I was diagnosed with breast cancer 23 years ago. It was not invasive and I only needed a mastectomy with no follow up treatment. In February I was diagnosed with cancer a second time in the other breast. I was informed that treatment would require 6 rounds of chemotherapy because it was a different kind of cancer and then a mastectomy. I knew I could handle the mastectomy, I had done that before. Needless to say I was stressed about also losing my hair.
I have a friend who is a pharmaceutical Rep for an oncologist. When she found out I was facing this she told me about Chemo Cold Caps. She had two other friends who had just gone through chemotherapy using these caps and they had retained their hair. I was excited to hear about this option for me. Many times you don’t have many choices concerning treatment but you can manage side effects. I was glad I wouldn’t have to wear hats or itchy wigs to cover up the side effects of chemotherapy.
It is true that the caps are very cold but not something you can’t do. The constant changing of caps was a distraction from chemo treatment. It is surprising how quickly 20 minutes goes by between caps. I have lost very little hair just the normal loss we all have every day. My hair is 14” long so it would have taken over 2 years to grow back. I don’t have to worry about that now. I feel healthy with a positive attitude when I look in the mirror every day. This helps with my overall recovery. I talk about cold caps all the time to people and recommend them to future chemo patients. My oncologist is very supportive and is spreading the word. I am a very lucky person to have discovered Chemo Cold Caps and hope that others will give them a try.
A friend of mine read about the Penguin Cold Caps in “O” magazine. I had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the end of January, 2012, started Chemo Feb. 20th, and cut all my hair off on March 9th. I found out about the Cold Caps after that. My hair started falling out around March 4th. I started using the Cold Cap machine on Monday March 19th. I was not completely bald. I was very skeptical about the Cold Cap machine, as were both my doctors. I believe after that day on March 19th, I never lost another hair.
My pillow had been full of them every day. My last treatment was June 21st and I had to actually get a hair cut before that day, because some hairs were longer then others and it needed to be evened out, even curling up in the back. My doctor at MD Anderson said it was unheard of that I was not bald. Three weeks after chemo I look like I have a very fashionable very short hair style. There are many witnesses to what this machine can do. Even a nurse in my chemo infusion room asked for Patsy’s information.Patsy and Geri have been so kind and patient. Always there for me, always flexible with any changes. Of course I wish I would have known about this machine before I lost my hair, but I am very very grateful to not just be starting now trying to grow my hair back, like I am my eyelashes and eyebrows, and every other hair on my body. Thank you to all of you involved with Penguin Cold Cap for helping me make one small part of this process easier. I hope in return I can somehow return the favor by speaking with anyone who might be interested in using this machine to let them know how great it worked for me.
As a man, I struggled with the idea that I was being vain, too preoccupied with how I looked rather than focusing on getting better. Then I realized, it was as much about appearance as it was control. I had no control over my diagnosis, no control over my treatment. But I did have control over how I looked and felt. My wife suggested I would feel better if the face I saw in the mirror every morning was my face. And she was right. With a young child and professional career, I wasn’t interested in becoming the subject of whispers and pity. Losing your hair is like sending a signal flare to the world that you have cancer. I wanted to deal with my illness my way, telling who I chose, when I chose, if at all.
CCC was a huge difference maker in this equation. Getting all the supplies from one place reduced the anxiety and increased my confidence that I COULD do this. The staff was supportive and felt as invested in my success as I did. I would recommend their program without hesitation to anyone who could benefit.I kept my hair, my dignity, and my life. Chemo Cold Caps helped make that possible.
When I was told that I was going to have to undergo chemo, my first response was “NO”. I did not want to lose my hair, I did not want to lose my femininity. Panic set in. I know it seemed silly to some, but it was monumental to me. Chemo screams the unknown. Nobody could tell me what would happen to me. I wanted to at least look the same. The doctor assured me that my hair would grow back fine, but I read online that women who had my kind of chemo were struggling with thinning and hair even growing.
I got online and started searching. That is when I found “Penguin Cold Caps”. It seemed too good to be true. I was so excited. Frank actually picked up the phone himself when I called. He was so helpful and kind. He seemed to understand the panic and fear that was behind my voice, despite my efforts to hide it. The whole company was helpful. I endured my first four rounds of FEC. This is my hair after four rounds of FEC. You can see the exhaustion in my eyes, but not my hair! My doctor was in shock. By this time, she was recommending cold caps to other patients. She was so excited.
I went on to do 12 rounds of Taxol. I did have a little bit of thinning, but managed to keep my hair throughout this very long process. I’m so grateful. This is a picture of the small amount of thinning. I think that is pretty amazing for 16 rounds!!! I’m so grateful! I still feel like myself.