Location: London, UK
Cancer type: Breast
Drug type: Unknown
Hair type: Mid Length
"This has made my cancer journey easier no doubt and now that chemotherapy has finished I can get back to using my favourite hair products again. If you are considering using Paxman, I would urge you to definitely give it a go. I never in a million years thought that I would have the success that I did and I would never have known if I didn’t try."
My name is Amy Broughal and I am 28 years old. I am originally from Dublin, Ireland however I moved to London in September 2017.
In the summer of 2018 when I was lying in bed I reached over to take a drink of water on my beside table when my hand brushed off a lump in my breast. It was very obvious and protruded, making is hard to believe how I had missed it in the shower that morning.
I knew something like this should not be dismissed or forgotten about so I made an appointment with my GP. Upon assessment my GP said she was not overly concerned because of my age and told me to wait another 3 weeks until after my next menstrual cycle to see if the lump had gone.
The lump didn’t go, so I called my GP practice and they referred me to the Breast Clinic in Kings College Hospital, London where I had my initial appointment roughly two weeks.
The initial appointment consisted of an external examination of the breast. The doctor that examined me told me he was certain there was nothing sinister going on, in fact he diagnosed me with Fibromedinoma (a benign lump that will most likely be there forever) but said that they will book me back in again the following week for a scan.
The second appointment date came which was an ultrasound of the breast. This is when the doctor said that they would like to perform a biopsy and I would need to come back the following week for results. Again, I was not fretting that the results would come back the way they did. I even considered not going to the results appointment – that’s how sure I was that it was not cancer! Then on the 26th July the doctor said the words ‘’we thought that nothing was going to be wrong, but we have found something and it is breast cancer’’.
I had been diagnosed with Stage 1 Triple Negative Breast cancer. Straight from there I was put in a room with a nurse who instantly started talking about cutting my hair and starting chemotherapy. She discussed my treatment plan and I was to start chemotherapy on 23rd August. Freezing my eggs, surgery and radiotherapy was to follow. This is when my Breast Care Nurse mentioned Paxman Scalp Cooling and that it was available on the Chemotherapy Ward if I wished to try it. She said that there is basically a 50% chance that it will work. I knew straight away that I was going to give it a go. My chemotherapy would consist of twelve weekly rounds and then four rounds that would be 3 week apart, so 16 rounds in total. The thought of losing my hair was unbearable, but I did accept that it was a possibility and to not get my hopes up.
Trying the cold cap for the first time was uncomfortable. The first 10-15 minutes for sure are the most uncomfortable, but that subsides and with the help of plenty of blankets and a hot drink it becomes easier. The nurses on the ward wet my hair using a spray water bottle to help the cold get to my scalp, and also put conditioner in my hair so that they cap will glide off easier once done. I did not wash my hair for 48 hours after this. When I did wash it I would do it once a week using a mild shampoo and conditioner and did not use any hot tools on it for the duration of treatment. I followed the Paxman guidelines on how long to have the cap on prior to, during and after the treatment session.
I was expecting my hair to shed by week 2 of treatment, but it never really did. I would say that I had normal hair shedding throughout the whole experience. I never woke up with clumps of hair on my pillow. I never had to wear a wig, hat or scarf to disguise any thinning. I would confidently say that I maintained all my hair through chemotherapy because of Paxman. The condition of my hair has never been better, it even grew throughout treatment and I had 3 haircuts!
This has made my cancer journey easier no doubt and now that chemotherapy has finished I can get back to using my favourite hair products again.
"If you are considering using Paxman, I would urge you to definitely give it a go. I never in a million years thought that I would have the success that I did and I would never have known if I didn’t try."