“I had 18 treatments of chemotherapy and maintained a full head of hair.”
Like a lot of people, the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘cancer’ is “My hair is going to fall out”.
A degree of normality...
You imagine having a bald head and people thinking “There is someone very ill”. Whilst it is not a life threatening loss, it is still viewed as a disability, so to be able to get as far as I have with no problems at all makes me very grateful – there are no outward signs that I am suffering from cancer.
Various friends of mine have had chemotherapy in the past and virtually all of them lost their hair. It’s something that goes with cancer. When I turned up at the hospital, the nurses gave me the option to use the cold cap system. I am a vain bloke and I didn’t want to lose my hair! Everyone’s reaction to cancer treatment is different – they all say that from day one – but I have been lucky and it worked for me. The nurses were astonished that I have had no hair loss whatsoever. I look in the shower every morning and no hair has gone, there is a full head of hair.
“When people hear that you have cancer, they expect to see you looking drawn, terrible and fairly bald.”
The actual feeling of scalp cooling and the cold cap is like when you are on a very hot beach and you eat a cold ice cream. On a scale of 1-10, it’s no worse than a 2. After the initial ten minutes of sitting with a cap on, the cold feeling goes away completely and you are a little numb. I wear it for two hours every week and I just don’t notice it.
When people hear that you have cancer, they expect to see you looking drawn, terrible and fairly bald. When they see you with a full head of hair looking fairly robust, they think its great. So I can walk into a room with no sense of disability whatsoever and I feel like a normal guy. I know lots of people do very well with wigs or beanie hats, but having hair on my head makes me feel much more comfortable and less self-conscious. I’m much more confident and able to deal with life better.
The Paxman cold cap is non-invasive, easy to apply, easy to work… It might not work for everyone but it certainly works for me. There is no harm in trying it and it doesn’t cost anything – it’s just a wonderful thing to have. Life is a lot easier with a full head of hair.