Welcome to the new *Garde tes cheveux* website!

Testimony by Priscille Martel

Retired teacher and school executive
Thetford Mines Hospital, 4 AC and 12 Taxol
Keeping my hair has been an adventure for me stimulating and reassuring making me forget many inconvenience caused by cancer.
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I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2021. I had a vague idea about the existence of scalp cooling caps to prevent hair loss because a lady in my village had used them about twenty years ago at our regional hospital, although without success. They were an older version of the caps provided by the hospital and were subsequently abandoned. I had planned to inquire about this with the oncologist during my first appointment scheduled in June in Lévis. I was received by a resident doctor working under the supervision of the oncologist I would eventually see later. When I asked the resident about the scalp cooling caps, he said he was not familiar with this technique. The oncologist later revealed to me, in a subsequent meeting, that it had not yet been covered in the resident's training. So, I left that meeting with the idea of starting research to purchase small caps in case I couldn't find more information about scalp cooling caps. I came across the IASO boutique website (IASO - Bonnets Bandeaux Bandanas) in Ste-Julie, where I received excellent advice. While looking for nice caps for the hair loss I would experience due to chemotherapy, I saw the testimony of Sophie Truesdell-Ménard, who had used scalp cooling caps on this website. It piqued my curiosity, and I wrote an email to the shop, using the provided form that included our contact information, including our phone number. To my surprise, I received a call from the owner, Manon Beauregard, an hour later, when I had expected only a written response! She directed me to the website gardetescheveux.org, where I began communicating with the person in charge, namely the famous Sophie T-M mentioned above! This opportunity allowed me to procure the scalp cooling caps and helped me channel my energy into this, making me forget about cancer. Keeping my hair had become my challenge, and I was well supported by my husband, who was an essential ally in this journey. In the chemotherapy department, the nurses were skeptical but still helped us. Over the weeks (I had 16 treatments over 5 months), pharmacists and all the staff realized that it was working. I was losing hair every day, and I documented my hair loss by sticking them onto dated sheets. However, my appearance did not change, and the hair loss was not noticeable. These sheets filled with hair served me in a symbolic ceremony when I burned them during our annual summer solstice fire the following year! At the end of my treatments, the pharmacist from the department asked me for the website references for "gardetescheveux." In the meantime, I also discovered Sophie Reis's website [https://uncancerencadeau.com/](uncancerencadeau.com) [https://www.amazon.ca/-/fr/Sophie-Reis/dp/2895688435?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1679316948&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=bbjetlag-20&linkId=9590c50f909b45e96a5e873a153509da&language=fr_CA&ref_=as_li_ss_tl&_encoding=UTF8&tag=gardetescheve-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=71f874270ba861d1f1c5e2f39da3df77&camp=15121&creative=330641">Un cancer en cadeau](A Cancer as a Gift), which was also an inspiration to me, as her site is a treasure trove of information. Like her, I finished my sessions dressed as a superhero! Keeping my hair was a stimulating and reassuring adventure for me, helping me forget many of the inconveniences caused by cancer. *- Priscille*

Involvement of Priscille Martel as regional ambassador of the *Fondation Garde tes cheveux*. Event *Une pose pour le rose*, 2023.


Have you used scalp cooling caps and want to share your experience to inspire others?