Bethany | Mississippi
Diagnosis: Stage 2 Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy Regimen: Taxotere and Cytoxan
Total Treatments: 4
Infusion Center: Jackson Oncology Associates
I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 38. I turned 39 by the time that I had my double mastectomy with reconstruction. My doctor discovered that I had the CHEK 2 Gene. After my surgery, my oncologist insisted that I undergo 4 rounds of chemotherapy of Taxotere and Cytoxan to prevent the cancer from returning. I told her that I was not going to undergo it unless I could keep my hair. She told me we could save at least 50% or more of my hair by using DigniCap. I have 2 small girls, ages 5 and 10. My 10-year-old, Bella, upon finding out that her mom had cancer, wanted to know if I was going to lose my hair. I promised her I was going to do everything in my power to prevent the loss of my hair. Thanks to DigniCap, I was able to keep my promise to her, and her momma looked normal and not sick.
As soon as I knew for sure that I would undergo chemo, I began researching about DigniCap. The first step was to order the cap and the 4 cards that I would need for my treatments. I also ordered several products from the Chemo Hair and Skin website, shampoo, conditioner, active hair growth, a booster to use on chemo days. I learned that it wasn’t enough just to cold cap, but how I treated and cared for my hair in between treatments was also very important. I could not put any color on my hair. The last time I had my hair highlighted was September 7th, 2021. I also could only wash my hair 2 times a week, and I could use absolutely no heat on my hair. From October 13, 2021 until March 15, 2022 (3 months after my final chemo treatment), I did not use a single heating tool – hair dryer, curling iron, straightener. I did purchase some sponge roller and I would sleep in those from time to time if I wanted my hair curly. I slept on silk pillowcases. I used silk ponytail holders.
On chemo day, I would go to the clinic with a wagon of items with me. I had to make sure I could endure the 5 hour of chemo and being frozen. I had to have a heated blanket, gloves, lots of layers, fuzzy socks, Ugg slippers. I took my sister with me to every treatment, and she watched the video and knew how to help get the cap put on my head. My doctor’s office also had a nurse named Hannah that was an expert at getting the DigniCap on correctly. Between my sister, Kerri, and my nurse, Hannah, we were able to save my hair. Kerri and I also had to wet my hair upon arrival to the clinic and put the booster from chemo hair and skin on my hair. I went into treatment looking like a wet dog.
All of these things helped ensure that I kept my hair. I finished my last treatment on December 15, 2021. By January 1, 2022, my hair started going through a shedding process. I began to panic. I was afraid that all of my hard work had not paid off, but after researching and talking with my oncologist, I learned that it was completely normal for my hair to go through this. It would last 8-10 weeks. I luckily still was able to keep at least 50% or more of my hair even after the shedding.
I will forever be grateful for DigniCap and saving my hair. Having cancer and needing chemo at such a young age is awful, but being able to keep my hair – that was a true miracle and blessing! I pray my story will inspire other women. I am also happy to help or answer any questions about my journey!