I yam who I yam! Who yam I? Popeye? Oh, hey, he doesn’t have any hair, either! Although, my forearms aren’t nearly as large.
Posted by wendy on 2011/04/09
One word titles are so hard to do.
I had a comment on a shot of me wearing my wig in which the question was asked “Why hide who you are?”. I had to think about that comment a bit–because I DO choose to wear a wig on the days that I don’t feel like being ‘the bald girl’. When I’m wearing my bandanna, I am immediately recognizable as a chemo patient–hell, I was approached twice yesterday by people who wanted to know what kind of cancer I had–I am happy to tell them and to talk about my experiences when this happens, but seriously–my life could quickly become The All-Cancer Channel if I allowed it to be. We call this the “little c” around here, not the big one. I don’t think wearing a wig ‘hides’ who I am, I actually think I am more me, more Wendy when the wig is on. I look into a mirror and I see ME again. Losing your self-identity is so easy to do when little bits and pieces are constantly whittled away by an illness. My wigs (all of them) have helped me find that ownership of self that is so important to me.
I am not defined by cancer. Period. It’s actually a bit insulting to me that anyone would want me to carve out who I am around my illness. Some days, I wear a wig, some days, I wear a bandanna. I am learning that I am always me, inside–where it really counts–no matter what my outward appearance is to the general public.
Has cancer changed me? Yes. Obviously. You look your mortality in the face and it is bound to change you. My perspective, my priorities, they have shifted. But, I refuse to make this the most important thing that has ever happened to me. I’m not going to allow that. There are so many other wonderful things in my life that are important. In fact, I see what IS important so much more clearly now. This cancer is a blip, an interruption, an unwelcome interloper. My son is important, my love is important, my family is important. I’m going to get through this, I’m going to beat it, and I’m going to get back to the things that do define me.