I have done so well through this entire journey by not getting angry. When I was first diagnosed I didn’t have that “I’m angry with the world” reaction; I’ve never even been angry at the cancer. It’s not like cancer is a being that chose me to attack, it just happened. I’ve done so well, but now I’m mad.
People have been so incredibly rude to me since my hair began to grow back. They scoff, stare, recoil and are just all around assholes. I’m sorry that I had the misfortune of being young and tattooed when I got cancer, but maybe think before you act/speak. Not every tattooed girl with a shaved head is a f’n skinhead. Some of us just spent the last six months fighting for our lives. It’s not easy walking out into the world without hiding what you’re going through; that takes strength. Some of us have done everything in our power to be present for our families and friends and deserve a little compassion.
Which brings me to my next tirade: my plastic surgeon. I have been waiting for six months to meet with my surgeon and discuss my reconstruction. For six hellish months I have looked forward to the finish line, the moment where I get to start building my body back to some semblence of “normal”. Today was that day and my surgeon came in treating me like just another girl and was not amused with my list of specific questions. I’m sorry; I’m about to have a huge, elective surgery; what kind of moron doesn’t ask questions? He never once acknowledged what I’d been through and he spoke to me with not an ounce of compassion. Excuse me bud, but I’m hiring you, not the other way around. The least you could do is treat me with a bit of understanding and patience. I’m not asking a lot. Are you going to treat my body the way you do my person? Quick and rough? I now have a mental image of the surgeon slapping my muscles around during surgery, as if my poor chest hasn’t been through enough.
This last one isn’t directly cancer related, but it sure feels like a kick in the teeth when I’ve been fighting for my life. I’m an artist by trade, I work in metal and I pride myself in my unique designs. When I’m designing a new line I go to the library and check out books on various artists, architects, sculptures; I study lines and shapes, color and texture. I don’t get online and start studying other metal worker’s pieces and doing my own variation of their work. Since I have been down there have been multiple artists who began reproducing my work. Some of whom would at the same time send me emails telling me they’re praying for my recovery. That’s just dirty. I know that in art we’re all “inspired” by something and that people will say everything has been done before, but I believe in being morally sound in my work and my life. I once worked for another designer and I’ve had to build my line to stand on it’s own two feet, knowing that it needed to stand apart and represent my individuality. Stealing is stealing and stealing from a cancer patient is a new level of ugly that I didn’t think existed.
I try to use this blog as a place to express myself and share my story. I do my best to be as positive as possible, but I need to also be honest. Please, let’s all do our part to treat each other with kindness. Don’t automatically assume that the short haired girl next to you is a skinhead, know that maybe someone might be dealing with something greater, something you may know nothing about. It breaks my heart that we live in a society where people feel they need to live every moment armed with a weapon for fear that others are out to get them. Maybe instead we could just try treating each other the way we ourselves would like to be treated. Come on people, my five year old understands this concept, why can’t we?