Topic: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Hi-

Mom finished third cycle of gem/cis 3 weeks ago and hair loss continued once chemo was through.  We don't see the doctor for another week, so thought I'd ask if anyone knows if the loss will stop- and does it grow back for people who have taken this chemo combination?

Thank you

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Catherine -
Yes, it should grow back. It may take awhile and stress may cause it to fall out or break off for a little longer. I am not even the one who had treatment and my hair is a mess. I go in tomorrow to get it hacked off so the short broke off stuff doesn't show anymore. I would guess about half of mine is broke off now and even our ONC says its stress.

When it grows back do not be surprised if it grows in different. She may be missing any gray hair that she had. It could be curly, straighter or even a slightly different color. We had a friend that all of her dark straight blonde hair fall out. It came in almost black and curly for quite awhile. Think of it as a bonus when it's over. smile

KrisV

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Thanks Kris!  All 3 daughters have resorted to hair color, but at 74, Mom still hasn't gone gray.  When I go to see her today, I'll just have to tell her that she can't be stressed since it's bad for her hair.  And, from your experience, I guess I should be asking dad how his hair is doing too.  Take care.

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Hi middlesister,

My daughter was on the chemo your Mom is on. Her hair didn't completely fall out, but got so thin you could see her scalp. She had it cut really short a few times. Her hair was normally medium brown. It came back almost an orangy color. After another chemo, it fell out again and came back almost black. It took hers a very long time to grow. There are wigs of course, but they can be very hot. Lauren wore hers somewhere once and got so hot that she whipped it off. You can imagine the surprised look on people's faces. I wish you all the best.

-Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Catherine -
I know reducing the stress can be hard and it's frustrating when someone tells you that you "Just need to reduce your stress."

Back in September the stress got to me and I landed in the hospital for chest pain. After a full cardiac workup the cardiologist told me that me I needed to reduced the stress in my life. I laughed at him. At the time both my husband and my son were dealing with cancer and as we spoke my husband had been admitted for his fourth hospitalization since June. How in heavens name was I supposed to reduce my stress?

But the hair will grow back. If she doesn't like the wigs then some pretty scarves or some silly hats. And also remember bald is beautiful and there is no shame in it, especially as most people understand why now.

KrisV

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Hi Catherine
My mom was diagnosed in October as well and will be 78 in June.  She is on the same regimen as your mom for treatment.  Mom was concerned about hair loss and her specialist said there would be very little hair loss and so far that's what we've noticed.  Everyone is different and react differently to similar things.  We've agreed that if it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it at that time.  The cancer support group in our area, give out care packages to patients when they come in for their first treatment.  in the package there is a beautifully hand made scarf hat to wear if wanted, we found a beautiful feather pin to clip to it if she wants to dress it up.  My mother is also dealing with stress from one of my siblings, substance abuse and jail time, I'm surprised she has not lost more.  We deal with things a day at a time and take a big breath before taking the next step.  Take care.

Theresa

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Hi Theresa,

Thanks for sharing.   We'll have to stay in touch and compare notes on how our mothers are doing.  We did 3 cycles and now on to the SIRT spheres in the near future.  We are also doing a day at a time, but we are enjoying now while the chemo is out of her and she is feeling well.  Just got home- she cooked dinner for the whole family and we spent the evening playing cards.  The hair is a minor issue in the scheme of things, but I know it did bother her as she was losing it and it is nice to know it will come back.  But, if not, shopping for scarves is something we can do (she does have 3 daughters).  I will be thinking and praying for your family.

Take care,
Catherine

Re: GEM/CIS- hair loss?

Catherine
We have a bit in common, I too am the middle daughter, but 2nd to last out of 6 siblings.  Mom's tumor is also inoperable only because of it's location and she is not a candidate for transplant because of her age, not even a partial transplant, because, again, the location, bifurcation of the liver bile duct.  Her blood tests, consult, and evaluation for radiation therapy, hopefully IMRT from what I'm reading, is next Monday the 17th, at Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota.  I'll have to read up on this SIRT.  Mom overall is doing well and looks well, can't ask for anymore than that, I guess for any of us in that matter.  Take care and I look forward to keeping in touch and comparing "notes".

Prayers
Theresa