Location: United Kingdom
Cancer type: Her 2 + Breast Cancer
Drug type: Paclitaxel
Hair type: Long, Straight
"I felt not only like myself, but like a bride."
My first experience of using the Paxman cold cap was intense to say the least. The chill of the scalp cooling begins after just a few minutes of the cap going on, something that I found quite mentally beneficial, as crazy as that may sound. As, focusing on the cold of the cap took my mind elsewhere and gave me a focus other than the chemotherapy that was about to be administered into my hand.
After a few weeks of using the scalp cooling machine, my chemo suite received a brand new cap which was a tighter fit, almost as if it was made for me. I was the first to use the new Paxman and encouraged others to try scalp cooling for themselves. In doing so I made special friends and was proud to have helped inspire them to cold cap after seeing how much hair they retained too.
A good fitting cap is important. I found the more ice that was on my head after removing the scalp cooling machine, the more hair I would lose that week. I began to realise that the ice would build up where air passed through, meaning the cap was not touching my scalp tight enough. Soon after I’d realised this, I would tighten the outer cap and make sure that there was no gap between my head and the scalp cooling.
I retained around 60% of my hair and although 40% sounds like a lot of hair loss, the loss was even across my scalp and I never had any patches or clumping. My hair thinned which gave me the look of minimal hair loss. I am now 12 months post chemo and my hair, which has always been to my waist, has a full fringe and thicker style.
Georgie during chemotherapy
Georgie 1 year after chemo
I wore a silk head scarf while undergoing chemotherapy as I didn’t want my hair to tangle in the wind. I only washed my hair weekly while having treatment and was careful of the products I used. I kept my hair in a loose plait and used the Paxman resources such as their website and Facebook group to seek help and advice which was a crucial part of my hair care routine.
I am so thankful to Paxman and for scalp cooling. Since being diagnosed in May 2021, I have struggled both mentally and physically. Going through treatment over Christmas meant that I never put up a Christmas tree, a time of year I love so dearly. With my newfound confidence, my fiancé and I decided to get married in the December one year later, where we had all the Christmas trees we missed out on! I had been very conscious of my scalp being touched, but my talented Mum styled my hair up and I felt not only like myself, but like a bride.
I was desperate to keep my hair, to keep part of what makes me feel like myself, and so scalp cooling was something I immediately considered. And I’m so glad I did! I would encourage anyone to try cold capping while going through chemotherapy, both men and women.
I look in the mirror and don’t see a cancer patient, I see… Me.
"I would like to thank my husband, Robbie, has stood by me, cared for me, cooked for me, cleaned for me, been my voice when I couldn’t speak, loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself, and stayed by my side throughout my cancer diagnosis. He’s driven me to every appointment. Injected me with needles that I couldn’t do myself. Held me through the darkest time imaginable. Waited outside the window when he wasn’t allowed into the chemotherapy suite because of Covid, so I wouldn’t feel alone. He’s kept everything together at a time of breaking. Keeping a positive mindset when all I could see was negativity."