Breast cancer, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Hair loss, Taxotere, Women's Health

Losing My Lashes

It has been almost three months since I lost my full head of hair, so I suppose I should count myself lucky my eyebrows and lashes have lasted this long. For some reason I had barely noticed, but my lashes and brows have been falling out thick and fast for a month or so, possibly because of the Taxotere chemotherapy.

I used to curse the big bushy caterpillar brows I inherited from my Dad, but these days I’m very grateful as they’ve seen me through five rounds of chemo! My lashes are now much thinner and have gaps in between them and my brows are much, much thinner. However, the crazy Mancunian man who tried to sell me a wig three months ago told me very matter-of-factly that I would lose ALL my eyelashes and brows, so in your face Mr. Scissorhands!

I consider myself lucky that all my hair loss has been very gradual. Whereas I expected it to fall out in huge clumps after one week, it actually fell out in tiny clumps after three weeks and gradually thinned over the course of a week or so. And whereas I expected to lose my lashes and brows quickly and entirely, they have in fact just come out very gradually, one lash or brow at a time, over the course of three and a half months. I can live with that.

The first photo shows my lashes and brows as they were pre-cancer in May (back when I had head hair as well – I can barely remember what it felt like!) As you can tell by the colour of my skin in these photos, the first photo has been filtered on Instagram and I’m also wearing eyeliner as well as mascara, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison, but unfortunately I didn’t think to take ‘before’ photos sans make-up several months ago!

The second photo is me, today, without any make-up. You can’t really tell that well from the photo, but not only are my eyebrows much thinner, my eyelashes are also quite limp and weak-looking. Very ‘meh’…

Fortunately, a fellow cancer-fighting young lady suggested I buy Browzings eyebrow make-up from Benefit to fill in my brows, and I am quite pleased with the result. The only thing is I often run my fingers through my brows and am not used to having make-up there and am thus liable to smear it all over my face, so if you do see me with dark smears around my temples, please let me know.

In the below photo, I’ve conveniently left one eye sans make-up and one eye done with a bit of mascara and some Browzings, for your perusal. I’ll try and remember to do both eyes when I go out, obviously…

Here’s the finished result with both eyes done. (Still no eyeliner, sorry Beth, I’m just rubbish at it…)

There’s only one more chemo session to go and my hair will keep falling out until about 3 weeks after the last session (so roughly until Christmas) so there’s a chance I could be bald-faced by year-end. But fingers crossed the little stragglers keep hanging on so I can make a nice dark-haired comeback in 2013!

Disclaimer: Before we start with the usual argument, I’m just going to put it out there that my eyes are green, not blue. Thanks 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Losing My Lashes

  1. My lashes and eyebrows didn’t vanish completely, either. But, good news on the hair front, it actually started to grow back after chemo 5 (out of 6) and is now about 3mm long. I was surprised it could start growing back before I’d finished, but the nurse who gave me my last chemo said it was quite common. So…. you may have some hair by Christmas!

    • That’s funny, I was thinking maybe it has grown a little, so perhaps it’s because it has! I’ll ask about it on Tuesday. I’m certainly heartened that I haven’t lost all my brows and lashes anyway! Thank you!

  2. I have encouraging news for you. I never lost all of my hair, eyelashes or eye brows. But I did wake up one morning without a single hair on my arms or any place below the neck. When my hair started to grow back it was amazing. The color was darker. I had much less gray. My formerly straight hair was wavy. It was always thin but grew back thick. So, hang in there. You look great now despite the hair loss. And who knows, in a couple of months you may feel better than ever.

    • Thank you! I am afraid the opposite will happen to me though – the lovely dark hair might grow back grey! That would be a bit scary, but I’m looking forward to a surprise anyway! It’s strange, I lost all my under arm hair immediately and my head hair soon followed, then my leg hair but weirdly I still have every single bit of arm hair, even after the thousands of plasters I’ve had ripped off my arms! Take care, Laura

  3. Beautiful eyes, with or without lashes and brows! You will be amazed at how fast they come back after treatment. Literally overnight. You may temporarily lose them again (I did) but they come back even faster the next round 🙂

  4. Adriana Tomalino says:

    Lauri, seguramente te saldrá enrulado. Yo siempre lo tuve súper lacio y cuando reapareció no parecía el mío. Fue creciendo y creciendo y volví a ser la misma de antes.
    Lo que provoca la caída repentina del cabello es la droga de la primera etapa. Las de la segunda inhiben el crecimiento y lo debilitan, por eso hasta el final no se ve una franca recuperación.
    Corrección: tus ojos no son verdes….”son requeteverdes” y muy bellos.
    Besitos, Adri.

  5. BG says:

    Laura. My wife was diagnosed with BC in Vincent’s the same day as you. Your blog is inspiring and funny. She’s just had chemo 5 of 6 too. Keep writing . BG

    • Hi, wow, that’s interesting, and great that you found my blog! I should be having radiotherapy at St Luke’s in jan and feb so if she’s having it too, it would be great to meet up. I am waiting for my gene test results to determine what will happen next but radio at St Luke’s is the plan. I hope your wife is doing well and best of luck with chemo round six! The journey is nearly over! Take care, Laura

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