Lori | California
Diagnosis: Stage IIIC Ovarian Cancer
Total Treatments: 6
When I got my diagnosis for cancer I was in shock, especially since I went to the doctor for something unrelated and wound up with the worse possible news you could imagine. Once it all sunk in, I realized that in order for me to retain some control over my body that I wanted to try to make sure that I could keep my hair. I talked with my oncologist about different companies/types and determined that DigniCap was a perfect fit for me. Looking back I realize I had NO IDEA what to expect! Cancer is shocking, things like keeping your hair may seem small when faced with the treatment ahead of you, but I soon realized that it matters, you need to feel normal! I also kept working full time thru my whole treatment, so hair on my head seemed like a good thing to have.
The fact is, you’re over whelmed, I’m still over whelmed as I sit here in remission, and I want to say this to you now if you’re reading this, IT WILL GET BETTER! Focus on healing!
Okay! Let’s talk about what I experienced…firstly, I was on two chemo meds that would last 4 hours total, which meant I had an hour before I start the meds with the cap coming to proper cooling temp and two hours after treatment for it to cool down properly…yes, I had the cap on my head for 7 hours!!!! And I will tell you this, I’m glad I did it. I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy to sit an extra 3 hours for your hair, especially since usually by the time everything was done (dr. appt., waiting for chemo cocktail to be mixed, etc.), had spent 8-10 hours in the chemo suite, one of the first in, and always the last out! I will say it again…IT WAS WORTH IT!
Okay now for the details, you’re going to lose hair. Its not going to stop you from losing your hair, but it will drastically reduce the amount you lose. I was taking chemo drugs that were known for 100% hair loss. That means my whole body lost all of its hair EXCEPT my head! I did lose about 45-55% of my hair by my last treatment (6 chemo sessions 3 weeks apart with an operation in the middle of the 3rd and 4th treatment which added an extra week between those two sessions). I started chemo in October 2019 and finished March 2020. Your first treatment is when everyone loses their hair, this is normally around 2 weeks after treatment. I did in fact lose enough hair that I decided that my bra line length hair needed to be cut into a bob! This is also when I realized that I had no idea what to expect…IT FREAKED ME OUT! And then I decided to look at the bright side (the glass is half full) and accept that I’m getting chemo, things happen! **side note, learn how to draw on eyebrows, there are also stamps and transfer tattoos that look realistic…I used these, they helped. I never figured out how to get fake eyelashes that looked real so I just did eye make up to fake that I had eyelashes.
Also, with the blessing of my oncologist I found vegan/stem cell products that I put on my scalp to help with hair growth. Yes, you have to be very careful with what you use on your scalp, I was cleared to use Vegamour and Cel products. They worked like a charm along with my cooling cap and I was actually seeing growth while still getting chemo! If you chose to do this, please have your oncologist sign off on the products, what worked and were okay for me, may not be for you…my point though, is that you can help yourself through all of this by also adding other things thru the treatment.
I also want to say something about the company DigniCap. The representatives are wonderful. You get to know them as they end up going through treatment with you, standing by if there are any issues. These are a fantastic group of people, some have even been where you’ll be sitting. And there is one person in particular that I would like to take a moment to say thank you and acknowledge Lisa Roub. She not only helped navigate the process but was wonderful support through a very tough time. She was sensitive to my needs and always knew the right thing to say…seriously, she was great! THANK YOU LISA!!!
I want to wish you the best on your journey, I’ve been where you’re sitting, it’s not easy, but stay focused on healing, try to stay positive and trust that this too will pass.