It’s interesting how my bald head provokes comments. As the treatments send me into menopause, I have multiple hot flashes every day and so my hat is constantly being taken off and then put back on. (I like the look of scarves, but hats are more practical with regulating temperature.) Complete strangers come up and ask about my cancer and want to know all about it. Fortunately, I’m not terribly shy about it. Otherwise, I’d be wearing a wig to hide my head.
The most insensitive comments I hear are from people who tell me that people don’t die of breast cancer anymore. My cancer is curable, but a friend just celebrated her daughter’s second baby tooth falling out because she didn’t think she was going to live long enough to see it. Her breast cancer is rare and very aggressive and multiple types of chemo have had no effect. I can only imagine how she must feel when someone tells her that people don’t die of breast cancer anymore. (Incidentally, she tried to get some financial help from the Susan Komen Foundation, and was told that they are only interested in helping survivors. Since her cancer will, in fact, kill her, she’s disqualified.)
My husband has told me that he’s been gate-keeping for me from people who want to tell me cancer horror stories to lift my spirits that mine isn’t that bad. I’m so glad they ask him first. Why would anyone want to tell horror stories like that? It’s morbid and cruel.