Monday, August 28, 2014
Day 38 of 100 Days of Good Karma.
I got my regular wig in today.
It isn’t pink. It’s a little darker than I expected.
I put it on and stared into the mirror.
I hated it.
I’ve gone to great lengths to make cancer less scary. To laugh at it. To find the ‘normal’ within the chaos.
I put my diagnosis on the internet. I declared it publicly on Facebook. I’ve taken pictures during chemotherapy and talked about cancer openly with friends and family alike.
I felt strong. Like I had a grip on things. Hair loss, surgery, being scared. Like I could handle all of it.
Staring at myself in that wig slammed me back to where I was just 38 days ago.
I felt weak all over again.
I felt closer to ‘sick’ in that wig than I have ever felt as a result of chemotherapy.
To me, that wig screamed ‘I have cancer’.
The ugliest thing about cancer isn’t the hair loss or the surgery or the threat of dying.
It’s not even the awesome emotional roller coaster that seems to catch me off guard twenty times a day.
Those things are all bad enough, but the added cherry on top of this shitty sundae is that cancer also brings shame.
Cancer has set me apart, even before I’ve lost my hair or had surgery.
That wig reminded me that I might be stared at, and not in a good way.
I fiddled with the bangs, repositioned the cap on my head so the wig sat closer to my own hairline.
Yup. I hated it.
Hannah walked into the bathroom while I was staring into the mirror.
“Oooh! I want to wear one, too!”
“Do you want the pink one?” I turned away from the mirror, grateful for a reason to not look anymore.
I put my pink wig on her and we stared at each other in the mirror.
“I like yours,” Hannah said.
I smiled, even though I didn’t feel like it. “Pink is your color.”
“Let’s take a picture!”
I cringed from this. “Well…”
I sighed. She was so excited to be in the pink wig. This was dress up to her.
“Okay. The camera’s in the kitchen.”
We took a few selfies. Hannah enjoyed it.
I put on my brave smile.
“Can I see?” Hannah practically bounced on her toes trying to look at the pictures.
I looked at the pictures, expecting to see me in a wig.
I saw me.
My hair was darker, but it was just me.
“See?” Justin said. “It isn’t so bad.”
“No,” I said, looking in surprise down at the pictures. “It isn’t.”
Today’s silver lining: Hannah, for her impeccable timing and willingness to play dress up with me.
Kids, I thought, shaking my head. They know it’s just hair.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!