So I was at Target today, and I walked up to my sister in law, and she didn't recognize me. My sister in law. The one I like best, and I see at least once every week or two normally.
It would be SO funny if it wasn't just a little bit discouraging.
I am TIRED of people saying "Oh, I (he, she...) didn't recognize you!" - it has happened several times in the past month, what with two school open houses, two PTO meetings, a school band concert, and yesterday seeing a neighbor whose husband died in July (and I didn't even know...because I was sick and exhausted then) . Let's not forget my niece and nephew hiding behind their parents because they were afraid of me. I mean, I'm trying, really, to forget that but...
My hair is so very different now. I was told a couple of weeks ago that I should keep it in perspective. It really hurt, because I think I've done a pretty damn good job not feeling sorry for myself over the past year and being VERY grateful that I skidded through this mess with a good prognosis. I was pretty verbal about that on facebook when my treatment was winding down, to the point that I was afraid I might get annoying with it.
I just want to look like I used to look, in part to feel like ME again, and in part so that I don't have to explain the past year to EVERY PERSON I RUN INTO. Because truly, I don't want to go on and on and elicit sympathy. I want NOT think about cancer, or how short / gray/ curly / red/ orange (ugh) / dark brown my hair is.... and I want to make plans for the future, the holidays, the spring time, and so on and so on. And I want to be supportive of my friends and neighbors who had someone they love die, because do you really think I don't care about people dying, internet? Please, tell me no.
Anyone who has never had the experience of looking in a mirror and not recognizing the face that looks back should think twice about how that might feel, and how it feels to be reminded again and again. The kindest thing you can say to a woman who's lost her hair and looks completely different is "You look great." Then stop there, and be quiet.