However, I made a vow to myself last year that I would NEVER NEVER EVER complain about my hair again when I received the news that I would not need infusion chemotherapy to treat my breast cancer. And I am proud to say I have kept that vow. Too hot and humid to straighten it? Then it stays curly. Which means it's been curly about 95% of the time for the past four months.
|See? Fall is TRYING.|
Monday of this week, fall gave us a little sneak preview. The humidity dropped a bit, along with the temperatures (if you call 82 cool, fall weather, which I don't, but it's at least a start). I also had just bought a new hair product that I hoped would live up to the hype on the outside of the bottle (which it did, surprisingly enough). I went to preschool that morning with sleek, straight hair.
My class of pre-k kids had arrived and were sitting at the tables, doing their morning work (coloring candies in a jar - "C" week, ya know), when one of the boys called me over to him.
"Miss Dyanne? Your hair looks nicer today."
My first thought was, "How sweet!" But before I could complete the thought, loud, snorting laughter erupted from my assistant teacher.
"Nicer than usual?" I asked him.
"Uh huh!" he answered brightly.
More laughter from the peanut gallery of one.
In all fairness, the kiddo meant it as a compliment. But the way it came out, um, yeah.
And now, this 4 year old boy has single-handedly given me a complex.
Nicer. NicER. NICER.
* * * * * * * * * *
|Rockin' the paper gown.|
Every monthly oncology visit culminates in a trip to the infusion center for my Zoladex injection. When I get called back, I sit in a recliner, waiting for my injection to be delivered by the pharmacy. This can take anywhere from ten to thirty minutes (or more), depending on how backed up everything is. I usually kill time by playing with my phone, sending Snapchats to my friend Allison and looking through Facebook.
Two visits ago, while waiting for my injection to be delivered, an attractive woman of about 45 walked through the center and stopped to have an animated chat with a patient and her two adult daughters who were seated next to me. I kept looking at this woman, because she looked so familiar to me (it's a small town, after all, and it's uncommon NOT to see someone you know or at least recognize any time you go out). I zeroed in on their conversation, shamelessly eavesdropping as best I could, in an attempt to garner a clue as to where I had seen this woman before, when I realized she was talking about her recent cancer diagnosis and upcoming treatment plan. I was taken back for my injection at that point, and all thoughts about the woman faded from my mind.
I sat in my recliner today, pulling out my phone so I could entertain myself until my injection arrived, when an infusion patient, assisted by one of the nurses, slowly walked from the restroom back to a recliner. The patient was dressed in baggy sweatpants, her skin pale and somewhat ashen, devoid of make up, her hair mussed. She walked slowly, painfully, towards her chair, and it was then that I recognized her as the cheerful, attractive woman I had seen two months previously, fresh from her diagnosis and prior to any treatments. The nurse helped her into the chair, where she turned onto her side, pulled a blanket up to her chin, and closed her eyes.
And I sat there, healthy as a horse, guilt-ridden for my good fortune, heart broken for a woman I'm not sure I even know.
It sucks. Cancer sucks.
Treatments are barbaric and primitive and temporary. Always temporary.
And it sucks.