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Chemotherapy was one of the things I feared most after being diagnosed with breast cancer. My image of chemo is of a frail, sick person with no hair.
I recently finished 12 weeks of chemotherapy. Thanks to scalp cooling, I have 90% of my hair. I never had to explain to my son why mommy doesn’t have hair anymore. He never even knew I was sick. Knowing this made my situation bearable and helped me fight and win this life-and-death attack on my physical health and mental well-being.
I’m passionate about passing this honor on to other people. HairToStay is the only national non-profit dedicated to making this life-changing treatment available to those unable to afford it. This is truly a game-changer. Let’s make it happen!
– Nancy MacDougall
Six years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and chemotherapy was a part of my treatment. I’d heard about scalp cooling, but didn’t know anyone who had used it. I was already overwhelmed, so I decided against it. But, like most people, I didn’t realize just how awful it would be to lose my hair. It can take years for the hair to grow back to normal – mine took two slow years to return to its regular shoulder length.
Losing my hair also invaded my privacy, announcing my diagnosis to the world around me. Complete strangers took my hair loss as permission to ask questions or offer unsolicited comments about my very private health.
In June I started chemo again, but this time I decided to use cold caps. After six months I’ve kept 75% of my hair. It’s so much easier this time—mentally and emotionally—to live life with my hair. I can go for walks, travel to visit friends, and even swim in the ocean with my kids without anyone knowing that I am fighting cancer. Having a full head of hair helps me, and especially my children, forget the fight I’m facing and feel normal. It helps me stay positive, which is another key to success. Each week when my friends, the “cappers,” come to help put on the cold caps, I feel surrounded by love.
I hope to help make scalp cooling an option for as many people as possible by supporting HairToStay, a nonprofit organization that helps fund scalp cooling for patients who could not otherwise afford it. I hope you’ll join me in supporting this great cause that can truly change people’s lives!
— Emily Ferguson