In this week’s health segment, we are sadly familiar with the most visible side-effect of chemotherapy.
It’s true that loosing your hair pales in comparison to fighting for your life, but it’s a side effect that can now be fought more successfully with something as basic as a new type of headwear.
Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter reports.
“Having your hair means you can focus on you, you can focus on your health because you are not focusing on something that might make you sad or cause you to hide away,” said two-time cancer survivor Tori Croft.
Tori Croft, a two-time cancer survivor used a special cap to keep her hair from falling out during chemotherapy cycles.
“Having done it once, this time it was so much more empowering just to be able to walk around and focus on things I did not focus on last time cause I was spending so much time worrying about not feeling and looking good,” said Tori Croft.
The cooling caps are at -30 celsius and give all cancer patients a 60-70% chance of keeping their hair
A cloth separates the cap from the skull as it could otherwise result in frostbite.
“One thing that’s unfortunate that I have learnt in Cayman is that a lot of people hide their illness and they might hide away from their family and friends,” said Ms. Croft.
She feels that with Cayman’s close-knit community, having cancer will make life more difficult for them socially.
“If having their hair makes it easier for them to come out and talk and be with other people then that would be huge,” said Ms. Croft.
“When you are fighting for your life, some people think that it is not important to keep your hair, but for a lot of woman it is important,” said Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation’s Janette Fitzgerald.
Tori is a mother of two kids and as a parent, must stay strong for her kids.
“It’s hard as much as you have to explain to them that you’re not well, they’re never going to get it fully, but being able to see you look like yourself, gives them confidence and it gives you confidence,” said Ms. Croft.
The H-S-A has 50 cold caps and a special freezer for them, all donated by the breast cancer foundation.
And while the caps were donated by the breast cancer foundation, they’re designed to used by patients fighting any type of cancer.