I was able to work throughout my cancer treatment – chemo, surgery, radiation. The first month was terribly rough, for sure, learning about the fatigue, the dreaded day three, the aches and pains, did I mention the soul-crushing fatigue? But I was fortunate in not getting too many of the really horrible side effects. Once I was able to come to terms with my ‘new normal,’ I was able to pretty much work through it. (many kudos to my boss, and co-workers for all their support through that time, I am forever grateful.)
(and yes I expect that you in your mind saw that and said to yourselves dot-dot-dot)
I have endured more insensitive, rude, invasive comments than I care to share, from people who should just keep their mouths shut. I mean, what does a person gain, from learning about why that other person is wearing a wig, wearing a cap, suddenly lost all of their eyelashes and eyebrows? Why do you – that other person, feel you have a right to know what is going on with the suddenly hairless person you see?
My friends – you know who you are – this post is not about you. You were there for me, and I love you for it. You were, and are, welcome in my life, and you know you have a place there. The people who reached out to me because they have a cancer connection, and would like to talk to someone else in the ring, step on up, I am here for you. The rest…you who I have no relationship with at all and are just thrill seekers? F-off. Seriously, F-the-F off. I owe you nothing. NOTHING! Please and thank you.
So, TODAY! Slightly over three years past my last chemo. Slightly over three years since my hair started growing back. A co-worker – one who has made comments to me in the past about ‘how pretty’ my hair is, and has asked ‘what do you put on your hair’ …
… super fast shuffle stepped over to me today, hand outstretched, “Can I touch your hair.”
WHO DOES THAT?!! OMG, seriously!?!? Seriously.
I have very expressive reactions to many things, and occasionally (ahem, Mike – occasionally – xoxo) I don’t hide my feelings well. I shied back, said “NO!!!!” more loudly than maybe even I expected, I am positive my face contorted into very unattractive-forehead furrowing disgust – then followed up with “that is just weird!!,” and as she looked confused at me, added, “I don’t want anyone to touch me!”
Thankfully, at that point, the elevator doors shut, and I was removed from her presence. I was angry, furious for a while after this encounter. My personal space was nearly invaded, and I was very angry by the lack of social decency, WHO DOES THAT, is all I could wonder. I did briefly consider filing an HR complaint, seriously I did, only because this person had made SO many unwelcome comments in the past, and this was just so far over the line…
People. Don’t touch your co-workers. Just don’t. And if they lost their hair, and it came back..NO you cannot touch it. Keep your meat-hooks to yourself.
Please and thank you.