At a glance:
- Diagnosed with Stage 2, her2-negative estrogen positive breast cancer
- Drug regimen: AC / Taxol
- Saved 90% of hair
Originally from South Africa, Bronwen moved to Dubai 12 years ago and has a successful career as a Senior Franchise Director at PepsiCo. She has recently undergone treatment for Stage 2 breast cancer… and her biggest fear was losing her hair.
Bronwen’s diagnosis and treatment
“When I was given my diagnosis, I knew that I would overcome the cancer. My biggest fear was losing my hair. I have long, dark, thick hair and I was scared I wouldn’t recognise myself in the mirror.”
Bronwen was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. This meant she needed to undergo an aggressive treatment plan that included 16 rounds of chemo: 4 AC and 12 Taxol. This was then followed by five weeks of radiation.
After the chemo and radiation, Bronwen underwent a double mastectomy and an immediate reconstruction.
“After everything I was going through, it was exceptionally important to me to save my hair, and I was willing to do anything,” explains Bronwen.
“I knew that without taking action my drug regimen would mean hair loss. I didn’t want hair loss to define me as a person – I wanted to keep my identity.”
Bronwen’s experience of cold capping
“I first heard about cold capping from my oncologist. He told me that, although it wasn’t guaranteed, if saving my hair was important I should give it a try!
“After researching various providers, I settled on Penguin Cold Caps. I read about other people that had used the Penguin manual cold cap system, and they all reported the best results.
“I found ordering from Penguin very easy; Fran from the Penguin support team was super helpful.
“Initially the thought of wearing the caps was a bit overwhelming, but after the first one it become easy and so manageable.
“It was also a very good distraction, helping to keep me occupied while the chemo was being administered.”
Bronwen’s cold capping tips
The caps need to be used in conjunction with a conscious hair regime:
- I didn’t brush my hair for 8 months, and then only used a very soft baby’s brush
- I washed my hair in cold bottled water
- I didn’t cut, color or treat my hair during chemo
“I saved 90% of my hair. I am exceptionally grateful to Penguin Cold Caps for making it possible – and I would 100% recommend cold capping to anyone else.
“For me, saving my hair has had a huge positive impact on my cancer journey. It has helped me to keep my identity, I’ve continued to work throughout my treatment, and it’s given me the strength to continue every day.
“And for those reasons, if you can save your hair… then why not!”