Testimonials from Scalp Cooling Patients Subsidized by HairToStay
I wanted to write and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind subsidy from HairToStay. I was diagnosed at age 31, six months before my wedding. If that wasn’t difficult enough, my doctor recommended four rounds of Taxotere/Cytoxan chemotherapy. She told me I would “certainly lose all of my hair.” This was so devastating to hear as a young bride! I have a lot of pride in my long auburn locks! I actually considered not doing chemo at all (I was a “borderline” case) because of this. I just couldn’t bear the thought of being bald in my wedding pictures! But then I heard about cold capping from a patient navigator, and she told me about you. Your generosity truly made all the difference, as I could not afford the cold caps on my own. The caps were an amazing success and the fact that I did not “look sick” during treatment really helped me not FEEL sick either! I could go out in public and live a normal life without stares, questions, or pity. This privacy made a tough time in my life much easier to deal with. That feeling in itself was worth doing the caps, but the fact that I had all of my hair on my wedding day was such a true blessing. It’s been almost 1 year now since my diagnosis and I am currently “no evidence of disease” and my life is pretty much back to normal, without the constant reminder of very short hair. I am forever grateful to you and HairToStay!!
As a wife and mother of two, finding out I had breast cancer at 33 was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. When my oncologist told me that chemo was recommended I immediately thought about loosing my hair. As vain as it sounds I couldn’t imagine it. It’s hard enough to go through chemo and feel sick, then you have to lose your hair and a little bit of dignity as well. I googled “how to keep your hair during chemo” expecting no results. I found Penguin Cold Caps and Rapunzel Project.
I was amazed at what I was reading, women keeping their hair during chemo! I called Patsy and within 2 weeks I had my caps. I am amazed with the results! After 4 treatments of T/C I still have my hair! Going through cancer is hard enough, keeping my hair made it a little bit easier. Thank you Patsy and Penguin Cold Caps for making a difficult time in my life so much better! I will forever be grateful for all that you do!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2013. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial at the University of California-San Francisco for DigniCap, an experimental treatment that cools the head during chemotherapy to reduce hair loss. The idea behind the “cold cap” is relatively simple and it wasn’t uncomfortable. I had no side effects and retained most of my hair. I never needed a wig during treatment and even went on national TV three weeks after my final round of chemo.
It was a powerful experience to look healthy throughout chemotherapy and be treated as a healthy person by others. Those who knew I was undergoing chemotherapy were perplexed at how vibrant I appeared and that influenced how they treated me. That, in turn, influenced how I identified as someone who was healing instead of someone who was sick. Having hair also allowed my children (then 9 and 6) to see me as just their mommy, not a sick woman.
Deborah Cohan, M.D., San Francisco, CA
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 feminity. 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.
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.
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, but mostly. 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.
Thank You Again!
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.