The good, the bad and the ugly of my cold cap journey
I am two and a half months past my last cycle of chemotherapy so I though I will share my experience with the cold calp.
I had 4 cycles of TC (20/11/18 to 23/01/19). I chose to do a neoadjuvant treatment and start with chemotherapy to allow genetic testing to happen and give me some time to think about the best surgical approach.
I used the Paxman cold calp. The extra small cap was too tight, so I wore inner small which moved a bit and outer small to try to keep it in place. I have lost about 50% of my hair (and I have heaps to start with) mostly in my crown, probably because the cap was a bit big for me. All the usual instructions to preserve hair were followed - washes once a week with coldish water and mild shampoo provided by my hospital (Sukin), no hairdryer, gentle brushing, silk pillowcase...
They tell you that you are going to lose hair, but I don't think that I was mentally prepared to deal with all the shedding and the clamps of hair in the brush. At face value the treatment has been successful, I only had to wear head scarfs for a couple of months and by now not too many people will tell that I have lost hair.
Was it an uncomfortable experience?, Yes, especially the first 20m. I learnt after the first cycle to take the Lorazepam that the hospital provided me to relax a bit earlier in the day at home (about an hour before treatment started) so by the time I got to hospital was almost out and barely felt a thing.
Was it worthy?, Absolutely, as you can see in the photos I still have a decent amount of hair
Would I do it again?, No, I wouldn't, especially if I required a longer chemo treatment. Chemotherapy and all the decisions that you need to take when fighting cancer is a stressful enough experience. Worrying on whether the caps are working and constantly cleaning up hairs adds another layer of stress that in hindsight I didn't need. Half way through the treatment I had a big bold spot at the top so I started wearing head scarfs and I grew to love them.
Below is a photo collage of my journey, I hope that it is useful ladies!