Sunday, August 06, 2006

I think I'll be a hat girl.

For the past few days my hair has been falling out. I have to admit that I never really thought I would lose it all. I thought that I would be 'the one' that didn't lose her hair in chemo. I was wrong. I am sure that in the next few days my hair will be mostly gone. The thing about this cancer is, my bald(er) head will be one of the few indications that I am sick. Sure, I have battle wounds (scars) from the two surgeries that I am not afraid to show off. For the most part those are covered, once the hair goes, it will be painfully obvious that I am sick. I was speaking with a dear friend's mil today and she said when she was undergoing chemo for her breast cancer, her daughter was a freshman in high school. Her daughter kept telling her to just get up and do something. Later, she explained to her mom, that she wanted her to do normal things instead of resting all the time, she thought perhaps that would 'help' her get better. Every day people ask me, "how are you?". Every time I hear the question I wonder silently, do I tell the truth or do they want me to just say, 'fine' so they can go on with the day? It is so hard to describe what it's like. I am learning about how I am coping every day. Some days go by pretty quickly and without too much suffering. The next day may drone on minute after minute and I feel queasy and sick and tired. Every morning I wake up and wonder, "how will today be?". Meanwhile my dh and children have to continue to live their lives. I often wonder if my ds thinks I am worthless and lazy because I cannot play rough with him or push him on the swing or carry him anymore. My dd, I think, understands my disease a little better. We had the hair talk already, "Mommy's medicine is really strong and she needs it, but it makes her hair fall out." I try to tell my dh that I am tired, but then I can't sleep and he sees me typing and flipping channels all night. Does he think I am lying to him? How can he really understand what I am going through? How can he not be angry with me for taking away his summer and his night's out with the boys after the ballgames? He has much more patience than I do. I don't think I would be able to put up with him if he was the one who was sick and tired.
The fact of the matter is, my bald(er) head will give a face to the disease that is inside of me. It may bring on more questions from people and I am sure a few sideways glances. But I have never been one to be very quiet and bashful, so I imagine myself removing my hat to reveal my head to; my friends; my neighbor; or the class I am subbing for. If I can help one person, big or small, understand cancer a little bit better and not be afraid of people who are suffering, than I think the whole experience will be well worth it.
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