PLEASE, could people with any experience post their advice so that it is available for all those across France - hair loss often starts within 10 days of the first treatment, so it is essential to to find help quickly.
Also, before looking for a wig and worrying about the price, check out your mutuelle as it may well cover all or at least part of the cost.
Alternatively if you do not want to wear a wig you could do what I have done...as soon as I knew I was to have chemo at some stage, I went to the local market and bought a snazzy, silky arab "hoodie" that the women wear. consists of a sort of skull cap and then a long tube-like piece that goes over it all an rests on the shoulders. I thought with the summers we have here that it might be cooler and if worn with aplomb could look good and boost the self-esteem. There is no dress code that says only islamic woman can wear them.
I had to have chemo last year and at the first appointment with the chemo nurse, they gave me several brochures of local wig makers. I went to Any D'avray who have shops nationwide and found them very helpful. Although you do need to be able to speak French. I went to see them before my first chemo to choose a wig. Then when my hair started to come out, I went back and they cut my hair very short and fitted the wig. So it was all done in a very sensitive way. My oncologist gave me a prescription to hand over when I collected the wig. I then sent this to the Social Security and was partly reimbursed by them and then received a small amount from my Mutuelle. Obviously, wigs vary greatly in price and you have to check how much you will be reimbursed by your Mutuelle.
The wig I had was very comfortable. I always wore it when going out because I found it less conspicuous. Although when I was at home I preferred to wear hats. Any D'avray also provide a wide range of hats and scarves specially designed for chemo patients.
Hope this is of some help.
I checked out some wig suppliers and then was recommended to a hairdresser in Beziers (although I am near Perpignan - an hour and a half away) who had himself had cancer. He was superb, insisted on coming to see me at home with no charge, brought loads of wigs to choose from and then suggested that I had my hair cut short straight away. I rang him when my hair began to fall drastically (I had left a heap of hair on my friend's chair back - it looked as if the dog had walked by!) and he made an immediate appointment, saw me in a private room for the wig fitting etc.
His name is Olivier Coumes. When I met him he was about to move to bigger premises and was beginning to get involved with other things to help cancer patients. I have checked and he is now associated with INCA, the Institut National du Cancer. His address is 12 RUE DE LA CITADELLE 34500 Béziers Tel: 04 67 30 57 71
I wore my wig, all the time if I was away from home. It was very comfortable, not as hot as I feared and it never blew off in the tramontane, despite the 100km gusts that we get! I had a variety of hats for home. Personally, I needed a wig as it gave me confidence and some people, who didn't know I was having chemo, asked me who my hairdresser was as I had such a super hair cut!
Not such a bad experience after all
I have to return to have my final Date with Destiny (chemo or no chemo!) in the middle of April and could get some of the brochures if any one needs them. Alternately, if its more urgent, I would suggest people go themselves to look. The Unit is brand spanking new (opened in September last) and the two specialists there are very "switched on". You would not need to see them as the large waiting room is open to all.
She had a separate fitting room for people needing wigs and took no end of time and trouble.
I was delighted with my wig. On the other hand, the full cost was 340 euros of which I was only reimbursed about 150 by CPAM and my Mutuelle. However, since I've only needed one 13 euro trim for my own hair in nearly two years (unfortunately), I think I'm now starting to show a small profit on it.....
I think it it is also possible to get, from the Any D'avray range, a very basic wig, for an amount roughly equalling the CPAM reimbursement.
Finally, where I live there was also a local pharmacie which could handle ordannances for wigs and these were slightly cheaper than the Any D'Avray products. My hospital gave me the contact details for both establishments.
See Links Forum for this website link
All the companies listed have agreed to follow specific guidelines for patients, and have therefore been 'approved'. practically this should mean that the insurance companies will pay their part without question, provided the patient is properly integrated into the French health system.
Although this document is in French, I hope the address lists are helpful.
Reason: All external website links need to be in the Links Forum
I am new here and started my first session of chemotherapy last Thursday. Thus I am a bit in a hurry to find out about and also get a wig done for me as soon as possible. I read Biggles post about the friendly hairdresser oliver coumes, tried to get hold of him but the phone number was not good any more.
If anyone could help me along and provide information about him or other wig makers I would be very pleased. I live in Agde area and due to the disease I cannot leave my house, thus would opt for a home visit. Would be very glad if someone could help.
Best to all of you, Seacloud
Living near Agde you must suffer with the tramontane, as did I. I had a permananet worry that the wig would fly off in a sudden gust! Funny looking back, an added nightmare at the time.
With a big hug,