At a glance:
- Diagnosis: ER/PR+ HER2+ breast cancer
- Drug regimen: TCHP
- Results: Saved 70 – 80% of hair
- Sophie says: “Waking up every day and still having my hair made me feel like myself and gave me something positive to focus on”
Sophie is 31 years old and lives in Chicago, where she grew up. She enjoys a successful career as the manager of a fashionable shoe boutique in one of Chicago’s most historic neighborhoods.
Sophie’s diagnosis and treatment
“Hearing the words, “you have breast cancer” was an out-of-body experience,” explains Sophie.
“After the initial diagnosis, I didn’t have much information. I feared for my life and the heartache I would be putting my family and friends through.”
“My hair has always been a big part of my identity,” says Sophie.
“Aside from my vanity, I wanted to wake up every morning and see myself reflected in the mirror. I didn’t want to look at a sick person. I wanted to hold on to something that cancer so often takes away from you.”
How did you hear about cold capping?
“A client of mine mentioned cold capping when I told her about my diagnosis. A friend of hers had used them with great results, and I was immediately online searching for more information.”
Sophie spoke to her oncologist about using cold caps and asked for her opinion.
“My oncologist recommended Penguin Cold Caps because she had seen the best results compared with other brands.”
What was your experience of cold capping?
Sophie told us she found the ordering process simple and straightforward, and the cold caps themselves easy to use.
“It was not difficult at all,” explains Sophie. I didn’t use a professional capper; my friends and family helped me to change the caps. I actually found it helped pass the time during treatments and gave me something to think about other than chemo.
“I was nervous about how I would cope with tolerating the cold. I’m generally a cold person and was worried I would be shivering the whole time with a brain freeze.
“But it was absolutely nothing like that. The first cap was always the worst, but you become numb to the cold after a while, and they really are tolerable.”
What were your results?
“My hair is long, thick, and wavy. I did shed what seemed to me like a lot. The shedding started a couple of weeks after my first treatment and continued throughout, leaving some patchy spots just above my ears.
“But despite this, I kept 70-80% of my hair.
“I am very happy with the results. To me, if you can afford it, there is no reason not to try cold capping. Waking up daily and having my hair made me feel like me and gave me something positive to focus on.”
What tips do you have for other people thinking about cold capping?
• Dress warm and in layers. Bring blankets! I always had a blanket on me and a blanket around my neck to offer support- the caps can start to feel heavy after a while. I’ve also heard people use a travel pillow for support.
• Another important tip is to find a reliable dry ice supplier. I was able to find one that would deliver to my apartment the day before each treatment.
• It’s also important to get the caps as fitted to your head as possible to avoid bald spots.