To all my people:
When I wrote ‘pink tips’ it was to help a person dealing with cancer: my fifty tips on what helped get me through. Since it was published two years ago I’ve been told that there’s another category of folks who get something out of ‘pink tips': everyone else.
Whether you are dealing with disease, a friend of the person dealing with any disease, or whether you are dealing with something traumatic of your own that has nothing to do with disease, people tell me ‘pink tips‘ helps. Cool deal. I am humbled, and honored.
Going through my latest hell of losing my hair to the chemotherapy associated with metastatic breast cancer in brain/liver/lung, I flipped through my own book this week. I know I wrote the thing but honestly I’m going through hell and I need some help. This Ann Murray Paige lady might know something I’ve forgotten.
Sure enough, ‘pink tip’ no. 47 stared me in the face. GPS Yourself. What that means is find out where you are in your mind on any given day and go from there. In trauma, some days you’ll be down and out, other days you’ll come out swinging. Find out whether you’re sinking or swinging and help yourself get through it.
So I did. And here’s what you need to know about me this days: I am bald, and I hate it.
I don’t love being bald. I have to be bald. I resent being bald. It’s not a “new do” or a cool fashion style. It’s a robbery.
To see me bald, you may feel like you have to make me feel better about it all. But you don’t. I want you to treat me the way you always do–like amazing, fantastic, supportive, kick-ass friends who know I’m riding this bucking bronco and holding on for dear life and that it may look easy but it’s hard as hell.
There’s more. I will be a bit off center for a while as I get used to all this bull shit. And I just want you to be aware of what’s happening so that I don’t mistakenly confuse, insult or otherwise hurt your feelings. I have been getting a lot of “You’re beautiful bald!” and “You have the best-shaped head EVER!” Thanks, but right now I would rather have a healthy body and hair than a good-looking skull.
To everyone in my corner: I love you and I do not hold anything against anyone who gaffs or says something inappropriate as they reach for anything to say. I know this is awkward for all of us. I get that.
But if you see me around with my hairless head covered in a cancer chapeau with my ears sticking out a-la “Herbie-doesn’t-like-to-make-toys,” just give me a hug.
That’s what I need right now.