I went to my son’s choir concert last night. Because of where I am at with my treatment cycle, I had to wear a mask, and since my hair is getting a lot thinner, I just felt it was time to put on a hat. Let me tell you, if you want to stand out in a crowd, try that outfit. The little kids are the best – they just wide-eyed, open mouth stare at you – like you’re from another planet. It’s actually funny if you’re in the right frame of mind. 🙂 Middle schoolers – they look at you weird & when you walk into the bathroom, you feel compelled to say, “Don’t worry, I’m not contagious.” Adults are a little more discreet – a glance, and then usually a smile, or they’ll just look away. Unfortunately in the past, when I saw people that were wearing masks in public places, my first thought was, “Oh brother, a germophobe!” Yeah, God is using this to humble me.
I have to tell you that I did consider grabbing a sharpie and writing a big smilie face on the front of the mask though – just to make the best of it. 🙂 Unfortunately, my middle school-aged children were somehow not really keen on that idea. I don’t think it would be bad – might make people laugh! Not saying I won’t do it later… *insert evil laugh here!!!*
Cancer is a funny – read strange – disease. There are so many people out there with cancer. You pass them in the store, you see them as you’re driving, you may even be working with them, and yet a lot of the time, you have no idea. Each person handles their cancer differently, and that’s ok.
Some are completely open about it (like me). I feel that if I’m going to go through this, I might as well make the most of it & let other people know what all goes on. Maybe it can be less intimidating for others if I do. And I have to say (as you will read on) this is the view that I am growing into & this is my heart.
Some people downplay it. I have to say I’ve been guilty of that – you want people not to look at you and say, “Oh, that poor girl!” but rather make people believe that you have a little handle on your sanity (even if you don’t).
There are those that LOVE to be the victim, and capitalize on the attention. Ok, so at the beginning I think I can safely say that I had a bit of this. Yes, I’m confessing. But at the same time, wouldn’t you? I mean, this is CANCER. You know – the big “C”. That disease that KILLS people! Don’t I have a RIGHT to feel sorry for myself? You bet I do! (Editor’s note here: this is probably not the healthiest place to stay for too long. Once in a while – ABSOLUTELY!!!) But if you are finding yourself in this place for long periods of time, please let your doctor know and they can help you with this. Support groups can be a GREAT place to find sympathetic ears, because if you do choose to park your little hiney in this place too long, it unfortunately WILL drive a lot of people away.
Some hide it, or deny it outright. They continue at work taking unexplained “sick days”, their co-workers know something is going on, but no one has the nerve to ask, or they ask and are told, “Oh I’m fine.” Well, they’re fine alright, just a different definition of “FINE”:
Wow. This whole blog went an entirely different direction than I intended, but I think that’s alright. That’s part of how cancer works. It takes you places that you didn’t plan to go. And now to spin it back the way I was thinking would just “wreck” it. So I guess what I’d like to say is, give a little grace when you come across people that don’t look quite like you expect. There’s probably more going on than meets the eye.