Kids Talk to Kids About Cancer: Getting Chemotherapy, Losing Hair and the Central Line

Author: St. Louis Children's Hospital

Chemotherapy is hard to explain because for everybody it is different. It’s changed for me even. I go home like for a week or a couple of days and I come back and then that’s when Chemo starts. It lasts – it depends what the Chemo is – it lasts about, sometimes my chemo lasts ten days, seven, or five. And the time right now it was seven days for me to get the Chemo. And then the Chemo wiped out my whole immune system.

Those are the things that are called counts. And if you don’t have counts, or cells, that’s really what they are, you can get sick easily. So you got to be careful like what do you do or the people you’re around. When I got chemotherapy, they gave me a lot of medicines that were anti-nausea and they kind of put me to sleep when I had it. So when I was actually getting the chemotherapy I was asleep so I didn’t feel nauseous, but a lot of times I’d get like in a round like for a week and for about that whole weekend a couple days after when I was getting it, I’d feel pretty sick and I couldn’t really do anything so I just had to like lay down on the couch and feel pretty bad. When my hair fell out, I was – it was dyed.

I dyed it pink and green. And they always say that it’s fun to try and make it crazy cause it’s just gonna fall out. So however you want it to look, then it’s different.

But then it just comes out. For every person it changes how it comes out. Some people it can come out fast, others slow. Some you’ll wake up with half your hair gone. And others, it depends. But, it changes. When I first lost my hair, I wasn’t mentally prepared for it to happen so it was a little scary for me. But afterwards, it wasn’t a big deal.

Kids Talk to Kids About Cancer: Getting Chemotherapy, Losing Hair and the Central Line

And when it first started happening it was kinda slow, but then over about the course of the week, it got faster and faster and by then it was all gone. When I first started losing my hair, I was really scared and nervous because I didn’t know what I would look like bald or losing hair in general. And – but then I got a wig and I started wearing that. Wigs are more better than normal hair I think because like you can do whatever you want with it. When I first lost it, I wore a hat to school because it was just really new to me and I was a little self-conscious about it. But then after a while, my head was really sensitive when I first lost it and so I decided to just go without the hat and my friends ended up being perfectly fine with it so it was okay. I got my port in December. It’s to receive Chemo and draw blood.

They hook up the lines right here and you – you have to pull the machine around with you everywhere you go. When I first had to pull the machine around I got – I didn’t feel comfortable with it and then you start to get used to it and like I go out more with the machine then I did before and like when you - you want to hold your lines when you pulling the machine – with the machine – so you won’t pull on that line cause it’s hooked up to right here. So when you pull it, it messes up the dresses and it kinda hurts a little bit. Before I got my port I was very anxious and scared because I didn’t know what they were putting inside me, what was gonna happen, and after I woke up and realized what it was like I was more comfortable with it after they told me like what was going on, and how they were gonna perform it, or everytime I got my Chemo. With the port, you can swim, you can take showers. And you really don’t feel that it’s there like when you first get it your just like “oh I have a port.” But, then you get used to it.

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Kids Talk to Kids About Cancer: Getting Chemotherapy, Losing Hair and the…

Chemotherapy is hard to explain because for everybody it is different. It’s changed for me even. I go home like for a week or a couple of days and I come back and then that’s when Chemo…

By: St. Louis Children's Hospital