At a glance:
- Diagnosis: Breast cancer
- Drug regimen: Taxol
- Results: Saved 80% of hair
- Leila says: “The side effects were minimal, but the results were huge”
Leila is a 47-year-old married mum with 3 children, a teenage daughter, and two younger sons, as well as a busy career as a senior partner at a consulting firm.
“Getting to keep most of my hair boosted my morale and helped me feel like less of a ‘cancer patient’.”
Leila’s diagnosis and treatment
“When I initially received the cancer diagnosis, first and foremost, I worried about dying. But once I understood that my prognosis was good and I would be cured, my next concern was all about the effects of the chemotherapy and looking like I had cancer.
“While I knew that chemotherapy was essential to help lower the risk of recurrence, I didn’t want to be defined by the disease during treatment.”
Leila initially underwent a lumpectomy, followed by 12 weekly sessions of Taxol chemotherapy.
“My kids were not get affected by my disease because I was able to keep my hair and always looked like me. I was able to keep working and felt confident about continuing to see colleagues and clients. And I was able to keep going out to see friends without feeling self-conscious.
“Most importantly, when I looked in the mirror every day, I was able to tell myself that when the chemo is over, I won’t have to wait for my hair to grow back.”
Leila’s experience of cold capping
“My oncologist talked to me about cold capping and put me in touch with another cancer patient who was using Penguin Cold Caps. It was beneficial to hear from someone who was using the treatment – they spoke very highly of Penguin and recommended them.
“I hired someone to help me change the caps every 20 minutes over the entire seven hours of my chemo session. I expected it to be very uncomfortable – generally, I’m not too fond of the feeling of being cold.
“However, while it wasn’t an enjoyable feeling, it was very doable and well worth the results.
“I had a little help from my younger children to remove the last cap – this normalized the whole experience of chemo for them.”
“It was also a very good distraction, helping to keep me occupied while the chemo was being administered.”
Leila’s cold capping tips
“I would advise anyone using the caps to follow the instructions closely. Listen to your capper. They will offer advice about the type of shampoo to use, when to wash and how often, how long to wait before dying your hair, etc. That way, you can ensure you get the best results.”
“My hair is generally thin and wavy, and it kept its texture throughout the cold capping.
“It did grow back white, which was a bit disconcerting, but I reminded myself that this meant I was growing new hair throughout the chemo.
“Overall, it was very much worth the effort as I managed to keep about 80% of my hair.
“I recommend Penguin Cold Caps to anyone going through chemotherapy and who wants to keep their hair. The side effects were minimal, but the results were huge.”