PROJECT: 05-DJC:174.9

This is Deirdre's Breast Cancer Diary. I try to update this blog at least every evening. This is an easy way for me to keep a journal of the experience, and at the same time, I can keep my friends and family up-to-date on what is going on. I find it is not so bad to have cancer, but it is awfully depressing to talk about it. I hope you laugh as you read along. You can find the beginning in February the archives. Thanks again for reading :o)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

They Will Remember Me

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2005, one of the things that worried me was how I would be treated once my hair fell out. I wondered how I would handle myself if anyone made a comment about it, or if anyone stared or laughed at me. What a wonderful thing: I have felt so loved! In fact, I have felt that I am better taken care of by the general public as a bald woman that I had been treated before I began cancer treatment. People are gracious and courteous. Wonderful.
Well I was batting .1000 until a couple of weeks ago - when I went grocery shopping at Raley's supermarket. I was making my way through the store with my cart, and as I passed by a group of three black children, they exploded with laughter on sight of me. They apparently tried to stifle their laughing until I went down a different aisle, and then again broke into laughter and made comments about my bald head among themselves when they could no longer see my face. However, they were to be faced with me again, as the aisles we were traveling converged. I made it a point to look into each of their eyes. I wasn't mad at them. But you know what? I want them to remember me.
They are young now, and maybe they haven't seen a bald woman before. But they have now. They may have never seen a woman with cancer before, but they have now. Maybe they just don't know what it is about. I believe they knew that laughing at me was not a nice thing to do...they appeared to be trying to hide it.
One day someone near to them will be stricken with this ugly disease. This is not my wish, it is inevitable. Maybe then they will know what cancer looks like. Cancer is not something you get at Christmas because you asked Santa for it. Cancer is nothing you sign up for. You can't even earn it if you try.
When they are touched with cancer, they will remember me. I will be the woman they laughed at in the grocery store that one day. The one they poked fun at and talked about all that afternoon. I will be the woman who did not cry when they laughed. I will be the woman who looked them in the eye without judgement.
They will remember me.


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