Cancer type: Breast
Drug type: Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta
Hair type: Short
"The cooling process was uneventful for me. I had no pain. I was comfortable with wearing a light cotton jacket over my shirt and a warmed light cotton blanket."
My name is Nadine and I am 63 years old and I live in Portland, OR. I am a retired speech-language pathologist. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast CA in June 2018. I had a 2.2cm tumor in left breast and 0.8 cm tumor in right. Because the proliferation rate was high (45%) I was started on chemotherapy July 10th instead of having surgery first. I received Taxotere/Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta every 3 weeks for 6 treatments with Compass Oncology in Portland.
I received information about Paxman during my initial visit with my medical oncologist prior to beginning chemo treatment. The ordering process was easy with the help of Compass staff. The compass treatment nurses helped me and my husband with how to get started and throughout all my treatments.
The cooling process was uneventful for me. I had no pain. I was comfortable with wearing a light cotton jacket over my shirt and a warmed light cotton blanket.
I began to lose hair at 2 weeks after my first treatment. It began with a thinning spot at the top of my head and then continued with clumps of hair coming out when I washed it. My hair was curly and full and cut below my ears. I was accustomed to washing and blow drying every day. After starting chemo I tried to wash only every other day with an all-natural shampoo and didn’t blow dry. I didn’t like the shampoo provided by Paxman as it made my hair lay very flat. I was still not happy with how my hair looked so had it cut in a Pixie style on July 30th.
I continued to lose hair and got a wig pretty soon after I had a haircut. I had more thinning on the sides, in the back at the top and the hairline around my face receded to behind my ears. It seemed that the cooling was working best at the neck, at the back, where I actually had my husband trim it
I have no hair care hints – this is the area that I think Paxman could have more help available. I understood that there was moderate risk of losing hair, I was unhappy that I did lose a lot of my hair. I’m happy that I didn’t lose it all and now, only 5 months after ending chemo I have a full head of hair, except that it is short. I had a haircut on December 31st to even out the length all around. Since I couldn’t color my hair I had to deal with the all-white look and decided to have lowlight coloring done in March as I had always thought that I would eventually transition to gray hair. So I’m still dealing with the suddenly whole different look. The prospective of being able to keep my hair meant a lot to me as I wanted to continue to be able to go out and follow my regular daily activities and not necessarily share my cancer dx. I am an otherwise healthy person, I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me.
"I would recommend scalp cooling but with strong warning for possibility of negative effects."