Adrienne | North Carolina
Age: 36
Diagnosis: Triple Positive Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy Regimen: TCHP
Total Treatments: 6
Infusion Center: Cone Health Cancer Center

I was diagnosed with stage 1B triple positive breast cancer in September 2022. I had originally felt a lump in my right breast during a beach vacation a few weeks before my diagnosis. i didn’t think much of it because of my age (35 at the time), no family history and also the fact that I had just had back-to-back pregnancies. My youngest son was just 5 months old at the time; my older son was 18 months.

I went in alone on a Monday morning to the breast center for my first-ever mammogram and breast ultrasound. I thought for sure it was going to be a cyst. My world, however, quickly turned upside down when the radiologist came in and strongly suggested to me that this was for sure cancer. She said she couldn’t confirm it until the biopsy, but that from everything she saw, she was certain.

My world was instantly crushed. No one wants to hear this news, especially when they are a young mom just starting on their own family journey. At first, keeping my hair was not even a blip on my radar. I would lose it all if it meant I got to live. But as time went on and the reality of the situation started sinking in, I started to realize just how important my hair was to me.

I know every woman has a level of identity within her hair, but for me, my hair was always my “thing.” For as long as I can remember, I have received compliments about how beautiful and thick and unique my hair looks. I have always bought nice hair products and gone to great lengths to maintain healthy locks. I decided of the many things out of my control, my hair is something I did not want to lose to cancer.

It was my nurse navigator Dawn who first suggested DigniCap. I was thrilled to hear that there was a potential solution to keeping my hair. I told Dawn that I definitely wanted to try it out. So, I ordered my kit and showed up ready to go at my very first TCHP infusion.

Over my six infusions, I had an overall fantastic experience. I was not bothered at all by the coldness of the cap. I never experienced any pain or even any discomfort. I actually was worried at first that something had gone wrong because I felt so comfortable in it the whole time! All my nurses were super supportive of my decision to cap and always helped me in any way they could. I always felt super well taken care of, especially by one of my favorite nurses – Monica.

While I did experience some light shedding and some areas of baldness, overall, I would say I kept over 90% of my hair. The small areas that did go bald were easy to cover so I never needed a wig or any kind of scarf or other cover up. I was able to just fluff my hair in certain ways to conceal the patchiness.

“Keeping my hair during my chemotherapy meant more to me than just keeping my hair. I felt like I truly kept my dignity.”

I did not realize this at the time, but keeping my hair during my chemotherapy meant more to me than just keeping my hair. I felt like I truly kept my dignity, which I assume is where the name DigniCap came from! I loved when my friends and family, even strangers, would tell me that I didn’t look sick at all. It was my favorite compliment during that time. I felt confident that I could go into the outside world and not be defined by cancer. I did not look sick. And during my good weeks, I didn’t feel sick either! It gave me so much confidence to look like me during such a trying and devastating time.

After my chemotherapy completed, my hair too started growing back exceptionally fast. Now I have no bald spots whatsoever, and my hair is just as thick and lush as ever! I have experienced other complications since my chemo wrapped, including an infected implant, which has left me with one implant and one flat side for the time being. I like to say that God knew I needed my hair. It would have been too hard with no hair and down a boob!

Keeping my hair has truly meant everything to me during this time. Cancer can take so much away from us — our sense of normalcy, our emotional well-being, our ability to engage in life, and for me especially, the energy to be an amazing and present mom as often as possible. My hair is something that cancer did NOT take away. I will never, ever forget that. And it is all due to DigniCap.