“I felt like I was back in control of my cancer and it wasn’t going to get the better of me.”Emma
To me, losing your hair means losing control over what’s happening in your life.
A degree of difference...
The whole experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer was completely overwhelming. At my first appointment with my oncologist, the oncology team told me about the cold cap, how it worked and they explained that I could give it a go but if it was too uncomfortable they could switch it off.
The nurses wrapped me up in blankets and gave me hot drinks during the scalp cooling and cold cap process. After about 15 minutes, I didn’t really notice it. I actually used to fall asleep wearing it, so it wasn’t that bad at all. I will say that you should expect some hair to fall out, but it doesn’t mean the cold cap hasn’t worked. This tends to happen about three weeks after treatment, but you should stick with it.
The system made such an amazing difference. I felt like I was back in control of my cancer and that it wasn’t going to get the better of me. I was happy to be able to continue with my life without people giving me the looks of pity, and everybody thought I looked great so they would often forget what I was going through. I was able just to live my life and be treated as ‘Emma’ rather than being treated as a victim of cancer.
I could look in the mirror and it was the same person looking back. I think that, if I had lost my hair, it just would have been a constant reminder of what was happening and what I was going through. I went to my cousin’s wedding and was a bridesmaid just as the treatment had finished – I would not have done that had I lost my hair. I wouldn’t have wanted her or myself to have that constant reminder on her special day.
“The system made such an amazing difference. I felt like I was back in control of my cancer and that it wasn’t going to get the better of me.”
A good friend of mine is my hairdresser and she cut my hair a few days after I started chemotherapy. She said that the hair that I lost has grown back and is actually in better condition, thicker and more plentiful than before!
To me, losing your hair means losing control over what’s happening in your life. You’ve got appointments to go to, you’ve got people telling you that you have to have a certain treatment and you are just basically handing everything over. To keep your hair, you are retaining that bit of control. It’s something that is not going to define you. You are still going to be who you want to be.
Emma currently sits on our Scientific Advisory Board.