So it’s been a little over a week since I had my first chemo treatment. And I have to say that it has gone really well, as far as the side effects. I had one major set back, but after seeing my doctor we have found a way to get ahead of the side effect before the next infusion. It’s trial and error with each patient to see what affects them. I can only hope that this remains the same for the rest of the treatments. Here’s to staying positive and concentrating on everything going well.🥂
And of course that was the attitude I took going into my first infusion. My Mom and I prepared my bag with all the things you need to take to your first chemo treatment and also your Cold Cap Therapy. So I wanted to share photos for all the women who are about to do the same thing. It always helps to have a nice laundry list.
So here are some suggestions for preparation. I brought my Ipad, and crossword puzzles for entertainment. A large refillable water bottle to to keep me hydrated and snacks to munch on. A warm blanket in case you get cold. Nice warm socks for your feet. Lip balm, hand cream, hand sanitizer, and tissues for comfort. A notebook and pen in case you want to write down anything the nurse tells you, for after treatment. Also I was told to bring candies to suck on in case you taste metallic. But I did not have that issue. Also dress comfortable and warm with a shirt that can leave room for your port entry and slippers if you need to walk around. Last but not least, I needed a neck pillow for my Cold Cap Therapy, and of course I decided to bring a pink unicorn! Because pink represents breast cancer, and a unicorn represents me, because that’s what I am. LOL😂 There’s nothing that says you can’t make this ride a little more fun and positive!
After all, ATTITUDE is everything!
For inspiration I did bring jewelry that friends and family had given me, I only wore the one ring because the extra metallic can actually irritate your skin, but I kept them in my bag. So I brought my angel ring. This ring is to remind you that you’re protected and you can spin the ring if you feel anxiety.
So before infusion, I finally got to meet with my Cold Cap Therapy administrator, Fran! I feel so lucky that Fran was chosen for my treatment.
She is a breast cancer survivor of Stage 3. She has worked in the medical profession for over 30 years! And, she also used the Cold Cap Therapy during her treatment, and was successful. She had no significant hair loss. She decided to get involved with Cold Cap Therapy to help other women and give them comfort.
Because she is a survivor and has worked in the medical field, it was very reassuring to have her there as things were being administered to my body. She was able to walk me through everything, keep me calm and also give me tips that helped her during her journey. Also I think I’ve made a new friend. My mom and I fell in love with Fran.❤️ I felt like she was an angel sent to me.😇 I really took well to the cold cap treatment, I just kept telling myself I am in Colorado skiing or I am walking through a blizzard in Brooklyn. That helped me take my mind off my very cold gel helmet.
Because we felt so comfortable around Fran we were able to have a little fun and take some silly pictures of me with my cold cap on top of my head.
There’s NO shame in my game! LOL
And of course I needed to listen to my amazing niece #_brenzy singing her song “NASTY” on all music platforms! (And YES, I just plugged my niece, because she is FIERCE!) and you need to go listen. Getting silly in the infusion room!
Emily, you were there with me!! XOXO
Your Auntie Looking HOT, LOL 🤣
Although Cold Cap Therapy is a little expensive, because its not covered by insurance, I do think it’s completely worth it. And I have been very lucky that my two girlfriends Jamie Holton Calcutt, and Michelle Walker Nault have been campaigning for me on a “Go Fund Me”page to pay for the treatment. And we are very close to our goal! 😍
I am overwhelmed and grateful for all the beautiful donations and comments that have been sent my way. I want to thank everyone for every dime they’ve sent me, it really helps take the burden off my chest, and reminds me that people DO care and are on my side during this journey. I love you all! ❤️XOXO
Life after Cold Cap Therapy and Chemo
After Cold Cap Therapy, there are specific products you can use for your hair to help the possibility of saving your hair. They must be paraben and sulfate free. Also while doing the therapy, you cannot massage your scalp, scratch your head, stand under a pulsating shower or pull your hair tight because it stimulates the follicle. Here are some tips on how to wash her hair this brand new way.
And here are the products I am using for curly hair.
So you use the No Poo for shampoo, The moroccan oil for detangling, and the Frizz Free and Tame for styling. But do not apply near the roots, only midway on your head all the way to your ends.
So here is the routine for washing hair without touching your scalp.
First you take 1 to 2 caps of shampoo, depending on the length of your hair and mix it with 8 ounces of water in a pitcher. Also I added a whisk to mix the shampoo with the water. The pitcher with the long stem is to administer the shampoo. The other picture is to rinse. I also added a mirror in my shower to make it easier to watch what I’m doing. When filling up your pitcher only use warm water. Then you let the shampoo sit on your head for 2 to 4 minutes. I leave it on for four minutes to make sure everything gets clean. And then rinse your hair. You cannot use a blow dryer curling iron etc. only towel dry lightly.
So I’ve been told to use a specific nail polish to help your nails with discoloration during chemo. It’s called Nailtiques Formula 3. Do not use the other brand Nail Tek, its a knock off, and doesn’t work for this specific issue.
Another tip I learned was to use serum’s for your eyebrows and eyelashes to try to prevent loss. My Aunt Katrina’s sister Jodi works as a representative for Rodan and Fields, and I recommend using her Lash Boost serum for lashes and brows. Here’s my before photo, so we can compare it later after my treatment is over. There is a link if you would like to look into or buy this product. It’s great for anyone to use to make their lashes longer. https://jvitarelli.myrandf.com/
Here is my first photo after doing my first new hair routine. Not bad huh?
If you’re feeling well enough, don’t forget to have a little fun and meet up with friends for laughter, food, and whatever makes you happy. I was able to get out and have dinner with Steven, Will and my mom, and It felt amazing to be social and enjoy my friends, and what amazing food they served.
Also a girlfriend of mine, Ann, was passing through town and we decided to get together for lunch and hang out last minute. She is my photography manager from Look Better Online. So we have known each other through phone calls and text for over three years, and she was coming through town,so she wanted to stop and finally meet me in person. It was like meeting an old girlfriend that I’ve known for years. What a beautiful surprise.
Life is what you make of it, and while all of this is happening, you have to remember to stay true to yourself, and don’t let it WIN!!
FIGHT THROUGH POSITIVITY,LOVE AND FAITH!
Thanks for reading, and remember to follow me for more updates during my BC journey!