Chemotherapy can have a variety of side effects including fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Less visible are lowered blood counts which can be monitored by checking bone marrow while on chemotherapy. Numbness and tingling, aching and stiffness, and changing nail color are all possible side effects. One side effect that usually prompts a deep emotional response is hair loss.
Dr. Marilou Terpenning is an oncologist specializing in breast cancer. She says, "The time that’s the hardest is when you are actually having the hair come out, and I warn people about that. No matter how much someone educates you, it’s hard to prepare for the feeling of what it feels like to have your hair coming out in clumps. I recommend to my patients that they might try cutting their hair shorter before they lose their hair so they can get a hairpiece that’s easier to match, but that depends upon the woman. Some women want to keep their hair long and will get a long hairpiece to replace it."