Wendy's Story

I’m about to get all introspective on your guys, and I feel like this should be accompanied by a shot of me looking all serene in a field of wildflowers. If you want to imagine that instead, please feel free to do so. I don’t mind.

I chose to go the route of wigs and bandannas during my chemo. I tried to brazen it out, but the truth is that I just never felt comfortable bald. It didn’t feel empowering to me, it felt depressing.

Now that I’ve said that, I need to clarify that I did what was right for me. What’s right for other people is their own choice. Some people can embrace the freedom of no hair. (I will say that it’s pretty pleasant when you don’t have to shave your legs for a few months. heh.) Some people cover their ports. I did not (although, I did complain continuously about the fact that it shows above the neckline of around two thirds of my wardrobe). There is no ‘right way’ to be a cancer patient. My dear friend L pointed that out to me, and I so completely agree with her. It is an intensely personal journey, and while there are doctors and handbooks and guidebooks galore to ‘help’ us through it, we all eventually choose our own path and forge through the best we can.

For the majority of my life, my way has always been to walk AWAY from the nicely paved path set before me by the nice people who’ve both been there and done that, hack my way through the underbrush, bitch because there are thorns, and then emerge at the finish line a bit disheveled, but essentially in one piece.

Looking back at the last 9 months, I will say that the thorns cut me a bit deeper than before—but, I’m almost at the finish line and—hey—still in one piece. I see before me the nicely set path called “Recovery” and then in four years there will be a path called “Survivorship” and while they are very nice paths, I see a some really interesting weeds and bushes off to the side, and I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself trampling through some of the less traveled roads when I hit them.


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