At a glance:
- Diagnosis: Breast Cancer
- Drug regimen: Taxol and Herceptin, followed by 9-months of Herceptin
- Results: Saved 100% of her hair
- Jennifer says: “My hair looks amazing after chemo – super healthy, lots of growth, and most importantly, I still look like me”
Jennifer is currently working as a biological anthropologist, teaching at a community college, but she’s also worked and taught in Italy, Australia, Africa, and Costa Rica. Mom of two sons, both of whom have flown the nest – the youngest is in college, and the eldest is following in his mom’s footsteps and teaching in Spain.
Covid and cancer have kept Jennifer grounded for the past couple of years, but that’s all about to change. She is planning trips to Spain, France, and Italy later this year, and intends to climb Kilimanjaro in 2023! No mean feat for someone recovering from cancer.
“While cancer was taking everything else, saving my hair was the one thing I felt I had a level of control over. I believe it was critical for my state of mind throughout my treatment that I still looked like me”
Jennifer’s diagnosis and treatment
Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer and given a treatment plan of weekly rounds of Taxol and Herceptin, followed by Herceptin for a further 9-months.
“When I received my cancer diagnosis, my biggest fears in order were initially, not surviving, and then my family having to watch me decline physically,” explains Jennifer. “Then I was scared about feeling ill during the chemo infusions, closely followed by the fear of losing my hair.”
Why was saving your hair important?
“Breast cancer is a super de-feminizing disease. It took my breasts, it forced me to take blockers against female hormones, it took my hair, lashes, and eyebrows – and if you’re not careful, it has the potential to take your dignity.
“While cancer was taking everything else, saving my hair was the one thing I felt I had a level of control over. I believe it was critical for my state of mind throughout my treatment that I was able to still look like me!
“Both of my children were living away throughout my diagnosis and treatment – it was important to me that I didn’t look like a cancer patient to them when we were finally able to meet up.”
Why did you choose Penguin Cold Caps?
“My cousin successfully used Penguin Cold Caps to save her hair eight years ago. I remember being so surprised at the time that she looked so good despite the treatment. As soon as I had the diagnosis, I knew that I would use Penguin Cold Caps too.”
Once you got started, how did you find the experience?
“I had a team of people helping me at each of my infusions, including my mom, dad, and several reliable friends. My dad collected the dry ice early on the day of treatment before going to the hospital. We were all super regimented. We set timers, so we didn’t forget when to take the caps out of the cool box and when to change them over.
“After my infusion treatment ended, I went home and continued to cap for a further three to four hours as instructed by my rep.”
It’s important to carry on capping after treatment for as long as your rep advises to give the chemo drugs sufficient time to dilute in your system and they can no longer damage your hair follicles.
Jennifer continues, “I followed my Penguin reps rules to the letter:”
- Jennifer limited hair washing to once a week with a gentle flow of cold water and diluted shampoo
- She never wore a hat, shower cap, or ponytail
- She resisted the urge to color her gray roots
- She never braided, curled, or heat dried her hair
- Jennifer slept on a silk pillowcase
What were your results?
Jennifer says she’s always had a lot of hair – and is really happy she has managed to save all of it following chemo.
“I have no bald patches at all, and I didn’t even shed – in fact, I believe I was shedding less than normal. I attribute this success to my amazing team, our regimented changeover of the caps, and my obsessive observation of the rules.
“My hair is one of my favorite features. I love styling it and trying new hairstyles and hair ups, so not touching it at all has been hard but ultimately well worth it.
My hair still looks amazing after chemo because of Penguin. Super healthy, lots of growth, and most importantly, I still look like myself.
Would you recommend Penguin to others?
“100%. I am on several social media groups for cancer patients and always talk about my success with Penguin. It was just so successful for me.”
Can you offer any tips or advice to others when using the caps?
- Recruit and organize a team of people you trust and can consistently rely on each week
- Make sure you are supremely organized and disciplined about the cap temperature and changes
- Practice, practice, practice beforehand
- Always follow the hair care tips provided by your rep to the letter