My name is Amber. I felt a lump on my breast last summer and went to my gynaecologist who referred me for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. It was during the mammogram that they found a suspicious area and recommended biopsies. A few days later I received my initial diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer. Shortly after, I had my initial surgery (lumpectomy with lymph node dissection), but I didn’t receive clear margins and it showed 1 out of 5 of my lymph nodes were positive for cancer. My prognosis was then bumped into stage 2. After my second surgery I received clear margins. It was recommended that I also receive four round dose dense TC; followed by 33 rounds radiation, then endocrine therapy for 10 years. In January this year I received my 1st Zoladex injection and will begin Anastrazole this April. I also have a hysterectomy planned for later this year to replace the Zoladex injection.
It was my surgeon that told me all about the Paxman Scalp Cooling System and how scalp cooling could help stop me from losing my hair during the chemotherapy. Initially when you put the cap on during chemotherapy it is very cold, however that quickly goes away and after that I could barely tell it was freezing.
Fourteen days after my first treatment it felt like I had lost a lot of hair. I think part of the issue was I had a lot of hair, so it acted like insulation to my scalp. As treatments went on the amount of hair I was losing lessened; but it never stopped. Post-treatment I lost approximately 50% of my hair. I did have one bald spot on the top of my scalp and it was very thin to bald on each side behind my ears. At first, I thought I was going to need a wig because of how much I loss after the first treatment, but it slowed down so I didn’t. I also used topical hair fibers to help hide it which was great. I also didn’t use ANY HEAT on my hair and only washed it twice a week which is another good tip.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my Paxman Scalp Cooling experience and it was amazing to be able to keep most of my hair! I have an 11-year-old son and worked full time throughout my chemotherapy treatment so being able to keep my hair helped me look better than I actually felt. I would absolutely recommend scalp cooling to others. It helps you feel better whilst you are going through a really difficult time. I know it’s a new treatment in the US, so it’s really important to me to share my positive experience with others and let them know there is an alternative to hair loss.