Kyla | California
Diagnosis: Breast Cancer / Stage 1a Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Chemotherapy Regimen: Docetaxel, Carboplatin, Trastuzumab, Pertuzumab
Total Treatments: 6
My name is Kyla, and I was diagnosed with Stage 1a Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. It devastated me and this has been an overwhelming year. I am also an RN and an athlete. I was receiving care at the very place I worked, which proved to be difficult for me. It is one of the reasons why I chose to have my oncology care, including the DigniCap treatment, at a city 30 miles away. I had a double mastectomy with tissue expanders followed by 6 cycles of chemo/immunoglobin therapy every 3 weeks.
I wanted to keep my hair during treatment because it would allow me to go in public without bringing attention to my current medical treatment. I really felt strongly about functioning “normally” as much as possible in my life between treatments. I felt that if people couldn’t tell I was going through cancer, they would treat me normal, and this would help me psychologically. I also did not want to be talking about cancer all of the time, with everyone, wherever I went. I wanted to talk to people about other things rather than cancer, as during my work life I was dealing with so much cancer. Having my hair allowed for me to go back to work as a nurse mid-treatment during chemotherapy. No one could tell that I had been going through treatment because I still had my hair.
I wish that I knew how well DigniCap was going to work for me before I started. I was always worried that each chemo treatment was going to make me lose all of my hair and I had a lot of angst about whether the treatment would work each time. but it did!!! I wore the cap for as long as possible, which ended up being almost 6 hours at a time. The nurses started the cap before my infusions. The hardest part about wearing the cap was in the beginning for the first 20 minutes, then after that it was ok. DigniCap treatments cost about the same as my former cut/color I was getting each month from my hairdresser. So, the money for the treatment didn’t seem much different. However, I did spend money on booster products from Chemo Skin and Hair that I used before I applied the cap. I do believe this helped a lot. I also used the shampoo and conditioner from the same product line.
I only washed my hair about once a week during the treatments. I use a special towel from Chemo Skin and Hair. I did not use any other products in my hair, no brushing-only a big comb to untangle my hair. I also used an organic silk pillow to sleep on at night. I did not wear any ponytails, did not get my hair tangled and did not blow dry my hair dry with a for 6 months (only air dry).
I would highly recommend DigniCap to those who want to keep their hair, especially if it will help while working. I really did not want to wear a wig and the nice ones are very expensive. If you have relatively good hair going into chemotherapy, definitely give it a try. But be prepared to do all of the other things I mentioned above in between treatments to help support the effort. I also would say that it takes patience and time while doing the treatments. I had to drive 1 hour to get to the clinic, spend 30 minutes to do the hair prep before the cap was placed, wear the cap during my 4 infusions and then 2 hours post cooling. So, it was something that I committed to each and every time. It will make you a little tired at the end of the day and your head will be mildly sore for a day or so.
I also would like to especially thank the Kaiser San Rafael Nurses who were experts at using this product and guiding me during this treatment. They were very patient, worked well as a team and also worked very hard to help my treatments be successful. This is while they were also doing their professional work giving me my infusions and being excellent clinicians. I truly believe they were essential to my success.