I’ve been living with cancer since my diagnosis in early 1994. I’ve lived through lots of ups and downs, remission, relapse, short, long-term and late stage side effects, conventional, alternative, complementary therapies, etc. etc.
But in all that time, I’ve never understood the issue discussed in the study linked and excerpted below- the emotional trauma of losing your hair to chemotherapy.
Yes, I lost all my hair during active therapies- chemo regimens such as:
My wife jokingly called me Powder.I happen to think that humor an effective coping mechanism. But that’s another post. My hair grew back a bit but I went bald like most of the men in my family.
My point is that losing my hair wasn’t traumatic for me. I just didn’t get it. So I decided to research the issue and write this post about it.
After reading about the “chemotherapy-induced alopecia distressed scale” I understand the trauma felt by many women better than I used to.
When people write about losing their hair from chemotherapy, they often share their personal experiences, emotions, and coping strategies. These writings can take various forms, including blogs, social media posts, articles, poems, and even books. Here are some common themes and perspectives that people might address:
Remember that these writings are deeply personal and reflect the unique experiences and perspectives of each individual. They can serve as a source of comfort and inspiration for others going through similar challenges.
Have you been diagnosed with cancer? What type? What stage? Any symptoms? Let me know, thanks.
|1. The area is itching.||Physical||–||–||–||0.828|
|2. The area is burning or prickling resulting pain.||Physical||–||–||–||0.804|
|3. I feel different from others.||Emotional||0.703||0.437||–||–|
|4. I feel uncomfortable and awkward to see myself in mirror.||Emotional||0.778||0.401||–||–|
|5. I am dissatisfied with my appearance.||Emotional||0.785||0.384||–||–|
|7. I lose confidence about future.||Emotional||0.807||–||–||–|
|8. I easily irritated and stressed.||Emotional||0.839||–||–||–|
|9. I feel depressed.||Emotional||0.88||–||–||–|
|10. I feel anxious.||Emotional||0.853||–||–||–|
|11. I feel lonely.||Emotional||0.772||–||–||–|
|13. I have difficulties to do personal care such as bath and make-ups.||Activity||0.391||0.532||–||–|
|14. I have limitations/difficulties to choose clothes.||Activity||0.36||0.638||–||–|
|15. I experience limitations to do leisure activities.||Activity||0.404||0.669||–||–|
|16. I feel sicker because of the hair loss.||Activity||0.456||0.724||–||–|
|17. I do not like that people find that I have cancer because of hair loss.||Activity||0.394||0.656||–||–|
|18. I have difficulties to concentrate such as working and reading.||Activity||0.427||0.44||0.38||–|
|19. I am worried about that people would avoid me.||Relationship||0.438||–||0.584||–|
|20. I have problems to go out for shopping and restaurants.||Activity||–||0.641||0.372||–|
|21. I am talking to people about my hair loss.||Relationship||–||0.468||–||0.483|
|22. I always wear wigs or scarves to hide hair loss.||Activity||–||0.698||–||–|
|23. I am worried about relationship with family and friends.||Relationship||–||–||0.564||–|
|24. I am worried about relationship with spouse or partner.||Relationship||0.359||–||0.787||–|
|25. I am worried about sexual relationship with spouse or partner.||Relationship||–||–||0.77||–|
|26. I hesitate to receive chemotherapy because of alopecia||Treatment||–||–||0.686||–|
|27. I feel burden of treatment/chemotherapy because of alopecia.||Treatment||–||–||0.62||–|