopecia) due to chemotherapy is one of the most distressing side effects of chemo treatments.
      •Hair loss happens because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, not just the cancer cells. The lining of the mouth, stomach, and the hair follicles are especially sensitive because those cells multiply rapidly just like the cancer cells. The difference is that the normal cells will repair themselves, making these side effects temporary.
      •Hair loss does not occur with all chemotherapy. Whether or not your hair remains as it is, thins or falls out, depends on the drugs and dosages.
      •Hair loss may occur as early as the second or third week after the first cycle of chemotherapy, although it may not happen until after the second cycle of chemotherapy.
      •Hair loss can be sudden or slow.
      •You may lose all of your hair or just some of it.
      •Often it comes out in clumps rather than an even pattern.
      •It is common for hair loss to include hair that grows anywhere including eyelashes, eyebrows, and even pubic hair.

      In almost all cases of chemotherapy-induced hair loss, your hair will resume growth after treatments.
      •It may take from three to six months after therapy is completed or it may start growing back while you are still receiving chemotherapy. Be prepared for your "new" hair to possibly have a slightly different color, texture, or curl.

      Can you prevent hair loss during chemo treatments?

      Through the years, attempts have been made to reduce hair loss by using tight bands or ice caps. While these techniques may reduce hair loss by reducing blood flow to the scalp and limiting chemotherapy exposure to hair follicles, there is a theoretical concern that this could reduce the effectiveness of treatment in that area.

      What can be done to manage hair loss due to chemotherapy?

      Management of hair loss focuses on your own comfort, or discomfort with baldness and on keeping your head warm if you live in a cool climate, as well as protection from the sun. The following are options to consider, the best option is the one that is most comfortable for you:
      •Short hair - Cut your hair short if you are expecting hair loss during chemotherapy. Since hair often does not fall out evenly, some find losing short hair is less distressing. Some people shave their heads once the hair begins to fall out.
      •Wigs - If you are interested in purchasing a wig, the best time to do this is before you lose any hair. This helps the stylist create the best match. Many insurance companies will pay for a wig, so be sure you have it written as a prescription from your doctor (usually written as "cranial prosthesis"). There are wig stylists who specialize in wigs for alopecia (hair loss). Check your yellow pages or ask at the doctor's office.
      •Caps and Scarves - Some people find that the easiest, and most comfortable options are caps and scarves. These range from those you may already own to custom items made expressly for people who are undergoing chemotherapy.

      •You might check with your local chapter of the American Cancer Society. They sponsor a program called "Look Good, Feel Better." This program addresses ways to tie scarves and ways to make yourself look and feel better while experiencing hair loss during and after chemotherapy…”

      4. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/Paclitaxel.aspx

      “…Side Effects of Paclitaxel:

      Important things to remember about the side effects of Paclitaxel include:
      •Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
      •Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
      •Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.
      •There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
      •There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of the medication.
      •The side effects of Paclitaxel and their severity vary depending on how much of the drug is given, and/or the schedule in which it is given.

      The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Paclitaxel:
      •Low blood counts. Your white and red blood cells and platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at increased risk for infection, anemia and/or bleeding.
      •Hair loss
      •Arthralgias and myalgias, pain in the joints and muscles. (see pain) Usually temporary occurring 2 to 3 days after Paclitaxel, and resolve within a few days.
      •Peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling of the hands and feet)
      •Nausea and vomiting (usually mild)
      •Mouth sores

      •Hypersensitivity reaction. Fever, facial flushing, chills, shortness of breath, or hives after Paclitaxel is given (see allergic reaction). The majority of these reactions occur within the first 10 minutes of an infusion. Notify your healthcare provider immediately (premedication regimen has significantly decreased the incidence of this reaction)…”

      5. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/hair-loss-and-chemotherapy.aspx

      Same information relative to hair loss as is found in the Carboplatin link.

      over 3 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      My hair was already thinning before I was diagnosed. I was terribly ill when I finally went to the Dr. My daughter actually had a friend who was a hair dresser. We decided to shave my head to prevent matting and other bad things that happen when one is bed-ridden my hair did not grow at all during chemo and actually fell out in patches, Surgery was about six weeks after my last chemo and my hair had continued to thin. It did not begin to come back until I began to eat and gain weight. It is now thicker than it has ever been

      over 3 years ago
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    hcsady asked a questionEsophagus (Esophageal) Cancer

    PET Scans Always performed?

    4 answers
    • hcsady's Avatar

      Thank you so much!!! I'm having an endoscopic ultrasound performed Tuesday to let me know the stage as well as, how deep the tumor's stump goes & where. I feel like I don't even know what questions to ask yet. But I'm sure, I'm going to get busy in no time at all. Its been a little under a week since being told I have cancer. I can't thank you enough BoiseB for your response & help!!

      almost 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      Be sure to get that guidebook It contains lists of questions to ask and places to write your own when you think of them. Be sure to take someone with you to all your appointments. I will be praying for you Tuesday.

      almost 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      Keep us posted.

      almost 4 years ago