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Managing chemotherapy – guide

NIH Booklet Chemotherapy and You

“Chemotherapy and You is written for you or someone who is about to receive or is now receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Your family, friends, and others close to you may also want to read this book. This book is a guide you can refer to throughout your chemotherapy treatment. It includes facts about chemotherapy and its side effects and highlights ways you can care for yourself before, during, and after treatment.” www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/chemotherapy-and-you.pdf

Chemotherapy.com  800-772-6436

Chemocare.com  844-268-3901

Neuropathy with chemo
Chemotherapy can also cause severe nerve damage. Approximately 30-40% of cancer patients experience some form of neuropathy during or after chemotherapy treatment. Often, the hands and feet are the most affected areas. Talk to your doctor and chemo nurses about using ice on your hands and feet during treatment to reduce the severity of neuropathy. Many survivors that iced their hands and feet during chemotherapy infusions claim significantly less neuropathy than those who didn't.

Hair Loss with Chemo
Paclitaxel (i.e. Taxol) is the first-line chemotherapy drug generally given for some gynecologic cancers that causes sudden hair loss. Other chemotherapy drug agents may also cause hair loss or thinning. Many women choose to shave their heads before chemo begins. Others choose to cut their hair very short. And others want to hold on to what they have for as long as they can. There is no right answer. Only you know what is right for you. Based on your treatment protocol, your doctor can give you an idea of when hair loss is expected to happen. When that time arrives, wear a shower cap or tight-fitting cap to bed so you don't end up with hair all over your pillow in the morning. Take a brush or comb into the shower each day and gently comb or brush your hair as you rinse it. Also, take a plastic bag into the shower with you for holding the hair that does fall out. Celebrate when treatment is over, and your fuzzy hair appears. Remember, you will likely lose your eyebrows and eyelashes as well.

It may be possible to reduce the loss of your hair by using a “cold cap” during chemotherapy treatment. Ask your doctor if it is okay to use one while undergoing your chemotherapy drug.https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/hair-loss/cold-caps.html

Wigs & Headcovers
Rapunzel Project – their mission has been to create awareness of the existence and efficacy of scalp cooling therapy. http://www.rapunzelproject.org
Wigs, Hats & Scarves – The American Cancer Society produces the TLC - Tender Loving Care catalog that features many wigs, hats, etc. at reasonable prices. https://www.tlcdirect.org 800-850-9445
In addition, ACS sponsors Look Good, Feel Better programs at local hospitals and clinics where you can get free makeup and wig assistance. https://lookgoodfeelbetter.org 
Headcovers Unlimited  www.headcovers.com 281-334-4287

Knots for Hope https://www.scarves.net/blogs/scarves/knots-for-hope
Wigs for Wellbeing http://www.wigsforwellbeing.org 617-247-4900

Cape Cod
HRS of Cape Cod - https://hrsofcapecod.com  508-771-3702
Tricia Howard – Hyannis, MA (does not work with insurance, low-cost wigs available) 508-778-0029
Hair Additions – Plymouth, MA 508-746-1616
ARA’s – Wareham, MA 508-295-1343
Cape Cod Regional Technical High School (free wigs for those in treatment) (508) 432-4500, ext. 2133