Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, bone marrow, and blood cancer
Drug regimen: Melphalan chemotherapy
Results: Saved more than 90% of his hair
Cameron says: “I hope that more multiple myeloma patients undergoing SCT treatment will consider cold capping. It’s a way to regain some sense of control over the process and maintain a positive outlook through the treatment.”
Meet Cameron, a retired lawyer residing in San Carlos with his wife of 35 years. Their three children and three grandchildren complete their close-knit family.
In December 2022 Cameron was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow and blood cancer, and it sent shockwaves through their lives.
Cameron’s diagnosis and treatment
Initially, Cameron’s treatment involved a mix of Velcade, Darzalex, Revlamid, and Dexamethasone, which didn’t lead to hair loss. After four cycles, he was referred to the UCSF Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) clinic in San Francisco. Meeting eligibility criteria, Cameron joined the program and entered the next phase of treatment at the UCSF hospital.
“The SCT procedure includes a large dose of melphalan, a chemotherapy drug known to result in complete body hair loss. I told the nurse coordinator I wasn’t too excited about losing my hair, although it certainly wasn’t a factor in deciding that SCT was my best course of treatment.”
How did you hear about cold capping?
“At this point, the nurse navigator told me about a recent patient who had success with Penguin Cold Caps. Dr. Thomas Martin, my hematologist, encouraged me to pursue the possibility as there was a good chance of success based on his experience with other patients.”
“I researched online, reading reviews and stories of individuals who saved their hair with Penguin Cold Caps. The price was reasonable, making the decision easy.”
Why did you decide to go ahead?
“The truth is hair loss was way down my list of concerns upon diagnosis. While I knew my myeloma wasn’t curable, I was feeling quite ill at the time, and my oncologist told me that the treatment would make me feel better within a matter of weeks. When the topic of hair loss came up, and cold capping appeared as an option, I saw it as a way of retaining some control of my situation.”
Cameron continues, “Moreover, I simply like having hair. I didn’t want my appearance to announce me to the world as a “cancer victim.” How I look is a matter of personal pride to me; losing my hair could have dampened my self-image and, more specifically, my attitude toward treatment. Maintaining a positive mental outlook is important for those of us going through this process.”
What was your experience of cold capping?
Cameron requested a call-back via the Penguin Cold Caps website: “Theresa Daniels from Penguin contacted me the same day. She gave me some good information about the process and how to make it happen.
“It was simple. I opted for the Penguin “White Glove Service,” which means a cold capper stayed with me through the entire process at the hospital. Gloria, my capper, knew what to do and when to do it, giving my wife one less thing to worry about.
“Gloria insulated my ears and forehead. She changed the caps every 25 minutes for six hours. While the top of my head felt cold during cap changes, it remained bearable.
“My melphalan infusion took place at about 10:30 pm, and Gloria stayed with me all night and made sure that everything was correct, ensuring optimal success.”
What were your results?
Blessed with thick, slightly wavy hair, Cameron states, “My barber often noted my unusually thick hair for my age.”
“I have preserved almost all my head hair, maybe 90% or more. Conversely, I’ve lost most of my other body hair and haven’t had to shave for several weeks, which is nice. Although my mustache, which I’ve had since 1976, is thinner, but still there!”
Would you recommend Penguin Cold Caps?
“I would certainly recommend cold capping and Penguin Cold Caps to any patient concerned about hair loss. I would also recommend using a cold capper for ease and to ensure the process is done correctly.
“My experience with Penguin Cold Caps was only positive. The service, from initial contact to the process itself, was outstanding. Theresa was very helpful, addressing all my questions before and after the cold capping event.
“I hope that more multiple myeloma patients undergoing SCT treatment will consider cold capping. It’s a way to regain some sense of control over the process and maintain a positive outlook through the treatment.”
Get in touch
If you’re about to undergo chemotherapy and want to find out more about cold capping, why not request a callback. Our reps can provide more information, and answer all of your questions. Just click here, complete the form and your local rep will be in touch.