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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
7/17/12 8:58 A

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I think maybe I had an unconscious and automatic build in defense mechanism for this when I needed it most. While I was in active treatment, I either didn't get any stupid comments or I was oblivious to them. But now that I am done with chemo, surgery, and rads, I am getting them now and again (or maybe am just more aware of them). The one I get most frequently is being address as "Sir" by store clerks, receptionists, etc. Granted my chest is flat and my hair is still pretty much like a military cut. I've never really worn make up on a regular basis (does bad things to my skin and I am terrible at applying it). I'm also not into wearing a lot of obviously female jewelry. The fist couple of time this happened it was a bit like being stuck with a knife, but after that I pretty much just ignore it. I get this only from people whom have never seen me before and will probably never see me again, so what difference does it really make? People I know are aware of why I have very short hair and no chest so I don't get any of that from them. In fact the opposite is true in that they tend to over compliment me which I find a bit uncomfortable, but they mean well.

But I agree, those that really do say stupid things when they really should know better, or even if they don't, not make stupid assumptions, need to be "shown the light". When you give them a straight answer to their stupid questions that makes them feel bad, they feel bad because of what they said, not because of what you said. And exactly because they feel bad is what will hopefully make them think twice next time, whether that is with you or with somebody else.

Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

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FIVEOHBARBIE's Photo FIVEOHBARBIE Posts: 54
7/10/12 2:54 P

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I actually had a fellow officer walk up to me and say, "What the h*ll happened to you? You lose a bet or something?" There were many others, but that one stuck with me. It's amazing how dense people can be.

SWAZY33's Photo SWAZY33 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/14/12 6:04 A

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My aunt sent me a pillow with that same phrase on it! "Yes they're fake, the real ones tried to kill me!" I have picture in my photos :) I will try and figure out how to post it to team page too! Love it!


Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

JESSIG5's Photo JESSIG5 Posts: 2,418
6/13/12 7:14 P

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emoticon Love it!

One day at a time; one pound at a time.

DRUIDPRINCESS's Photo DRUIDPRINCESS Posts: 6,049
6/13/12 6:23 P

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For Christmas my daughter (14) gave me a T-shirt (from a breast cancer fundraising website) that says "Yes they're fake, the real ones tried to kill me!".

I love it! (But it made my gym teacher pause mid-step in class last week!)

Make everywhere you go a little bit better than when you arrived...


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JOYSGARDEN's Photo JOYSGARDEN SparkPoints: (0)
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6/12/12 10:53 P

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Lyn, how clever and how cute!!! Love it! Can't wait to see the pictures!!!

Too bad the guy in Target didn't end up with a broken nose and 2 black eyes.... then people would have stared at him. Sometimes it's like we should wear a big sign that says "Yes, I have Breast Cancer, and yes I've lost my hair due to chemo, but darn it, I'm still alive and fighting. What's your excuse?"


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DRUIDPRINCESS's Photo DRUIDPRINCESS Posts: 6,049
6/11/12 6:25 P

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I have a daughter with Asperger's Syndrome, a kind of autism. One of her characteristics is that she doesn't filter the things she says (like we are taught to do to be polite). So when I went through my treatment she could have been the source of humiliation, but instead I chose to laugh at her observations.

One of my favourites was when I first lost my hair. I had explained it was the side-effect of my treatment. She came to me and said, "If you had broken your leg, you would have had to have a cast on your leg and we would have been allowed to sign it.... Because you got cancer, you lost your hair and your head is bald, so can we sign your head?".

So, with permanent pens, each of my children sign "get well soon" wished on my head!

I have photos... when I get home from the hospital tomorrow I'll post them here!

Love and positive energy to you all,

from Lyn


Make everywhere you go a little bit better than when you arrived...


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JESSIG5's Photo JESSIG5 Posts: 2,418
6/11/12 4:01 A

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Swazy, I was lucky enough to lose my hair not once but twice. The first time, following my second chemo, I was critically ill and in intensive care; losing my hair was the least of my worries. When I went home from rehab, my new hair was maybe 1/4 inch long and I had the remaining hair cut to match. By the time my chemo resumed eight months later, my new hair was about 1/2 long and it all came out again. My attitude when I came home from rehab was "It is what it is." On days when I felt like wearing a turban I did, other days I didn't. The same went for wearing a bra after the mastectomy.

No one ever made any comments and there were many "angels in disguise" who helped me along the way, strangers who assisted me when I went out in public and was so weak I couldn't stand in line to pay for my purchases or when I nearly passed out. I so wish I could thank them all.

The only rude person who really upset me was a man in Target. I was standing near the door when he walked in. He looked my way, looked away and then looked at me again. By this time, he was in front of me and turned his head to look back. He was staring so hard at me that he ran into the buggy corral and fell down. Served him right. I was so angry that I started over to him to ask if he had seen enough or did he want me to pull up my shirt and let him have a really good look. Fortunately, my daughter was with me and I had sense enough to think how it would embarrass her .

I am totally with you when you speak up to people who are rude enough to make these comments. Maybe next time they will be more empathetic to someone else.

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Edited by: JESSIG5 at: 6/11/2012 (04:08)
One day at a time; one pound at a time.

PAMMY222's Photo PAMMY222 SparkPoints: (1,448)
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6/10/12 12:10 P

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SWAZY33--you were absolutely in the right to correct your insensitive co-workers. I salute you for having the courage to retort. I often am so taken aback that I don't know what to say until hours later. My favorite (not) insensitive comment at the moment from co-workers, to a co-worker who was newly diagnosed last October is..."your surgery was months ago, why are you sick all the time?" Stay strong!
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--Pam
"Life is a Journey, Not a Destination."



