So I'm in the grocery store...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 12/18/2005 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
doing our weekly shopping, when out of the blue, this woman stops me and asks "Do you have cancer?"
Not that she asked rudely, or was in any way condescending, it just irks me that people can tell!! I guess wearing a hat cant really hide the fact that I dont have any sideburn type hair. But I still have my eyebrows! She was very nice, and just wanted to tell me about a product called Selliac, that has supposedly worked wonders for some people in her life that have had to deal with cancer, but it still peeved me!I went through the rest of the store looking at people and wondering if they were looking at me and thinking "Oooh, she has cancer". I felt like I had a big red "C" on my forehead. for those of you that are working while going through chemo, again my kudos. Not only for the physical marathon you are enduring, but also the emotional one. Because I've been on maternity leave, I havent had to deal with public appearances, coworkers, and such. I thought that I was hiding it so well. Phooey.
Thanks for letting me vent.
There are no wrong turnings, only paths we did not know we were meant to take - Guy Gavriel Kay

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 12/18/2005 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Chantry: Big Hugs to you! I know exactly how you feel. I don't think that there is anyone that has lost their hair or gained weight from chemo that doesn't understand your feelings. I tried the wig...too hot. I tried the hats that had the "fake bangs" and the "fack side and back hair" dorky! Since I am NOT one of those lucky peeps that looks good in hats, I decided that I was going to wear a baseball cap. If it made others uncomfortable, so be it. If they wanted to stare, I stared right back. I remember when my dd's and I went to WalMart the day after Thanksgiving. We were standing in line for over an hr to get to layaway and hadn't moved one cart length. I saw a manager and decided that my bald head was going to help me. I stopped him, took off my ball cap, told him that I would appreciate his putting this merchandise back as I was going thru chemo and was just to tired to stand in line any longer. Would you believe that he took us and our merchandise to a register and we were out of there in 5 mins. lol So, use it to your advantage. You don't have to hide or be ashamed. When someone says, "Oh, you have gained weight". Well, aren't they smart????? I usually agree and tell them that it is about the only thing that I have that is bought and paid for at this point in my life. Hang in there. Keep your bald head held high. After all, it is part of your being a SURVIVOR!



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 12/19/2005 3:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Chantry & Deb

I can't believe anyone would be that forward to you, I have to admit that would have bothered me too. I try to hide my "cancer" while at work but not on my days off. I go shopping with just a baseball cap on and everyone stares but I just act like I dont see them, but it still bothers me. I still think loosing my lashes and brows really makes me look like a cancer patient. Please take Deb's advice and hold your head high and don't let it get to you.

I went to Walmart yesterday and there were so many people there that I was getting overheated and I felt claustrophobic, I wanted to take my wig off so bad just to cool down. Could you imagine the look on everyone's face if I had. I have to agree with you Deb sometimes we should use it to our advantage. Maybe people would have been nicer while getting through the isles there. WHAT A ZOO.

I thought you were done with your chemo treatments? I still have 3 Taxol left what are you taking?

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 12/20/2005 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Deb and Bernadette. It's so comforting to be able to talk to people who have and are going through what I 'm going through.
Your words of encouragement were exactly what I needed.

There are no wrong turnings, only paths we did not know we were meant to take - Guy Gavriel Kay

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 12/21/2005 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
That does seem kind of rude even though she said it in a nice way. I REFUSE to leave the house without my wig. At home I just wear cotton like head coverings. But at work for those who don't know I feel like they may be wonerding if I'm wearing a wig because I went from long to short hair which was pretty dramatic.  I'm always kind of pulling at the sides by my ears to keep from seeing that I have no lind of sideburns. I can actually feel a little nubble on my head, so I think it is slowly coming back.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 12/22/2005 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
That infuriates me!
When my throat was injured at first, I had had about 3 procedures done to reconstruct my larynx.  I sounded like I had laryngitis afterwards (still do after 11 procedures).  Well, I worked in a pizza parlor at first, while I went to community college.  It was horrible.  The lunch croud would always say to  me "Oh, you sound great!" or after I would say "can I help you," they would "I don't know can I help you?"  These were said in a scraggly voice, emphasizing the laryngitis sound and mimiking my voice.  It was infuriating.  The sheer volume of people doing that because of the number of patrons and my exposure being at the counter was unbelievable, unavoidable, and unbearable.
I can imagine someone being that forward and can relate with how it must have made you feel.  I'm so sorry you had to go through that!  No one should have to.  People should just be respectful and courteous.  
Some people are such.......there's no word.
Jo-ann should get in on this one.  I'd bet she's got some real good comebacks!

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 12/22/2005 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was going through my first round of chemo A older guy was on the elevator with
me at the hospital. He kept looking at me ( I had about 1/4 of an inch of hair and had no hat on)
He finally said "it is disgusting that a woman would wear he hair so short..." I couldnt believe it.
But I said back to him " if you think this is short, you should have seen it 2 months ago"....LOL
That shut him up.

I dont understand people. I also had a co-worker who told me I made people uncomfortable
because I didnt wear a wig. The same lady told me I looked like Uncle Fester from the Adams family
with my bald head and circles under my eyes. I was so hurt.

I have toughened up. When dealing with Cancer you meet alot of nice people. I try to
remember that when I come across some idiots.

Stay strong and remember we are right there with you

Sometimes it is a slender thread, Sometimes a strong,
stout rope; She clings to one end, I the other;
She calls it friendship; I call it hope....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 12/22/2005 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I had someone ask a co-worker if I was going through chemo (before I started wearing the wig).  It was OK, because she was also, and probably felt a commaraderie (spelling?).  That made me start wearing the wig, though.  Some people are just too forward!
L & H,

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