Monday, April 12, 2010

An Awkward Situation

Just when you think your hair has grown back enough to ditch the wigs and scarves, you get a rude awakening.

Some sales person knocked on my door the other day when I was taking a nap.

I'd complain about the bad timing of door-to-door salesmen, except that when I'm home I'm always napping, so that would be unfair.

Besides there are plenty of other things to complain about when discussing these salesmen. For example, they are often scary-looking guys with missing teeth, trying to sell me $40.00 cleaning products I don't really want while peering behind me at my plasma TV.

Alternatively, they are elderly ladies dressed in pristine suits and sensible shoes hoping to sell me their religion.

Which I also don't want.

The only ones I get excited about are the Girl Scouts selling cookies, but they've gone corporate and no longer bother with door-to-door sales.

Probably because of their competition.

Anyway, my dog started barking, which is why I have a dog. A big dog too; I'm not the chihuahua type, although I hear they can be pretty vicious with their tiny, sharp, pin-sized teeth. Maybe oncologists should think about using them for getting hard to reach veins, like mine.

As my dog continued to sound like Salesman Meat was a fine idea, I raised my head to look out my floor to ceiling living room window, which I had foolishly left uncovered. Looking back at me, I saw a salesman of the toothless variety. I sighed and got up, big dog in tow.

I didn't bother to grab anything for my head, which I had also left uncovered. I figured a guy with missing teeth wouldn't care that I had 1/4 inch haircut; hell, he probably wouldn't even notice. My head has hair now, and I'm thinking that maybe next week I can even go without covering up. Sure, you can still see the scalp when the light is shining on it, and my ears stick out like a Goth at the Republican National Convention, but hair is hair, right?

In the right light, I think I might even resemble a boobless Jamie Lee Curtis.

(And yes, I realize that's not a flattering thought.)

I open the door, and the first thing the guy says to me - before he even tries to sell me anything - is, "Oh, are you a Survivor?"

My typical answer for that question is "I intend to be" but all I was thinking this time was "Damn, I guess I can't go without a scarf after all." Because, if this guy looked at me and thought "cancer" then I'm pretty sure I'm not going to fool anybody else into thinking I have a trendy short 'do. Or even that I play for the other team.

I'm going to be cancer girl for a while longer.

There are lots of awkward periods in a person's life. The time when you are eleven and your breasts are starting to develop and show, but you still can't wear a training bra is one. You are kind of stuck between girlhood and womanhood, not quite knowing what to do, but thinking that tee shirt your mom wants you to wear isn't enough.

Another awkward situation might be the time when you are 8 months pregnant and unmarried, working as a waitress, and your manager schedules you to work as a banquet server to your own ten year high school reunion.

Not that I know anybody as unsuccessful as that. But, it would be awkward.

So, I have to accept that this is one of those uncomfortable times in my life with cancer. I'm stuck in that gawky place between visible cancer patient and normal person. It's not like I can call in sick on this job of recovery or anything, like I did with that long-ago banquet job. (Oops. Okay,it was me: sorry if some of you had to wait for your chicken.)

So, I guess scarves it is, at least for a few more weeks. If I'm going to look like I have cancer, I at least want to be warm.


  1. Yeah. That awkward stage. But it's not quite as awkward as actually having cancer. Cherish your peach fuzz, woman.

    Also. The picture that you painted of the sales(wo)man: too funny. You're very good at painting a picture with your words.

  2. I am so with you!! Mine is still fuzzy kiwi bum fluff and I opened the door to the postman the other day and was disappointed to see how shocked he was. Have started to wander around the garden hatless and when we had friends and family around for a barbie ... but I guess I have sometime before I go the full monty. Ha ha!

    P xox

  3. I ran around bald and mostly-bald (chemo peach fuzz) for months -- in every situation, in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between. It was summer (last summer) and hot, and I guess I'm just a 'let it all hang out' kind of person anyway. It was simply my Realty -- no shame, nothing to hide. I can't think of a single negative comment I received in all that time -- in fact, I found few people even batted an eye. Don't get me wrong, I dreaded losing my long hair when I first realized aggressive chemo was in my future -- but once it was clear that it was going to happen whether I liked it or not, I just embraced the inevitable. And I guess there is something to be said about being 'in your face' about it...!

    In any case, best wishes in health and wellness...


  4. Paula! Talk about painting a picture with words. Well, if I went full monty I would be sporting kiwi bum fluff for sure. Hair grows back everywhere now, doesn't it? LOL. :)

  5. Thanks Patience. I told my husband last night that I was glad I wasn't a man, as my head is always cold! (We are having cold weather in Sacramento still.) I do mostly go bald-nude but I work in a middle school and I think it's easier on the kids if I cover up. They know you have cancer either way, but it's not quite so shocking when a scarf is on. As soon as the weather warms up - I should have another 1/8th of an inch, maybe I can manage it.

    I'll post a photo soon.


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