January 15th, 2020
| Survivor: Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor
That is a question, a question for many facing chemotherapy or currently on chemotherapy. A question for some of us post-chemo or those who have been left with more permanent side effects. You’re left with the decision of changing your look in order to look similar to how you did before treatment or styling differently according to your new situation. Whatever your reason to question, it is always smart to learn the pros and cons. You should never feel pressured to do one thing or the other. During my long and aggressive chemo treatment for choriocarcinoma, a pregnancy cancer, I felt pressured in the sense that wigs were common ground to chemo and hard to avoid; however, I did not feel pressured to wear one. I decided to ride in between, depending on how I felt or what I needed at that time or day. Wearing a wig helped me feel more “normal” yet other days it felt deceiving to myself and others, even my own family.
At the time, my youngest was four months old and my biggest concern was for her. Even my cat was skittish at the sight of my new look, bald and the wig. I believe it all falls on getting used to, adapting, something some cannot handle while going through their treatments, and that is OK! That is the mere reason for this topic alone! Some days I went bold and bald, my way of accepting the harsh reality, while other days I simply covered with a head wrap or scarf/handkerchief as a half-way reality. I honestly have to say that for me, I was more devastated in losing my identity when my eyebrows and eyelashes fell out versus my hair. I had the privilege to be offered a wig or two at my infusion lab from the ACS wig bank. Some women decide to invest in their own wig(s) for various reasons. There is no right or wrong on how you use or not use these resources. Let’s take a look a the pros and cons of using wigs during and post-chemo:
1. During chemo
Hair loss is almost always unavoidable (unless cold caps are used and there will still be thinning of the hair). During this process, it may be beneficial to consider a wig to help keep the “normal” appearance whether for business or for personal reasons. Keeping the “normal”’ appearance can:
After chemo treatments have ended, the body begins the lengthy, yet remarkable process of detoxing and re-healing; this process includes hair re-growth. New hair can be different. Texture, even color can be altered, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. This alone is a challenge of acceptance. Some may even experience thinner hair, a very unfortunate side effect, and a new normal to have to get used to. Continuing to wear a wig is always an option and easier for those who have adapted to already wearing one. Here are a few more pros and cons aside from the ones listed above:
So there are the pros and cons of wearing wigs during and after chemo. Remember, there are so many options of wigs alone, options that fit your comfort and need. There is no wrong or right to what you do decide. This is your choice, your option, and your right to own it however you desire. Can’t decide? Go with a little in-between, mix it up and owe no one explanations! This is an intimate decision and yours to make.
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