Jacie | Pennsylvania
Diagnosis: Breast Cancer IDC
Chemotherapy Regimen: 4 AC / 12 Taxol
Total Treatments: 16
Infusion Center: UPMC Magee
Last year on Easter Sunday, I was lying in bed after a wonderful day celebrating with my family. That night changed my life! I simply had an itch on my right breast under my nipple and found a lump. Every woman’s worst fear! This only happens to other people, not me.
I called my gynecologist the next morning and it’s almost a blur from there! I was in with the doctor by Thursday and having my first mammogram and ultrasound in less than a week. After the ultrasound, the doctor came in and said “I’d be very surprised if this isn’t cancer!” I was flabbergasted and beside myself. The first thing that I thought of while sobbing, was “OMG I’m going to lose my hair!” Funny how my first thought wasn’t that I could die.
When I finally got my biopsy back (2 1/2 weeks later), it was confirmed! After them telling me the type of cancer, I asked my mom to look it up because I didn’t want to read the worst case scenarios. She called me and said it’s very treatable and usually requires a lumpectomy and radiation. I was relieved and anxious to see the breast surgeon. She was optimistic we would be able to go that route.
After my MRI it was decided I had to have a mastectomy! I then was like OMG I’m now losing my boob and my hair! My surgeon then said I should be able to just have the surgery and no radiation or chemotherapy, I wasn’t a candidate.
Okay so now I’m okay, going to have immediate reconstruction (using the fat from my belly) and I get to keep my hair. 5 days after my surgery, I find out my pathology report came back and my nodes are positive… all 5 they took! This means I’m now going for chemo and radiation. From day one, I was told I wasn’t a candidate for chemo, so I was beside myself. I met with my oncologist for the first time a couple weeks later. He informed me again, I need chemo.
My breast surgeon wanted to go take more lymph nodes and my oncologist said no matter what they come back, I’m not getting out of chemo. I begged to do anything but chemo, I did not want to lose my hair! My oncologist then told me about DigniCap. He said you have to be dedicated to this for it to work.
Well I decided then and there I was NOT going to lose my hair! I reached out to DigniCap that day and started the process. They explained everything to me, even that I could still lose a lot or all of my hair. I ignored that part and just got ready to start this journey and get it over with!
My first day I had NO CLUE what to expect! My doctor gave me a prescription to take before my treatments. I took it and was fine. It was cold, but I had warm blankets, warm packs for my forehead and lemon heads to get me through the first 15 minutes. After that original shock, it was smooth sailing from there.
My dad took me to most of my treatments. I decided to enjoy this time and value this time with my dad. He and I laughed a lot during my treatments and it didn’t even feel like chemotherapy! It was even fun at times!
I have said since day 1, I was blessed to have the facility I had! I followed every direction they gave me to keep as much of my hair as I could and it worked! I shed… what felt like a lot! I probably lost 30% of my hair, but only I could tell (and my hair dresser).
I’m almost 3 months out of chemo and get so excited when I wash my hair (still only 2 times a week), and see all the new hairs growing in. I’ve had it cut and dyed twice and am soooo grateful to have the hair I have! I had to cut some off because it was way thinner, but I still looked like me.
I felt like Frankenstein (from the surgery), I lost my boob, some of my hair and a year of my life! I gained so many memories with my dad, made new friends at the hospital and learned what and who is truly important in life! Cancer is scary and no one thinks it will happen to them, but DigniCap made my biggest fear of the entire thing not existent. My best advice – stay positive and follow directions.
Try and make the best of a terrible time in your life. I decided I wasn’t going to get sick or lose my hair from the chemo and I was going to get better. All of those things came true! I truly believe that is a huge part of getting through this time. Thank you to DigniCap! I can’t imagine doing this without you!