Location: Richardson, Texas
Cancer type: Breast
Drug type: Taxotere Carboplatin Herceptin and Perjeta
Hair type: Mid Length
"I am grateful that I was able to maintain my hair because I was also able to maintain my privacy at work and no one knew I was going through chemo unless I chose to disclose that."
The initial diagnosis of cancer is very scary and overwhelming. Having to undergo chemotherapy and deal with all the side effects is very stressful physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am so grateful to my medical oncologist for educating me and encouraging the use of the Paxman Scalp Cooling system. I was already very anxious about losing my hair and had never heard of scalp cooling before.
I was fitted at the office and the orders were faxed. I called and they took my payment over the phone and informed them I was starting chemo end of that week and they overnighted my cap to me. I watched all the videos about how to put the cap on so that was not as bad, I practiced several times before my first day of chemo and felt prepared. I also joined the Facebook support groups and researched what to expect. I was expecting the worse but found it to be very tolerable. Once the cap was on I was hooked up to the system and that was it. I did not have to worry about anything else.
I know they say that it is not necessary to cut your hair if you have long hair prior to scalp cooling, but I felt that it was helpful that I cut mine before. It was way more manageable. I did my chemo in the summer in Texas so keeping it long and not being able to put it up in a bun would have been awful. It was easier for me to wash and make sure it was not tangled especially at night when I slept.
During chemo your body goes through so many changes and preserving your own hair is not for selfish cosmetic reasons, but about maintaining your sense of self and what little control you have left over your body.
I was extremely happy and grateful for my success with the scalp cooling. I am a Nurse Practitioner and I continued to work full time during my chemo treatments which was a challenge in its self. It was bad enough not feeling well and with scalp cooling I was able to stay “normal” on the outside and still look “well” on the outside while I may not have always felt 100%. I am grateful that I was able to maintain my hair because I was also able to maintain my privacy at work and no one knew I was going through chemo unless I chose to disclose that. As a medical professional, maintaining normalcy allowed me to continue working full time during chemotherapy. It has allowed for me to maintain privacy regarding my own medical conditions and has allowed me to keep my focus on my patients without taking away from their needs.
"I have been fortunate to have great success with Paxman. After multiple appeals, I was able to successfully get 100% reimbursement from my insurance company and I strongly advocate for the standardization of its use."