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Posted Aug 07 2009 12:06pm


As far as eyelashes go, we are pretty blessed in our family. I have long eyelashes as does my husband so both of my children have great, long, dark eyelashes. When I was going through chemo I lost my hair, but was able to keep my eyelashes and eyebrows throughout the entire process.

To my surprise and disappointment both my eyelashes and eyebrows took an abrupt leave of absence about 8 weeks after finishing my last round of chemo. Adding insult to injury, this happened right when we were leaving for Hawaii so just as I was starting to feel "normal", I looked like cancer girl-bald and lashless.

The good thing about losing eyelashes is that they start to grow back almost immediately. Since I have dark eyelashes, you could see them within a week which was great, but I missed my long eyelashes.

Unlike the hair on your head, eyelashes apparently go in cycles which is why we normally lose one or two each day and not the whole lot. Chemo resets this cycle meaning that they all fall out at the same time. My understanding is that it takes awhile to reset this cycle so that each lash is on a different cycle. Unfortunately what this means is that eyelashes continue to fall out long after chemo. Mine fell out the first time and then I had another round of serious thinning but not complete loss.

The other day was a beautiful sunny day in Seattle so I put my sunglasses on. As I was driving I noticed that every time I would blink, my eyelashes hit the lenses of the glasses. I promptly ripped my sunglasses off so I could take a good look at those eyelashes. 7 full months after my last chemo, my eyelashes are finally back to their original length. I think I will wear my sunglasses every day, just so I can realize that having your eyelashes brush against the lenses is a good problem to have.
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