When you conquer your obstacles of Breast Cancer the Warrior in you rises so you will become unstoppable and defeat such a horrific disease. One of the biggest struggles among Black Women who opt to go through chemotherapy that is loosing their hair. We as Black women truly love our hair and the struggle is beyond accepting at times. My first time going through chemotherapy was EXTREMELY harsh and going in blind was an understatement. I wished there were more women like me to help me along the journey. However, there were not a lot of women who looked like me to give me pointers or suggestions on what to do in preparation for the effects of chemo drugs. I would learn it the hard way and it was traumatizing mentally and physically.
In September 2019, I was ashamed of how my hair came out during chemotherapy. It was very devastating to me to go through my hair turning to literally wool and sliding off my head after only one chemo treatment. The women from support group and doctor both said, “Your hair will start to thin and then fall out after the second to third treatment from the same drugs they all had been given. I was totally embarrassed the first time around it made me feel very ugly and isolated. I refused to be seen inside our outside of my home without the scarf or hat. I would not even allow family or friends to see my bald head. It took time for me to get to a place where I was comfortable with the effects of chemotherapy and my outer appearance.
There is no right or wrong way to accept your obstacles. I finally adjusted and realized what I am going through is temporary and it is just hair that will eventually grow back. The one thing I had to accept was that I could not depend on what other women who did not look like me to understand what I was going through. I did reach out to a Black doctor who specialized in dermatology care for women like me going through chemo. She helped me understand what I needed to do to care for my skin, my head, and my body. Your body becomes extremely sensitive to lotions, soaps, facial care, and hair care products.
It would be my second treatment in September of 2020, that would not be embarrassed or feel ashamed about my appearance. It is okay for you to take your time, you don’t need to impressed anyone, or get anyone’s approval on your outlook. This picture is from my second diagnosis with Breast Cancer.
I do recommend that before you undergo chemo to cut your hair down short to avoid the traumatic experience that I went through. The time that you prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally will help you in the long run. I learned a lot from 2019 to 2021 and I am sharing my story as a testimony to help other Black women.
These are products referred to me to use that were very helpful while going through Chemotherapy and Radiation. You must keep your skin moisturize.
- Facial cleansers recommended are CerVee Hydrating cleanser, and hydrating moisturizers.
- Cetaphil facial cleanser and moisturizing lotion for body and face.
- Aveeno Lotions and body wash
- Dove for sensitive skin body wash
- Shea Butter was a Big help used on my entire body including my head.
- Dickerson Witch Hazel facial toner
Articles that I read and researched that you might find helpful
Black Doctor.org https://blackdoctor.org/hair-care-chemotherapy__trashed/ This article is good read as it gives recommendations on how to prepare, how to pamper your hair, scalp during treatments, and what vitamins you should make sure you are taking. That is another blog that I will share this week regarding supplements to take during your treatment that you will benefit from decreased side effects.
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