Location: Massachusetts, USA
Cancer type: Breast
Drug type: Unknown
Hair type: Mid Length, Thin
"I started IV chemo for the second time on September 8, 2018 at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, and was informed about Paxman scalp cooling by my oncologist."
My name is Michelle, I’m 41 years old. I live in Massachusetts, USA and I’m a retired kindergarten teacher. I was diagnosed on October 26, 2015 with Stage IV terminal breast cancer at the age of 38.
The breast cancer was in my right breast and had metastasized to my right lung, liver and bones. I have no family history of breast cancer in my family so this was definitely a shock. I have been married to a great guy named Matt for 11 years and we have an awesome son Charlie who is 8 years old. I was a kindergarten teacher for 16 years but had to retire due to my diagnosis.
I went through 13 rounds of chemo which put me at NED (No Evidence of Disease). I was then on hormonal therapy and targeted therapy (Ibrance) for 23 months which then had progression in January 2018. I then tried a clinical trial and oral chemo which failed me and in September 2018 I was told I needed to return to IV chemo!! I said oh crap, my hair has grown so much these past 2 1/2 years I don’t want to be bald again. Of course if I had to be bald again I would, I mean I want to live above anything else!
So I started IV chemo for the second time on September 8, 2018 at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, and was informed about Paxman scalp cooling by my oncologist. The ordering process was super easy and every week when I had to make a payment everyone at the Hub was great and very helpful. Sometimes the credit card service didn’t work but the employee always got back to me and took care of the problem.
My first experience with the cap were great! I watched the Paxman instructional and had my husband and friends that were helping at chemo watch them too. The nurses that I have had during treatment don’t really help with the putting on the cap, but I think it would be great if they did.
The cap is really cold the first 15 minutes or so but then not so bad. I found that the headband didn’t work for me and stopped using it.
I have probably lost about 50% of my hair. I had really thin hair to begin with and started losing hair about the 4th week of treatment. I have had 20 treatments so far with the cap. I wear an electric blanket and socks that help me stay warm. I always have someone help me put my cap on and follow the recommendations from Paxman about how to care for my hair.
I would say that I never felt like I needed a wig, but about weeks 7-13 I feel like a toupee might have helped. But then I started to part my hair different ways and that took away that problem. It’s funny because I dye my hair blond but didn’t even think about having roots because I thought my hair wouldn’t be growing. But my hair has grown a lot so my roots are crazy, yikes! I also have new hair growing from the hair that fell out.
My treat will be ongoing so I don’t have any advice for hair care after treatment is finished, but I am SO happy that I was told about the cap and that I’m using it, especially since I have been on chemo since September 2018! I would of hated to be bald this long! Being bald once is more than enough.
"I would totally recommend using the Paxman to everyone!! It is so worth it!"