Hi there.  I'm a 47 year old woman.  I've always had thick, long beautiful hair - it was my "thing" I was known for.  I became ill a couple of years back (not cancer), and in hindsight I think my hair started thinning then, but slowly and I didn't really notice; I have to take meds for life and hair loss is a side effect, but it was mild if anything so it didn't really click.

Eight or nine months ago I had to go on a heavy round of meds for six months; because my immune system was already low I contracted a serious unrelated illness and these meds are the standard practice for killing the infection.  Anyway, hair loss very common on these and it's now falling out drastically and has been for months.  I'd guess I'm down at least half my hair, probably more.  My family tells me it's not noticeable, and maybe it wouldn't be if I wasn't so used to having so much hair.  It's very thin now, all over.

Distressing obviously.  I have to take the first set of drugs to not become ill, and I'm told I have to take them indefinitely.  I think the thinning had started and then the second round of meds just got it totally going.  I'm finding it really difficult to cope.  I tell myself, well at least you're not dying, don't be so vain, etc., but man I don't think I've ever been depressed like this.

I've taken a few weeks sick leave.  I work in a hospital with a lot of people and I'm embarrassed.  Nobody has said anything, and they all know I was ill (fun being a patient where you work.  NOT.).  My job is very physical - not great for wig wearing.  I did purchase one recently, and I'm getting used to wearing it but I'm paranoid I'll see somebody I know when I have it on which rather defeats the purpose.......

My partner is very supportive; I'm lucky and I know that.  But I still feel so pissed off.  I see pictures of me before and it makes me sad.  It was my best feature; quite a blow to the self esteem......

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Thanks Aimee.  That's not a bad idea - a few people at work that I know well have been told, maybe I will spread the news around a little. Good idea because at this point I don't want people, well meaning or otherwise, asking questions.  People are mostly kind, but in a large work environment there's always the nasty ones!



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