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 🙂