Going to chemo in a wig

GorgyS Member Posts: 82

Yesterday, I started my first chemo session. Three nurses tried to find my veins for a cannula. Finally, they called a vascular nurse to locate the vein under ultrasound and will have inserted a PICC for the further sessions. Nothing to do with their competence but with my very bad veins. Anyway, I decided to ignore all the process and observed my surroundings. Most women wore scarves or beanies; none of them wore a wig. The nurse told me that wigs for the treatment in hospital are not common.

What is your experience? I really want to wear a wig because I managed to order two that look like my current hairstyle, a short silver pixie. I want to keep a little bit of myself through this journey. Anyway, the first session was not too stressful. Side effects were manageable as they gave me all the medication for nausea and vomiting. I also administered PEG injection. Very proud of my new skill.  


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,739
    So sorry they had difficulty finding your vein, @GorgyS ..... how many sessions are you having?  Hubby tried the picc line but got an infection, so then had a Port inserted, which was SO much easier for everything!     I hope you continue to not have nausea or other issues .... just remember to let the Onc Nurses know as soon as anything DOES affect you xx   Keeping some Gastrostop handy, might be an idea too ;)  

    Re wearing your wig - do it -  go with whatever you WANT to do xx   If you find it uncomfortable, you cam have a 'rethink' ..... 

    take care & all the best for your ongoing treatment xx
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    edited February 2
    Wear what you feel most comfortable wearing.  I wore a beanie mostly because if I dozed off (which I did often) then it was easier to straighten the beanie or a scarf.  I dreaded the thought of my wig slipping off my head at chemo sessions.  I only really wore my wig when out with friends for lunch or coffee because I didn't want to be seen as the chemo lady at the table.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a wig at chemo treatment, in fact one lady often came in wearing a lovely long wig and it suited her, I would never have thought she was going through chemo treatment.  

    It is great you have got some nice wigs, so go ahead and wear them wherever you like.

    Congratulations on your new skill of administering the PEG injection.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  Stay connected on this forum if you like and give us an update how your treatment is going.

    Not sure if hydrating with some water before the infusion will help the nurses find a vein.  I had two failed ports inserted in the chest, so the nurses had to access a vein.  I made sure I drank a litre of water beforehand and it helped.

    All the best as you go through treatment.
  • MrsMorrisey
    MrsMorrisey Member Posts: 83
    Hope you are feeling ok @GorgyS
    I reckon if you want to wear a wig then do it. 
    You do you xx
  • cranky_granny
    cranky_granny Member Posts: 776
    @GorgyS  as everyone else has said. Wear what you want to. As long as you’re comfortable and not stressing.  I found i couldn’t wear my wig as my head was ultra sensitive.  in chemo i went naked (head that is). Out and about it was a scarf, hat or beanie the poor wig hardly got a look in. 
    All the best with the treatment 
  • GinGin
    GinGin Member Posts: 135
    @GorgyS, hope you are doing well.
    I’ve just completed chemo. Similar to what other ladies have mentioned, wear what makes you happy and comfortable 😊. I wore a scarf and at my infusion centre, most of the ladies wore a scarf but there was one who came bare head. And she is always smiling 😊.

    I have  very small veins and at my second chemo session, the nurses struggled to find my vein and they had to ask an expert senior nurse to look for it, she found it within seconds. I was asked to consider a PICC line which I was reluctant to have as I am still trying to recover from my surgery. Having the PiCC line will mean I can’t use both arms (short term restrictions). I explained my situation to the head nurse and requested for the ‘expert’ nurse to do my cannula. What I discovered (accidentally) later is that exercising (just walking on the spot, swinging my hands/arms) my veins were more visible. Give this a try at home and see if it works for you if you want to avoid another surgery (PICC).

    p.s. drinking loads of water didn’t help at all for me. Not sure if it has work for you.

    all the best for your chemo journey 😘.

  • GorgyS
    GorgyS Member Posts: 82
    Thank you all for your kind responses. I will go with a wig. Just in case I will bring my beanie in the bag. If I get irritated, I will definitely go with a head naked. ;) It is all about comfort. 
    @Arphie...I will have 4 cycles repeated every 14 days ( doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide)
    after that I will have 12 cycles of paclitaxel repeated every 7 days.
    After one month of break I will have radiation and then  hormonal blockers probably letrozole. 
    For nausea they prescribed me Akynzeo to take 1 hour before chemo, dexamethasone 3 days after chemo. and metoclopramide if needed. So far I am good. Probably feel positive as PET scan was clear. There's a lot to go through, but I'm taking it one step at a time. I am well informed through this network and thanks to all of you for your support. I also read all the information given to me by the medical staff. It is important to know what to expect. By the way I was drinking water before chemo but still the veins are problem. I will keep drinking water before the session, regardless. I have to trust the professionals to take care of the access to vein. 
  • Cheri
    Cheri Member Posts: 38
    @GorgyS also had issues with veins at some appointments but nearing the end the last few went smoothly.

    I personally always wore my wig, in fact I dressed up and wore make up, it made me feel better. Go with what makes you feel good.

    All the best with the rest of your treatment xxx
  • Katie46
    Katie46 Member Posts: 127
    Hi Gorgys, I am having the same treatment as you  3 sessions into AC  and my side effects aren't too bad. No nausea, the drugs work for me, fatigue is probably the biggest issue the first week, and some insomnia which I can deal with, nana naps help, and I perk up the second week. I also still have a pretty good appetite which I think has helped a lot with bouncing back. Same issues with my veins, which have been described as 'dancing', so it takes a few tries to get the canula in. They said drinking water wouldn't really make any difference for the issue i had. I haven't bothered with a wig so far, I'm in Darwin and I feel like it would be too hot for me, so I have hats and light bamboo caps I bought on line from The Hat Show, which I jazz up with scafs. I've been surprisingly unconcerned about my hairloss, I had my long hair cut short before I started, which I liked, and then had my husband buzz cut it once it started coming out, it was just easier to manage, your scalp can get tender and it was less so when it was shorter. I may try a wig in the future, but totally agree you should do whatever makes you feel good 🙂 Katie 
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    I bought myself a cheap mens hair clipper kit and buzzed it off myself at home. I wasn't comfortable sitting at the hairdressers and seeing all my hair fall to the ground and walking out without my hair.  I would have cried there, so I cried at home instead. There are no rules, do what helps is what I say.
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,390
    Like @Cheri, I always wore my wig when I had chemo - for most of my visits ( the 12 paclitaxel shots) I went from chemo to work, so I was dressed accordingly - business clothes, lippie etc! But the bottom line is do what suits you. 
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,578
    There's no right or wrong way to go about things!  It is what you are comfortable with!  I have a younger sister with Mets -she lost all her hair and has a wig.  She took the wig to our family hairdresser who cut and colored it the same as her hair was - wears it when out, being work, chemo et cetera and at the end of the day, when home again, is happy to take it off.
    Take care and best wishes