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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 10/16/2005 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, my friends, I am, once again, so pi$$ed at the long-term effects of this dämned disease that I could just shoot something.

I've been on Arimidex or Femara since Jan of 2000. One of the first problems I noticed was that hair was growing on my face. I mentioned it to the onc and she told me that it was normal and just shave it off. It was so fine that I could do that.

Now, the true nature of what those two meds do is painfully obvious. The "fine hair" has turned into a full-blown beard and moustache. Right now I could join the circus and work two jobs at one time, the fat lady and the bearded lady.

Those two meds prevent the hormone necessary for testosterone to turn into estrogen. My internist had tests run that show I have a very high level of testosterone which certainly explains why I feel road rage and keep getting lost because I won't ask for directions.

I considered buying one of the bleaching products, but I would still have the beard, it would just be lighter. Scratch that one. I've tried all razors up to, and including, the Mach3 (whose refill prices are greater than the cost of the razor). I stuck with shaving but now I'm at my wit's end.

So, I decided to use Wax Hair Remover for the Face. My dear Jesus, what was I thinking? The directions said to microwave it for 30 seconds and not to nuke it for more than 1 minutes. I should have known right then that everything on the box was a lie. It took 3 minutes before you could stir it with a little paddle. The instructions also said that this was a special paddle and it would bring out the word "ready" if the wax was soft enough. LIE!!! It was on the paddle BEFORE I stirred, not after.

Then, following their instructions, I put it on my chin and my upper lip. When dry, I started to pull it off. A very small section of the wax on my chin came off and the pain was horrendous. The instructions said that using this product might cause a redness on the area used. You're right, it caused a redness. It was blood.

One can easily see that this was a very bad decision. If you're a mother, didn't you ever have a time during labor when you said, "I've changed my mind. I really don't want to go through this"? Then you can understand why I'm next to tears looking at my face and seeing how much more wax had to be removed. It's a good thing I live alone.

They also give you a small vial of "Soothing Azulene Finishing Oil" to moisturize and soften skin. I would have certainly been better off if they had included a vial of morphine, screw the finishing oil.

The final lie was that it could prevent hair from growing back for up to 8 weeks. It started growing back in 8 hours.

So, if you see me and I've got 5 o'clock shadow at 2 o'clock, don't mention it. That would just be the final straw and I will not be held accountable for my actions. Thank God for valium.

Hugs from the bearded fat lady, Jo-Ann
A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".

Post Edited (Jo-Ann) : 10/16/2005 10:40:05 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 10/16/2005 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
OH Jo-Ann,

You sure have a way with words..........I am in stitches here. (Hey, if you can't laugh, then you would be crying all of the time, right?) I do feel so badly for you, sure wish there was an easy answer for you. That sounded soooooooo painful!

Hang in are loved!!!!!!!!!

"What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 10/16/2005 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I cannot blame the dam***ed disease, my facial hair came naturally.  I can remember a time when my grandmother shaved her beard and mustache.  I thought it was darn queer of her to do that.  Then it moved down to my Mother, darn queer then too as she used the tweezing method, now my sisters and I are thinking it is not so darn queer, but a absolute necessity.  I have tweezed my chin and upper lip to the point that I bleed.  I have bleached but that didn't last long, I still have a beard and mustache it is just blond.  I, also, tried the wax removal systems that netted the same results as you.  I looked like I had a case of herpes on my upper lip for quite some time.
My older sister has made me promise that I will always make sure her beard is tweezed off every few days no matter what condition she is in. LOL  Just the thought of tweezing someone else's face gives me the shivers.  Shivering and tweezing may not be a good combination. 
So anyway friend I am with you in full sympathy.  eyes
Well back to the tweezing, my chin hasn't bleed for a few days.
Love and hugs,
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 10/16/2005 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Again you have me rolling on the floor. I read this to hubby and he also got a kick out of it. Im sorry that you have to deal with this. I have very blond hair on the sides of my face I hope it does not get dark. Thanks for sharing.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 10/16/2005 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't help but laugh at the way you told your story. I'm so sorry you have to go through all this.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 10/16/2005 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Jo-Ann! You are too funny. Count me in as one of crew in the circus tent. When I was a kid I tweezed for both of my grandmothers and now I spend a part of each day doing the same for myself. My grand daughters look at me as if I am nuts when I ask them if they would help me. I also find it very difficult to cut my toenails and have asked for help there, too, to no avail.

I bought the waxing kit, a battery powered thingy that was supposed to grab the hair and pull it out. When I get a perm I have had the beautician do my eyebrows and chin and mustache. Recently I asked her to do cheeks and all to get that peach fuzz that grows way too long. Well that was a mistake, I had blisters all over my cheeks like I had been sun burned. Someone could probably make some really good money inventing a system that works and doesn hurt or maim us.

Hugs MK

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/16/2005 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Jo Ann, you've just made my day! I have only been on Arimidex a month. Just when can I expect the beard? Do you think electrolysis will work? Ha Ha!!!


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 10/16/2005 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I started tamoxifan 1 month ago and i have blonde hair on my face also,does it go away or am i stuck with it...Tammy

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 10/17/2005 2:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I vote for tweezing! The 'masculine' hairs pluck easier than the fine hairs, after a while you learn the art of plucking and it doesn't hurt. It lasts a little while, maybe about a month per hair, it's a continual battle. I usually dab with alcohol after to help prevent redness. Never tried electrolysis, it apparently works on my friends who have but I notice it seems to cause little acne like scars, nothing aweful, but noticeable in the sunlight. It can be a little expensive, too bad we can't a prescription from our oncs and have our insurance cover it, this problem is often a result of our meds. Hair removing creams from the drugstore never work and seem to always cause rashes. When I do shave in between plucking, I have learned to go for the big buck razors with a moisture strip, never use a store brand razor, no disposables and never a single blade. Good luck, I'd love to hear from others of better solutions!  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 892
   Posted 10/19/2005 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Jo-Ann, what a story!!  Never, never, never buy those miserable store hair removers.  Yikes, the pain when you take them off.   

I've opted for the tweezing method.  If you have one of those mirrors that magnifies about 20x it's really very easy.  I try to remember to check every morning to see what's sprung up literally overnight.  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a hair  grows out of no where.  Nothing at midnight, by eight in the morning a bunch of them out.  Very peculiar.

I'm not sure if the cause of the hair is exactly the meds we all take.  I'm thinking that may be part of it, but the aging process is probably playing a large part too.  I often say that as I age, looking good costs me more and more money, LOL.  What I really care about though is being HERE to age.  I have a couple of different types of tweezers but most of the time I use the kind that's squared on the tip, rather than sharp pointed ones.  I definitely need a magnifying mirror, can't see worth a darn otherwise.

Before BC I used to get waxed fairly frequently.  After I finished tx I decided that I'd had enough pain inflicted on me and that I was no longer going to opt for it willingly.   Imagine that a positive effect of BC, ah, will the wonder never cease!!!

So think about the tweezing route, but for heaven's sake, don't use those waxy type of store hair removers.  It was probably invented by a man, just like the mammography machine. LOL!!!   Hugs from here, Luci    

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.  Albert Camus

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/21/2005 12:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to hear of your pain with the waxing as well, but, like most of the others i am having a time to keep from laughing. I have a lot of blonde hair on my face, i think i will just leave it. Since i have only had one chemo, i guess mine is from menopause. Anyway, love and lots of (((((((HUGGS))))) Carol
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