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Meredith.

Location: New Jersey, USA
Cancer type: Early stage estrogen, progesterone, & her2+ invasive ductal carcinoma
Drug type: Taxotere & Carboplatin
Hair type: Long, Thick, Wavy, & Chemically Dyed

"Of course, it would have been ideal to retain 100% of my hair. But, being prescribed Taxotere that can cause permanent hair loss, I am happy to retain roughly 40% of my hair and now 9 months later, I have extremely fast hair growth."

I was originally diagnosed at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. When told I would need chemotherapy, I was most distressed about losing my hair. The oncologist at Valley Hospital told me about private companies that offered scalp cooling. When I met with my nurse practitioner and doctor at MSK, they told me that they had the Paxman scalp cooling treatment there and recommended it. I began chemotherapy in November 2020 and ended in February 2021.

The Hub was amazing!!! I originally was sized with a small cap at MSK. After it came in the mail, I noticed that it did not fully cover my scalp, but chemo was to begin in three days. I called the Hub and sent them pictures of how the cap fit. They were able to ship a medium-sized cap to me overnight so I would have it before my chemo treatments began. They were incredibly understanding and compassionate. At other points when I have called the Hub, all the workers were so nice and made me feel comfortable asking all my questions. I also found the Paxman Facebook group to be incredibly resourceful and filled with amazing individuals.

In my honest opinion, I was expecting it to be much worse! I found it very tolerable. My nurse gave me a medication to take to ease my anxiety about chemotherapy, which she said also helps to manage the cold from the cap. On one occasion I did not take this medication, and I didn’t notice a major difference in the cold.

Scalp cooling became easier once I lost some of my hair. The cap fit better as I had very thick hair and I noted that I was colder as I lost some hair. I used a panty liner on my forehead and a hair net to block the cap directly on my scalp. My hair started to return during Taxotere treatment (which is unheard of as this drug can cause permanent hair loss). I also used warmed blankets and wore fuzzy socks to keep myself comfortable.

First day of chemo

Last day of chemo

Extensions in 2-3 months PFC

First haircut 8 months PFC!

I did experience a degree of hair loss that most people don’t from the drugs I received. I predominately lost all of the hair on my crown to my forehead, with the sides still intact.

I did wear a wig and caps during and after treatment until I felt comfortable. I was able to cut my hair into a cute, long pixie much faster than others who ended chemotherapy on the same drugs as I had. I used conditioning masks on my hair to smooth it. I also take vitamins for hair growth daily (once my oncologist approved it).

10 out of 10 for Paxman. Of course, it would have been ideal to retain 100% of my hair. But, being prescribed Taxotere that can cause permanent hair loss, I am happy to retain roughly 40% of my hair and now 9 months later, I have extremely fast hair growth. I was able to get extensions placed at 3 months post-chemo, which would have been impossible if it was not for Paxman. At 9 months post-chemo, I have enough hair for a cute short bob style! 100% recommend Paxman to others, and I do!

 

"I want to thank my nurse practitioner, Katie Rudy-Tomczak, from MSKCC. Katie heard my concern about losing my hair and validated my feelings, where others would make comments of “it’s just hair” or “it will grow back.” Katie understood what this loss meant to me and helped me with Paxman. She has been the most compassionate and kind human being I have ever met, and I feel honored that she is part of my care at MSKCC! I also want to thank my oncologist, Dr Wang, and all of the amazing nurses at MSKCC. Each one of them has been an integral part of my scalp cooling journey and supportive of me."

 
 

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