I felt her warm, soft hand grab mine and whisper “It’s Cancer”. Instantly I blurted out, “Am I going to lose my hair?”. I pulled my hand back, sat up and repeated my question even though I already knew the answer. Immediately my mind went straight to our wedding. We were supposed to be getting married in less than 3 months. How was I supposed to be a bald bride? How was my veil going to stay in place with a wig? Then I thought, this is absolutely ridiculous. I refuse to let cancer take away any more than it already had. So I researched, and I researched and came across “Cold Capping”. I was so intrigued and began to spend endless hours reading success stories, unsuccessful stories, etc.
It took me a while to build up the courage to go through with cold capping. I judged myself so much and kept weighing the pros and cons. I was also worried about other people judging me, it’s just hair right? But it became more than just hair to me, it was more about having control.
From the very beginning, my life was ripped out from under me. Less than 72 hours after my diagnosis we were slammed with a $30,000 price tag to save my fertility. I had no choice but to do it if I wanted a chance to have my own biological child. I was no longer able to work as a nurse because of my weakened immune system. I had no choice so I had to go on disability. Once that ended my job let me go and I was stuck with paying my full amount of insurance out of pocket. I had no choice but to deplete our savings doing this.
So when it came to my hair this was the one thing I truly had control over. I got to choose whether or not it got to stay. The week before my wedding I pulled the plug and ordered my manual cold capping system. In order to prevent the chemo from reaching the hair follicles the caps were required to be -30 to -45 degrees. I had 6 rounds of chemo and I would wear the caps 10+ hours every infusion day.
After my husband and I devoted 60+ hours to manual cold caps I’m proud to say I still have my hair. By no means was this an easy task because it’s not only physically taxing it’s mentally and emotionally as well. There were so many times I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. I found myself becoming envious of those who shaved their head because it seemed “easier”. But I realized this is my story and I can’t compare it to anyone else’s. I chose to keep my hair for me, not anyone else and I’m so proud of myself for crossing the finish line.
By Kate Christy Laganosky