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Location: New Hampshire, USA
Cancer type: Breast Cancer IDC stage 1
Drug type: Taxol
Hair type: Average Thickness, Medium Length, Curly

"I would recommend the cooling cap system for anyone who wants to try and preserve a portion of themselves during chemotherapy. It was worth the effort. "

MGH nurse told me about the Paxman system during one of my planning visits. Filled out paperwork and ordered the system. Found the videos online easy to follow and use. Nurse did a super job helping me for my 1st capping. Only thing I changed was putting my head under the sink because my hair was so thick to make sure it got soaking wet. Felt that it was an awesome science and MORE SO a mental health advancement for women going through breast cancer treatment. At my diagnosing facility, they told me I would LOSE ALL MY HAIR.  For me, hair loss and mental health went hand in hand. I can’t control much of the cancer diagnosis, planning, and treatment—-hair care was one path I could control and offer my family (especially my children) that their mom won’t look too different during the most difficult time of my life.

I ran body temp warm during chemo sessions. The nurses would chuckle because I never used a blanket, did not need an electric blanket and in the WINTER—wore shorts, tank top, and was often very warm during the sessions. The cold on my scalp was reasonable and do-able. The timer helped to visualize how much time was left—and I didn’t require anything special. Didn’t need Tylenol or anything.

My nurse prepared me well. I practiced 3 times the week before I started chemo. My nurses would slightly adjust any areas I had not put on correctly. The headband was not helpful for me—was easier to go without it. A silk scarf was helpful to keep it secured on my head and tight.

My twin sister, Heidi developed a really neat idea—she sewed on 2 fun large buttons on the side of the cap (above the ear) to help keep my mask on. This was much easier than trying to move it on and off with the straps. The mirror was helpful in the bag and I used a wide tooth comb—would recommend one of those versus the brush—brush was too pulling and rough.

Used the Paxman shampoo and conditioner during radiation to keep consistent, washing 1-2 a week, and knew it was gentle enough on my hair.  I’m still shedding, have not colored it yet, finally able to go back to Redken shampoo/conditioner.  Have been cutting my own hair for 14 months!!! We come to realize what is important during a pandemic, getting care during COVID—100% alone in all my appointments—but AWESOME NURSES and providers—I really never felt alone because of their care and commitment to excellence in customer service. Quite humbling to be part of THE BEST TEAM!!

During sessions 3 and 4, was my most hair loss. It was gradual hair around ears, top of head, back of head, then eyebrows and eye lashes. I’m 3 months post last chemo and all hair is growing back, eyebrows are almost 100% back, I see the hair with amazing regrowth, and the leg hair is back too, ha ha!

Before Cancer

During Treatment

During Treatment

Final Treatment

I did not use a wig or find that would help me much. I did have a loose hat, wore in the winter, that was helpful to keep warm and feel confident when walking outside or helping to shovel during the long winter months.

I changed to washing 1 x a week after session #4, ended up ordering a 2nd set of Paxman shampoo and conditioner. I slowly and carefully combed through my hair with a good wide tooth comb—no brushing since August 2020!! No products in my hair, no hair ties, headbands or anything that pulls on the hair, and slept on satin pillow cases (~$10 on Amazon) as they pull less on the hair and helped a lot.

I would recommend the cooling cap system for anyone who wants to try and preserve a portion of themselves during chemotherapy. It was worth the effort.


"I’d like to thank MaryBeth Meteonis, RN---she is a Rockstar nurse who was my first chemotherapy “person” for those long hours at appointments. She went over every single aspect of my care. She is sooo good that she lets you know when she is ready to access your port with a “1-2-3”, gave me time estimates on the various steps, provided feedback with the cap if I was off by a little bit, and listened to my many many hours of conversations. I’d estimate we have spent 100 hours together. She listened deeply to me, heard what I had to say, advised me on prevention steps for nausea and ill affects of the chemo in days following. She provided a sound voice of logic, listening, and compassion. She is an expert process nurse---sequential in her steps and performs QA steps for medication checks before administering the next chemo drug."


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