I realize that I hadn’t followed up with you post treatment so this email is long overdue. I started chemo in October 2019 and finished at the end of February 2020 (AC followed by Taxol). I was diligent each treatment week in using the cold caps following the advice you gave and directions from Penguin throughout my entire treatment.
Over my 5 month treatment period, I did experience some shedding. At times (especially after a hair wash) I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. I am a black woman and because of my hair type which was fully relaxed at the start of treatment, the new growth that occurred during treatment (and there was lots of new growth during treatment) created a situation where I had 2 totally different hair textures. The relaxed hair was straight and the new growth was coarse, making even the gentlest of combing difficult. Two months into treatment, I decided to braid my hair to limit having to detangle it. That made a huge difference so I kept my hair braided even during washing and occasionally wore a wig if I wanted to look presentable in public (that was my vanity thinking).
Amazingly after my last treatment, I had most of my hair. I did however, lose most of my eyebrows and eyelashes by the final month of treatment but they grew back immediately within the first month after treatment. I kept my hair braided after treatment knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get it relaxed for a few months waiting for my roots to strengthen (also when the initial Covid-19 crisis created the closures in NY, I had no choice because salons were closed). I got my first relaxer this summer and I feel/look great.
On a personal note, I am cancer free. While the chemo treatment completely resolved the tumor in my breast, pathology reports from my bilateral mastectomy/reconstruction in June showed no residual or spread of cancer.
I want to personally thank you for your guidance and encouragement through my journey. You are part of a team of supporters that helped me get through this challenge. Please feel free to use any part of my story if it helps others in their journey.
Naimah T., October 2020