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JOSEFSROSALITA's Photo JOSEFSROSALITA Posts: 2,393
6/9/12 12:15 A

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My chemotherapy isn't the type that made my hair fall out,but tumors grew into my spine and fractured my back in two places so I have to walk with canes or a walker. The way adults, not just children, stare and make comments is unbelievable! Most of the time I just laugh it off but when the staring or comments are just too blatant, I have to retort! What is up with people? By the grace of God go they.........I'm still me,canes or not!

Edited by: JOSEFSROSALITA at: 6/9/2012 (00:17)
Work like it's all up to you!! Pray like its all up to GOD!!!!

"Look at your life- who do you want to be before you DIE???"Cruxshadows



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IVYLASS's Photo IVYLASS Posts: 7,206
6/8/12 8:46 P

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I never encountered stupid comments, maybe because I let folks know I was battling cancer. The support and encouragement I got was fantastic.

One stumble does not a failure make.

Everything in moderation.


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JOYSGARDEN's Photo JOYSGARDEN SparkPoints: (0)
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6/8/12 7:21 P

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Hopefully both those people will stop and think before they say something unkind to the next person. I hope neither of them ever has to walk in your shoes, but if they do, I hope they don't run into people like themselves.... You said what needed to be said. You don't mind explaining it to a child, but in this day and age, adults need to stop, look and listen before they open their mouths, and insert their feet.

Glad the cafeteria lady gave you a nice lift. The world needs more people like her....

Keep your head up, wear your short hair proudly, and don't let "those" people get you down. (We actually had a friend who had longer hair, lost it due to chemo, and when her hair started growning back in, she got sooo many compliments and comments about her adorable hair cut, that she still wears it short....not quite that short, but not a lot longer!)


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SWAZY33's Photo SWAZY33 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/8/12 11:55 A

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Thank you so much for all the nice words! I was so self conscience to finally take my wig off...I have had long hair for the last 25 years or so and it was hard to face ppl with the short hair. But 95% of the ppl were and still are great about it. I need to try and not let the thoughtless 5% get to me!
I passed a lady today that works in our cafeteria and that 5% could take a lesson from her she simply just said..."looking beautiful"...well she made my day with such a simple comment. Thanks again for the sweet comments everyone :)

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

CARO488's Photo CARO488 Posts: 1,096
6/8/12 11:03 A

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Swazy - unless those two commenters were under the age of about 20, they were NOT just floundering or trying to say something kind - they were totally insensitive at the very least, and thoughtless and mean. No friend would tell you, unsolicited, that your hair was ugly. I'm glad that what you said made them feel awkward. They did it to themselves.

Also, no friend would tell you to "get over it" when you are going through this. And you probably don't want them for a friend.

So, stay away from these people. They are not worth your time or even your thought.

Dance like no one is looking.

Love like you've never been hurt.

Live like you'll never die.


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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 17,280
6/8/12 11:00 A

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Be who you are and don't let anyone's comments define you, no one can make you feel bad, just be strong in yourself. If you need to say something, say it! Believe how beautiful you are and how hard you fought to be here. I wore a wig forever, I look terrible in short hair, even though I know I am drop-dead gorgeous bald or not, I preferred longer hair, one time the school secretary asked when I was going to take that rug off my head, I never let it bother me, I just said soon, my hair is growing in and not long enough for my tastes. Keep positive, you are a true beauty and a fighter! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: PEACEFUL-SPIRIT at: 6/8/2012 (11:02)
Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

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"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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CARPROTH's Photo CARPROTH Posts: 19,335
6/8/12 10:52 A

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It's nice that you're concerned about hurting someone else's feelings, but I agree with Linda that you're not the one being insensitive here. People who barge in with personal comments about other people with no idea of context SHOULD be made to feel awkward - maybe they won't be so quick to pass judgement again. We are responsible for our words, just as we are responsible for our actions. Calling them on it just might make them think twice before again making unwanted and unsolicited comments about others.
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Carol

Carol


Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land amongst the stars.


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CD10037175 Posts: 153
6/8/12 10:28 A

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Hi Karen
You were not wrong in saying those comments. One of my coworkers twisted a benign comment around that I made. I said that "I'm not a hat person" and she said that she sees people around with baldness and told me to "GET OVER IT". I was sooooo hurt and bewildered. She knew what I was going through and she knew that I didn't want a wig. If people could learn how to walk in other people's shoes there would be less nasty comments. I'm glad that person felt awkward. Maybe she learned a valuable lesson.
Thanks for posting that
Linda

Edited by: CD10037175 at: 6/8/2012 (10:29)
SWAZY33's Photo SWAZY33 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/8/12 7:53 A

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I really wanted to blog about this but...wish I could just post it to the BC team and not for everyone to see...so I decided to post here...
I'm sure we all have heard stupid comments from ppl while we were going through treatment. Most times, I feel ppl just don't know what to say and they don't mean to say stupid things...but, lately I have encountered comments about my short hair. One lady at work came up to me with the most disgusted face and screamed at me..."why did you cut your hair...ugh?!!" Now i'm not one for making ppl feel bad but this got to me...I responded...well actually, as you know I had cancer and lost all my hair to chemo and now it is thankfully growing back!" Well...boy did she feel bad then and apologized like crazy. Another day a woman said to me to wow...you cut your hair...what did you have a big break-up or life crisis? Yes...to life crisis and gave the same response as before. Her response..."wow, sorry, i feel awkward!" Like I said...I don't ever like to make ppl feel bad and usually when ppl say oh you cut your hair...I just say yes...but sometimes the hard truth is needed for these stupid comments! I have pictures in my last blog and am getting use to the short hair and just so THANKFUL that it is growing back! So, how do/did you all deal with these comments? Do you think I was wrong for "telling it like it is to those comments?"
Karen
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Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

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