At a glance:
Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma bone cancer
Drug regimen: Melphalan chemotherapy
Results: Saved 80 to 85% of her hair
Meg says: “Receiving my cancer diagnosis and then having to deal with the treatment is bad enough, but going bald on top of that was too much”
Meg’s diagnosis and treatment
Meg, a 66-year-old retired fashion industry professional, received a devastating diagnosis of multiple myeloma at the end of 2023. As she began her 16-week induction therapy course of treatment, Meg was confronted with the daunting prospect of losing her hair due to the high dose of Melphalan chemotherapy she was to receive.
“My biggest fears were my mortality, of course. Receiving my cancer diagnosis and then having to deal with the treatment is bad enough, but going bald on top of that was too much,” recalls Meg. But then she heard about cold capping, a therapy that could save her hair during chemo.
How did you hear about cold capping?
Although initially skeptical of its effectiveness for myeloma patients, Meg heard from a friend in Oregan who had used Penguin Cold Caps during her own stem cell transplant and managed to save 65% of her hair. This prompted Meg’s doctor to encourage her to give cold caps a try, even though the clinic had previously tried it with several myeloma patients without success.
What was your experience of cold capping?
Meg used Penguin Cold Caps’ White Glove Service, which provides a professional capper to handle the cold cap process. Her capper, Gloria, arrived with all the dry ice and equipment, making Meg’s experience stress-free.
“The cold was not a problem. The cap is heavy, but you are sitting up in bed and very supported, so it was fine,” Meg shares. She also followed Penguin’s post-chemo hair care instructions, which included using baby shampoo, applying leave-in conditioner, combing through hair once a day, and never using heated styling tools such as a hair dryer or straighteners.
After four weeks post-chemo, Meg estimated that she had lost only 5% of her hair. At around six weeks, she started to notice more shedding, but she believes this was due to not continuing with the recommended hair care past about three weeks post-chemo. “I believe I’ve saved 80 to 85% of my hair. It is just thinner than it was, but no bald spots, and it looks fine,” Meg reports.
Meg is thrilled with her results and happy to report that her medical team will now recommend Penguin Cold Caps to other multiple myeloma patients prescribed high-dose Melphalan chemotherapy.
Can you offer any tips or advice to others when using the caps?
Meg offers the following tips and advice to others who are considering cold capping:
- Use the White Glove Service as the ‘no stress’ option
- Check with your insurance if they cover it
- Follow the post-hair care tips diligently to reduce hair loss
Would you recommend Penguin Cold Caps?
Meg’s experience with cold capping has been life-changing. It has not only saved her hair during chemo but has also given her the confidence to face her cancer diagnosis with positivity and hope.
“I am so happy with my results!! I kept a positive attitude that it was going to work, and it surely did!!” Meg exclaims.
For Meg, saving her hair during cancer treatment was more than just an aesthetic concern. It was about holding on to a sense of normalcy and control during a time when so much felt uncertain. “It was essential for me to maintain my self-image and feel like myself during such a difficult time,” Meg explains.
Meg’s story is a testament to the power of cold capping and the importance of seeking out a therapy that can help cancer patients maintain their sense of self during treatment. As she continues her cancer journey, Meg looks forward to sharing her experience with others and helping them discover the benefits of cold capping for themselves.