Diagnosis: Stage one breast cancer
Drug regimen: 4 rounds of TC chemotherapy
Results: Saved 80% of her hair
Lulu says: “I can’t thank Penguin Cold Caps enough for giving hope and courage to me and many women on this tough journey”
Lulu is a talented filmmaker and TV/screenwriter in her early 40s. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Lulu has lived in various countries as a digital nomad, embracing a life of creativity and adventure.
Lulu’s diagnosis and treatment
Lulu was diagnosed with hormone-receptive stage one breast cancer and received the diagnosis while staying in Bangkok, Thailand. “I felt a mixture of emotions, but having cared for my mother during a similar battle three years ago, I was able to approach my own diagnosis with a more level-headed perspective than I might have otherwise.”
Despite her initial calmness, Lulu’s primary fears centered around losing her femininity and the ability to have children. The thought of undergoing chemotherapy and the potential for hair loss hit home a little later when her oncology report revealed the need for treatment.
Why was it important for you to save your hair?
For Lulu, her hair was a significant part of her identity. “I saw other women in the hospital shaving their heads without exploring alternatives. I was determined that if there was a way to save my hair, I was definitely going to try. When I was at school, there was a rule in most Korean schools to cut your hair short. I hated it so much I even led a school protest. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, and I wasn’t going to accept losing my hair without a fight.”
How did you find out about cold capping?
Lulu stumbled upon cold capping on Instagram, where she discovered photos shared by breast cancer survivor Alicia Witt, who had also used Penguin Cold Caps. She explains, “Koreans tend to be very skeptical and fearful about trying anything new, which is perhaps why cold capping isn’t readily available in my country. I chose Penguin Cold Caps because the company has a long history of success, and the caps are available worldwide.”
What was your experience of cold capping?
Lulu says that initially, she found the cold capping process overwhelming. The idea of handling 20kg of dry ice and changing caps every half hour seemed challenging. However, as she embraced the routine, she discovered that the treatment became a welcome distraction from chemotherapy, providing psychological support throughout her treatment. “The doctors and nurses at my hospital were very curious and intrigued by the process but also very supportive.”
“Ordering from Penguin Cold Caps was a breeze,” explains Lulu. “The company’s prompt response and kind agents ensured international shipping was swift, arriving within a week.”
Lulu enlisted the help of a friend who had also battled cancer. Together, they studied tutorial videos and materials provided by Penguin. “Although the cold can be uncomfortable, the process does get easier with each session, and I soon got used to the coldness. Ultimately, it is bearable and well worth the effort.”
Lulu was thrilled to retain approximately 80% of her hair. She says, “I did experience some shedding, mainly around my ears, which initially I found worrying. However, as the treatment progressed, the shedding reduced, and I was able to cover any thinning spots with a retro-style turban headband. Nobody notices unless I tell them.”
Lulu wholeheartedly recommends cold capping to others and has shared her experience with the doctors and nurses at her hospital. “My hope is that more women in Korea become aware of cold capping and have access to this therapy.”
“I can’t thank Penguin Cold Caps enough for giving hope and courage to me and many women on this tough journey. Preserving my hair goes way beyond vanity; it played a crucial role in maintaining my mental health and identity. I refused to be defined solely as a cancer patient, and with the help of Penguin Cold Caps, my cancer journey was less painful and even empowering.”