Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Halaven and Hair...or Halavan and hair....or no hair at all

Wow.  What a surprise.  I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised.....but just 15 days after my first Halaven (some places it is spelled Halavan....eribulin) I hopped into the shower....put shampoo on my hand and started massaging my scalp....only to have a hand full of hair.  I was sort of shocked.

Wait a minute, you're probably thinking, she's shocked?  Well, yes.  For one thing, only 42% of patients using this drug lose their hair...and I had hoped that I was one of the 58% to keep it.  The other thing is that in the past on the other drugs which caused me to lose my hair (CAF, Taxol, Abraxane) it took longer.  

Don't get me wrong....I really don't mind being a hairless wonder...being bald has a lot of advantages....and I'm getting used to it by now.  But the process is always messy.  When we say that we have "handfulls" of hair, it isn't in is in individual strands that have let go.  This is what I had after running my hand through my hair two days after the shower experience.  It's messy.  It's annoying....and I don't like hair as a condiment... I said something to my husband about it being time to shave my head.   "Can't you wait a couple of days?" Sigh....he has a hard time with I waited ....until I got a hair wrapped around the head of my electric toothbrush.  That was the end.....

So..out popped the electric hairclippers and I buzzed away....Little stubs have been left, and I don't have anyone that I could ask to really do a close job (one of my daughter's high school friends who shaves his head did it for me the last time) I left it.  No big deal...except I am discovering something interesting. It appears that it all might not fall out.....I have hair stubble on the sides...but not a lot on top.  I wonder if I could pull off a comb-over???? NOT!

So the problem I have at present is that my wigs (cranial prosthesis per my prescription) are among the missing.  I can't figure out what I did with them...both the butchered one from 1994 which is really comfortable but unwearable in public since I took it to a hairdresser who charged me $60 to make something which has ragged ends and is basically a mess, and the one I bought at a local shop which was not personally fitted to me but looks presentable...and doesn't feel right after wearing it for a while.

I've looked and looked and I have no idea what I have done with them.  So I have been wearing scarves...It is odd because I get little crinks in my neck while tying them.....and on Easter my family (not my immediate family) asked me if I would tell their fortunes....

I'm tempted to take a trip to Connecticut and have the guy who fitted me in 1994 do it again.....I can't seem to find a place like that one here.  I must admit, it was sort of fun....I have a beef with a local salon I was mischarged and they won't own up to it...but lied to my husband.   So...when I got notice that an appointment I had made 8 weeks ago (and had cancelled but they failed to do that) was coming up, I called once again to cancel....and they said "let me reschedule this for you."  It gave me great pleasure to say "No, that won't be necessary....I don't have any hair. "


  1. dear lisa,

    i am sorry that you weren't in the keep your hair percentage. but i wanted to let you know that the american cancer society has a program that provides free wigs. and very good quality, top-dollar ones, many to choose from. the women on hand to help in the selection are so caring and spend all the time you need to decide which you like best. it was a great experience to find such kindness and sensitivity from those wonderful and well-informed volunteers. they will also offer you scarves and hats - so generouis! hope this helps.


    karen, TC

    1. Thanks for your suggestion, Karen, and this might help some, but not all ACS carry the free wigs....and that wasn't really my point. While shops and the ACS "fit" your wig, it is only within the parameters of what is offered off the shelf. The guy in CT I went to took the wig and actually fitted it by stitching so it fit your own particular was heavenly. I don't think that my ACS does this as that might be a stop gap until I can find/buy my own. I have found that if you are not in a major metropolitan area....then the options are much more limited and not what everyone thinks is available.