When I was younger and in college, I had a favorite pink angora sweater. I loved this sweater. It was the color of a ballerinas leotard and oh so soft. I used to love to wear it with my ivory tweed pants and beige boots and belt. A high school friend was in one of my afternoon classes and when I walked in and took my seat next to him he laughed and shaking his head said, "I knew it". When I questioned him, Rob said every guy on campus has been talking about the girl in the pink sweater. I liked to be looked at then.
It's a different story now. Before the chemo, you could not tell that I was sick. But chemo, having made me lose my hair, has changed that. I do not go out without a scarf or a head cover. Now, as people stare, it is not a good feeling. Being a mother of two girls who always asked a hundred different questions a day when they were little, I can understand when I walk past a child and hear her ask her mother, "what is on that ladies head?", or "it doesn't look like that lady has any hair". But, I do not understand the unpleasant stares that I have received from others. Some stares are obviously those of pity. But, I do not want pity. I want courtesy. We teach our children not to stare, why do we, as adults, not listen to those same words.
I have not looked at this chapter in my life with pity, despair or sadness. I have not had a pity party or really ever broke down and cried. I do not have time for it. I am fighting for my life and the life of my family. I am a fighter. I am a survivor. I have a badge of courage that I wear proudly as it has shown me the strength I didn't know I had. So, as Armande said, don't pity me.