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Thread: Sister shaved head

  1. #1
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    Sister shaved head

    Hello, I am just starting on this journey and will be having my 2nd chemo treatment this week. My hair started falling out last week so I went ahead and shaved my head. I have two sisters that were insisting on shaving their heads in support but I was absolutely against it. I'm really not sure why it upset me so much but I tried to explain to them that it made me very uncomfortable and I didn'tr want to have to look at them and it be like looking in a mirror. I should also say we are not close and have not had much ch contact in the last 10 years. One of them went ahead and shaved her head and I believe the other one will too. Should this really bother me so much? Should I be touched that they were willing to do this?

    Age at diagnosis 54
    Post menopausal
    ER pr negative her2 pos
    Stage 2
    Occult primary

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User jorola's Avatar
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    Hi Carangure,

    Sorry that you have found yourself here. Hope that treatment is not hard on you and that you see great success with it.

    As for your sisters shaving their heads and how you feel about it, that is hard to answer. Sounds like you were very open with why these actions made you feel uncomfortable. Many times people are not sure how to handle or support the person with the diagnosis and they were probably just wanting to say hey even though you haven't been close that doesn't mean they are not there for you.

    How have you been doing with your diagnosis? Do you have support? This section of the forum can be quiet some times but I am hoping others with chime in here for support for you.

    Please continue to let us know how you are doing.

    All the best,
    Jodie
    Wife to husband with squamous lung cancer stage 3 b
    dx - April 20/14
    tx started May 20/14 - radiation and chemo
    June 23 - chemo finished
    June 24 - tumor 1/3 the original size
    July 4 - radiation finished
    July 8 - PET scan shows tumor almost gone, lymph nodes back to normal
    Married July 19/14
    Sept 9/14 - repeat can shows tumor continues to shrink more, no new spots. New coughing and pain due to chest infection or side effect of radiation.
    Sept 19/14 - not infection but pneumonitis, place on dex for 4 weeks
    Oct 22/14 - now off of dex and facing even more symptoms of withdrawal
    Dec 16/14 - pretty much nothing left but a scar
    April 7/15 - ditto scan and screw you stats
    Oct 6/15 - more scarring but still cancer still gone
    Feb 2016 -scan the same
    Aug 2016 - more of the same
    Aug 2017 - and ditto

  3. #3
    Moderator Top User BobInBonita's Avatar
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    Carangure,

    I have neither breast cancer or sisters, so I don't know if I'm qualified to answer, but....

    People just don't know how to handle cancer or cancer patients. They have never felt what we feel. One of the most annoying thing for me was when an acquaintance would come up and say "You look so good!". A person without cancer would probably think "I got a good haircut" or "that gym membership is finally paying off". To me, it was like they were saying "I thought you'd be dead by now" or "Gee, you don't look like a walking skeleton - yet.". It wasn't really their problem, they meant well, but they just didn't know what it felt like to be in the middle of chemo. It wasn't really my problem either, because I really felt like I should look half-dead. Both sides were missing how the other really felt.

    With friends, I've been able to say "You would never go up to an overweight woman and comment about her weight gain.". Everyone knows that most overweight people are struggling, and it's best to just stay away from the subject. The worst thing is to say "You've lost so much weight" when you know they haven't. The same thing for cancer patients. We are probably a little too self conscious about how we look, feel, and are perceived. Our friends are a little insensitive when they trivialize how we feel or look. Good friends (and sister, I imagine) should be able to understand and appreciate direct discussion of how you feel about something.

    The worst thing is when someone tries to "ride on the coat-tails" of a cancer patient. We all have a tough journey and don't need to carry friends or relatives on our backs. If either sister seems to be doing this, I would go back to the distance you had before.

    Best wishes to you. Spend your time and effort on feeling better, not on what other people do.

    Bob
    7/12 DX stage 3 pan can (adenocarcinoma) @ 65 - borderline resectable
    8/12 - 10/12 Chemo (GTX) & Stereotactic Radiation
    12/12 Whipple - R0 margins, 2/29 nodes pos.
    1/13 - 5/16 Vaccine clinical trial - randomized to control group - vaccine showed no benefit
    2/13 - 8/13 Gemzar for 6 months
    Quarterly scans - no evidence of disease to 10/14 - spot on lung being watched - possible infection 2 months on antibiotics
    3/15 - spot larger - probable met - surgery planned
    4/15 - PET prior to surg - recurrence & lung mets - Surgery cancelled - EUS w/ FNA showed adenocarcinoma - Stage 4
    5/15 - 9/15 Folfirinox @ reduced dosage - Stopped treatment after 11 infusions due to neuropathy
    10/15 - 8/16 maintenance 5-fu every other week
    8/16 - stable disease on both CT and PET/CT - chemo holiday while other treatments explored
    9/16 - lung biopsy confirms pan can met,
    10/16 -NanoKnife to pancreatic bed -PET after Nano showed new met in hilar lymph nodes - SBRT to both lung & lymph
    4/17 - PET/CT showed significant disease progression, multiple lung mets, pancreatic bed tumor has grown
    5/17 - Started hospice care - striving for acceptance

    Stay busy and live life to the best of your ability.

  4. #4
    Moderator Top User ddessert's Avatar
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    I was talking to a counselor at our hospital recently about cancer and baldness and why it bothers some people more.

    Her observation was that some patients want some control over who knows they're fighting cancer. Being bald tells everyone who sees you that you have cancer, whether you want to tell them or not. It can bring on unwanted attention from complete strangers.

    I could see how this action by your friends just broadcasts your situation to even more people. If this is the case, they might be able to understand this explanation.
    BRCA2 3398del5
    Dec 2010 - back/abd pain
    May 2011 - Unresectable stage III, 2.5cm tumor
    Jun-Aug 2011 - Gem/Cis, 9 rounds
    Oct-Nov 2011 - Radiation+Xeloda, 25 days in 5 weeks
    Oct 2011-Sep 2012 - shrinking tumor
    Feb 2012 - National Familial Pancreatic Study
    Aug 2012 - Downgraded to stage IIA, PGP
    Sep 2012 - Whipple, T3N0M0, 0.5cm tumor, 0/16 lymph nodes
    Dec 2012 - Quebec PanCan Study
    Sep 2012-Nov 2017 - NED
    Mar 2013-present - NCT01088789
    @pancanology

  5. #5
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    I am sorry!

 

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