Hairy Situation

Last weekend we flew to LA to celebrate the beautiful nuptials of Christine and Sharam. The wedding was incredible, and their love palpable. Mazel to you both!

At the wedding, I ran into some former Fenwick colleagues who I hadn’t seen in years.  It was extremely uncomfortable when they looked at me, looked at me some more, tipped their head to the side, focused their eyes, and said, “oh yeah —- Andrea, I almost didn’t recognize you! You used to have really long hair right? ”

Ugh.

Oh, my other favorite reminder of cancer is in the security line at the airport. The ID checking TSA guy says to me “Girl, you cut your hair off!”

Double ugh.

Obviously this has been happening to me a lot over the past 6 months. But my hair is finally to the point where it actually looks like maybe I meant to have this haircut. So people genuinely think I just cut my hair off.

Initially I struggled with these types of comments and didn’t know how to reply without making the other person feel uncomfortable.

Now, I’m an expert.  I just politely nod, smile and say, “Yes. Yes, that’s right. I used to have long hair.” Then I steal a sideways glance at Paul, or squeeze his hand, or feel his hand on the small of my back supporting me. And we all move on. Just like that. Nothing too painful.

It’s just so surreal and weird to me. I don’t know if what I’m currently doing is the right way to handle the situation. But it feels right to me at the moment. So, I’m going with it.

I will tell you this, though. Every single time I hear “oh, you used to have long hair”, I have a 10 second flash back of the entire last year and all the crapola I went through.

Somebody at work recently said/asked me “I mean, you reach an end point with cancer at some point, right?” (leaving aside how obviously rude and misinformed the question is), the true answer is that, no, you do not ever reach an end point. There are constant reminders — like when you run into old friends or colleagues and they don’t recognize you at first. It’s tough. Really tough.

Well, no time to dwell on any of this. Got to go wrap a million Xmas gifts so we can get them in the mail on Monday.

xoxo,
A

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2 thoughts on “Hairy Situation

  1. Ugh! I feel your pain, especially about the hair but even more about the ‘end point’ question. We had dinner with friends about a month ago and my friend clapped his hands together and said ‘you’re all done right? Aren’t you so happy?’ I looked at him in disbelief because we unfortunately are NEVER done. The worry of reoccurrence will always worry us and life doesn’t go back to where we left off. In a perfect world, we’d pick up where we left off before cancer. But sorry folks, that person is no longer there. I like to say there’s a better version of us now available because of cancer! I can’t help but feel hurt about his comment that sweeps the last year of pain and suffering under the rug. As if he was implying, time to move on and get over it. My friend’s mother unfortunately died of lung cancer after a reoccurrence and for him to say something so insensitive really stung more than if it were to come from someone who hasn’t experienced the lost of a loved one from cancer. Call me over sensitive but I feel I have that right based on what I’ve (and you) have been through. Just wanted to let you know I get what you felt when that comment was said to you. Nothing more, nothing less. Hanging with people who have been through this battle may be best until I grow thicker skin! 😘

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