Yes. I totally fucking would. I feel I need to climb up onto my soap box now (which I would say I’m loath to do except those who know me would immediately call bullshit). Lately the recent Taxotere class action lawsuit has been appearing on my Facebook newsfeed. Taxotere is a chemo drug that apparently can cause permanent hair loss and the suit claims that the makers of Taxotere knew about this possible side effect and failed to disclose it. Women were then allegedly (I say allegedly because who chooses potential death over potential baldness?) unable to make informed decisions about their treatment. It is also the drug that oncologists prescribe for most of their breast cancer patients, because of its effectiveness in stopping the cancer cells from multiplying and dividing, thus, resulting in a higher survival rate. It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. One study I saw prior to receiving my first round indicated anywhere from 6-9% of women taking this drug will experience permanent alopecia. My oncologist also told me about the risks, including alopecia and you know what? I didn’t fucking BLINK. Because guess what? Hair does not grow on dead people. The comments on the Taxotere suit FB thread are mostly in line with my opinion. There are some women however who are commenting about having permanent hair loss and sticking it to the drug company. I feel for them, I really do. I even was lamenting here that shit, what if my hair doesn’t grow back? And if it didn’t, that would be unimaginably distressful. But I actually had a plan for such an eventuality. I was going to get a beautiful tattoo on my head. I went on line and saw freaking amazing photos of beautiful bald women. And then I honestly made peace with the knowledge that that might be me.
I cannot fathom there are women who when told that a drug is their best chance for survival but there’s a small risk of permanent hair loss, would choose not to take the drug. I’m calling total bullshit on that. So while people may say “don’t judge, everyone’s feelings and emotions about cancer or hair loss are their own, we are all brave sisters and warriors, blah blah blah,” it makes me sick to my stomach to think about what if drugs like this didn’t exist? I had Stage IIIA ILC and had a significantly worse chance of survival without it. So instead of hopping on the class action gravy train, perhaps these women would be better served by turning that negative energy into positive. Be thankful for every Goddamned day that chemo drug gave back to you. Now here is something beautiful and awe-inspiring: