Discussions By Condition: Cancer

my 6 year old has questions?

Posted In: Cancer 2 Replies
  • Posted By: jeremy2094
  • December 5, 2006
  • 08:19 PM

I have 4 children, ages 10, 6, 3,and 18 months. I am going crazy! My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with a Wilms Tuomor in late Sept. While she is taking the treatments well, and has finished the radiation, she asked me a question, that I do not have the answer for!
She knows another little girl, from the clinic that we go to, and this child lost all of her hair, almost immediatly. My daughter has only thinned, which I am greatful for, but she wants to know how the cancer cells are being destroyed if they can't even destroy her hair?
The chemo is supposed to kill all of the fast growing cells in your body, including that of the hair. She is definitly losing her hair, but the doctors do not seem concerned. " Everyone reacts differently." It just seems like she has a good point, and no one can tell me how that works.
If anyone has any idea, or stories of simular cases, please reply. Our hearts are heavy for her always, and we would like to answer her questions, if possible!

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  • That is a tough question to answer, especially coming from a six-year-old. Everyone DOES respond differently, but sometimes that isn't enough, when you're young, and you need something concrete. Does her hair naturally grow slowly? You could tell her that that might be the reason why the meds are taking a bit longer with her hair. Has she had any other notable side effects from chemo--mouth sores, for example? That can also be attributed to the fast-growing cells being eliminated, and could make her feel more secure. Just keep reassuring her that her treatment IS working. I knew a boy who was on chemo who did not begin to lose his hair until his maintenance chemo was nearly over--and he never lost it completely. Yet, obviously, the chemo worked. (An interesting note is that he never lost his hair at all during induction chemo.)
    eleven 55 Replies
    • December 15, 2006
    • 07:12 PM
    • 0
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  • I'm sorry to hear about your daughter being diagnosed with cancer. It's a very hard thing to deal with. My daughter was also diagnosed with a 3rd stage Wilm's tumor in September 2006. We are almost done with treatments, she has two chemo treatments left. My daughter, also has lost a lot of hair. She probably only has about 1/3 of it left. Her hair loss has been extremely slow. It is quite possible that your daughter will not lose all of her hair. The chemotherapy she is doing is probably the same exact thing that my daughter gets. Vinchristine, Doxyrubicin, and Dactinomyacin. All three do cause hair loss and your daughter may get all or none of the side effects that they listed. So far we have noticed that the chemo that effects her the most is the Dactinomyacin as it causes her to be nauseated for a couple days after she gets it, and within a week of getting it she loses more hair than normal. One of the most common side effects of the Doxyrubicin is to have red urine, tears, and sweat. We haven't found that our daughter has had any of that. My daughter still has her body hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Another child we know, who also has Wilm's is about the same hairloss wise as my own daughter. It is a total falsehood that if you get chemo all of your hair falls out immediately. We've been dealing with this long enough to know that children handle all of it better than adults. Also, it depends on your lifestyle, how quick the hair will fall out. When all of this started, I began washing my daughters hair only once or twice a week, or if it just got nasty. It averages out to only being that once or twice a week, we also don't brush it very often, or put it up in ponytails, and I cut 12 inches off of it when this all started in order to reduce pulling of her hair and any other stresses that come with long hair, like knots, which would cause us to have to pull on it. Adults generally brush their hair a lot, style it, and wash it once a day at bare minimum causing their hair to fall out quicker because it is so fragile. The less handling the hair gets, the less likely it is to fall out. Anyway, have faith that your daughter will survive this. Wilm's is a cancer research success story and most children who do get this, will survive. I told my husband before, if I had to pick a cancer for my child to get, this would be the one. Lots of hugs to your daughter and her siblings, know that their is light at the end of the tunnel, and you will get through this.Tanya
    xfroglegzx 2 Replies
    • January 25, 2007
    • 05:49 PM
    • 0
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