Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Session 3/12: Behind the Stage Curtains

I have talked on my blog before about "show time" and how when I step out of my front door, I put on my smile and the show goes on..... Equally; when I am at home, the costume is removed, the makeup taken off and I am me..... bald, tired, pained... me! My home is my sanctuary, it is the place where I can be.... My dogs accept me, so does my husband and my children.

So when people enter my humble home, I expect them to accept me as I am. Why is it then that people feel the need to make tactless remarks. Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand that they are remarks which are misguided attempts at making me feel better but they wound me.

The same remarks don't penetrate the costume when I go out of my front door, they fall off me like water off a ducks back but at home, with my protection removed, I am scarred.

I didn't ask to be bald. I didn't ask for someone to "go ahead and shave me". I detest it, I hate it. When I look in the mirror I am repulsed. I don't want this look, its not my sense of fashion! However when I am at home, I like to be comfortable. I wear my woolly hat because my head gets cold, I snuggle up in my husbands jumper becauses its warm and comforting then I take my hat off when I have a hot flush..... Don't judge me for my looks, accept me for me like my animals and my family do.


  1. I have taken to wearing a bandana while I'm working. A wig just is not practical for field work. What amazes me is that people who know why I'm wearing a bandana tease me about my 'do rag' and tell me how cool I look. I just want to snarl "It's not about cool for pete's sake..." I feel like the first thing people look at is my head, even though it is always covered. It makes me self conscious.

  2. I so understand this Sara. I too would put on my wig to go out and keep things "normal". I'd laugh when people asked me if I'd had my hair coloured or tell me how great my hair was (this was people who didn't know me from Adam). But at home? As soon as I walked through the door, the wig was peeled off and usually "tossed" onto the bench in the hall. I learned a "freedom" of being bald and unless it was chilly, left my head bare or pulled on a favourite bandana. My sons' friends became used to the bandana and even became used to the bald head. What changed for me? I accepted how good I looked bald, I learned to love that "freedom". I'm not saying it was easy or it was a piece of took time.

    As Debby said, some people have a strange reaction to the bandana...sometimes they are being kind and funny, but there is no question. As soon as people see a woman in a bandana they "know". First time I went out in public to my son's hockey game in my bandana all I got was "are you all right?" -- it was annoying to be "on display". And then I just said, "screw it" and from then on went out as I pleased and if people had that look of horror I'd just smile and remind myself it was their problem, not mine.

    Thank heavens for the sanctuary of our homes...and if people don't "get" that...remind them kindly that it is your home & your space. Sorry to go on -- it's a subject that is at the heart of every cancer story. ♥

  3. Sarah...I just wanted you to know I understand and I think people who don't have cancer really do not understand how we feel. They can't its not theirs to deal with.
    Cancer is huge..I think at home you do what you have to do for you. Its your comfort zone. I also think its ok to tell the person thats it or don't come back. I mean if they are not being supportive of you .Then if things get worse would they be? It takes a really special person to not say anything and consider your feelings to.
    In your home..its ok to be you its your private space.
    My own sister was very cruel durning radiation. Which I had to the head.I finally told her to either not say a word about how I looked or don't come back. We are self conscious enough none of us need that.
    In your home you have the right to be you and that's that. No one had the right to tell you anything.
    I think sometimes the emotional and mental issues of cancer are tougher then physical. I just do. Because cancer affects all three.
    Its been a long time for me. and I don't think we get off not being scarred.
    I m glad your writing about this cause all of us no matter what cancer we all feel it.
    Sending hugs and prayers your way.

  4. Thanks for your kind words, and you are right, if a person has not had cancer then they dont understand what we are going through. I felt so ill last night and I lay in bed at 3am mulling things over and I felt really angry about things. Its just that I can deal with pain, scars, needles, examinations, the whole thing but I am finding the loss of my hair really difficult. I had issues about low self esteem and poor self issues for which I received councelling and its lucky I did cos where would I be now? Its great that I have you guys who understand


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