Hi, my name is Catherine and I am 57 years old, married, have two children and also two grandchildren.
My cancer journey began in February 2012. Life was good and I was looking forward to the birth of my first grandchild, due April 2012. One evening after a long day at work I felt a lump on my left breast which my husband checked and confirmed he could also feel. A few days later it was confirmed that I had breast cancer. My whole world fell apart, not knowing how advanced the cancer had progressed or spread, my initial thoughts were whether I would I live to see my first grandchild being born. In addition to this, my beloved dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sadly passed away on 4 March 2012 - 10 days after my diagnosis.
My life had gone from being carefree and happy to devastation within days. However, my nurse reassured me that my cancer was treatable. My beautiful grandson was born on 6 April 2012 and I was determined to fight this dreadful disease. I had a lumpectomy in April 2012 which was followed by the removal of my lymph nodes.
The next step of my journey was six sessions of the dreaded chemotherapy. I was advised that I would 100% lose my hair, however, as my friend had already advised me of the Paxman Cold Cap I asked if it would be available. I was informed it would but there would be no guarantee that it would be successful. I was also told it would be very uncomfortable and I could still lose all my hair regardless. At this stage I had already decided I was going to give it a try as I was already a victim of cancer and I did not want the world to know if I could help it!
My husband and I joked about comparing the cold cap to the Japanese television program The Endurance which we likened to sitting in a bath of ice cubes to see how long you could bare the agony. Thankfully, it was nothing like that. The cap was slightly uncomfortable for the first 10-15 minutes but bearable after that. My first session of chemo was a bit of a nightmare, as the staff had not set up the machine prior to my appointment and therefore I had to wait for the machine to get to the right temperature before fitting the cap and this happened on every session thereafter.
I live in a small town on the west coast of Scotland where the nearest hospital for treating cancer is a three-hour journey each way plus three hours for the treatment. However, this did not deter me from using the cold cap and I’m delighted to say I retained 90% of my hair as my enclosed photo shows. These were taken after my fourth treatment.
“I would encourage anyone going through treatment to use the cold cap” and I feel it needs to be promoted more as I was the only person in a bay of eight each session using the cold cap. I think if you are told, as I was, you will lose your hair it 100% does not register that the cap could save you from losing your hair.
“In memory of my dear friend Gillian who sadly passed away 8/09/2016 who advised me of Paxman Cold Cap”