I have had various people ask me if I will wear a wig. My answer is, "no". And maybe not for the reasons you might think.
Today is world wide cancer day. How many people did you see today that have cancer. You may have seen more than you think. According to the Lance Armstrong website, by the year 2030 the ratio for cancer will be 1 in 2! Did you catch that??? ONE IN TWO will be diagnosed with this disease in one form or another unless something changes. That is staggering. It becomes more of "when" I get cancer, not "if".
I went with a friend today for her first radiation treatment. A friend that was diagnosed after I was. I already have a friend sharing my battle personally. (I also have a neighbor up the hill from me that was just diagnosed, it's too many, too soon). While I sat in the waiting room, another woman came in to prep for her radiation. She was pretty emotional. She survived (I believe, breast)cancer two years ago, and it has come back in another place. She was overcome and distraught. We had a good talk in the short time before she was called in for her treatment. My heart really went out to her. I then went in for my third chemo treatment. I sat in a room full of cancer patients. I know I saw people with cancer. But who may have had it that I didn't recognize while I had lunch with my Mom or while I was at the store getting my prescriptions?
Do you know if that person standing next to you in line is wearing a wig? Is that woman with the really short hair finally able to go without her wig because she now has her own hair if only a little bit? What about the man who is bald. Is he bald by genetics? By choice? By chemo?
We just don't know. And that is the shame of it. Pink ribbons have their place. They have supported me. They have supported my friends and family at a time we really needed it. I am honored by those at school that still wear their pink ribbons for me on their lanyards each day. But I have come far enough in my battle that cancer isn't pretty in pink. It's scaring, it's bruising, is disforming, it's nauseating, it's ugly...
...And it's hidden. Hidden under a wig. Society prefers it that way. It can turn a blind eye much easier and ignore that cancer doesn't just happen to strangers, or the person across the restaurant, but it happened to me and it happen to us, and it can happen to YOU.
Think of it. If every chemo patient that lost their hair let it show...society would see how invasive it is. That would do more for cancer awareness than a boat load of pink or any other cancer awareness color.
And so I wear hats. Hats with no hair peeking out. I wear scarves that are flat on my head. And when it gets warmer, I may even be brave enough to go bald. I am my own cancer awareness campaign. I have nothing to hide. I have everything to show. Call me stubborn, but for a small time, in my own way, maybe I can make a difference. Will it be a difference in you? Are you aware enough to do something about it? Do a check, make an appointment?