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"Hi my name is Cancer"


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Hello Everyone,

I went to a "Meet and Greet" tonight, held at a nice country club. It was sponsored by a private mental health hospital. The hospital hired a new medical director and a child psychiatrist. It was an opportunity to meet them and visit with other staff, who most I have known already for years. I am probably one of the biggest referral resources for that hospital's children's unit, and can't recall the number of court committments I have obtained for them. Yet, only a few people recognized me. One doctor came up to shake my hand and said,"And who are you?" upon hearing my name it registered who I was. The first question out of his mouth (just as it is with everyone else was..."Where is your long hair? Why the radical change?" My reply, "Oh...I had chemo for cancer and this is what grew back." That word cancer makes people so uncomfortable, or the just plain feel sorry for you. He said," Yeah, I will probably get cancer too." I somehow felt like I needed to make him and other people feel comfortable because I have cancer. Well, word spread faster than a fire. I just had to leave. It is actually quite funny...that is if it weren't that it is my life. I just feel like cutting to the chase and saying.."Hi, my name is cancer. So nice to meet you." Praying for strength...and hair. Ha!


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(((((Cheryl))))), I can soooooooo relate! I work sports and travel shows where I see the same group of exhibitors once a year. Well, when I saw them in Kansas City the beginning of the month they were all saying how good I looked and how they liked my "short hair" and wanted to know HOW I did it. When I said I had developed lung cancer and my hair was a wig I almost hated the looks of pity I got. I finally just started saying thank you and NOT telling them I had cancer, lol. I will be seeing a new group next week so I am ready for the looks again.

God Bless,


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Well, Cancer...I mean "Cheryl"...

You can always reply that a change was overdue in the hair style department...or to the doctor that said that s/he'll probably get cancer too, refresh their memory that cancer is NOT contagious (but ignorance is)...and hey, it IS hilarious (even if it is your life) that in some areas, you WITHOUT your doctorate know that cancer is NOT contagious, that hair does NOT make a person and that there are some really extraordinary people in the world that were once just ordinary people living ordinary lives... Who wants the pity (unless it leads to a free, all-expense-paid vacation)?? I would pity THEM for not knowing what's important in life...

...and Shoog, when people ask about the hair, you can HONESTLY tell them it is yours - after all, you paid for it! :wink:

(I'm just happy mine is coming back with the curls - the color I can fake! Cheryl just may have some extra perioxide!)

Love ya girls!


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Cheryl, so sorry you had to put up with clodishness. Unfortunately, it is a real part of our world of cancer. People not touched by cancer don't know what to say or how to act, so they often put their foot in their mouth. I believe we who have been there are called upon to give out a lot of forgiveness. It is such a joy when you do meet someone who has not been touched by cancer and they respond appropriately. It is a real gift. When I asked for a lay minister to support me from our church (Lucie has one, too), the guy on our first meeting said, "I have not been touched by cancer so I have no idea what you are going through, but I am here for you." I saind, "If you didn't realize that, you could not help me." We had a great year with him as my caregiver. I was very fortunate. Hang in there, Cheryl. You have a lot of understanding folks right here. Don

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Its true that when you are dealing with cancer you also have the added weight of dealing with ignorant remarks and attitudes. I was always so hurt by them, but Don gave me the same advice that he has written in this post. We need to dish out forgiveness in huge amounts. I agree with him, it is such a joy to talk with someone who says the right thing. I think my family was the absolute worst for saying and doing things that sounded uncaring and were hurtful. But, they have never had to deal with cancer before and they were uneasy around us. My brother and sister are STILL uneasy around me and because they are uneasy they say all of the wrong things. At this point they don't even call me, I guess because they don't know what to say. M I don't think there is really any excuse for it, but it I guess I understand it.

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Thanks Mo, Becky, Don, Candy, and Cathy. I do need to be more patient. I guess I just expected more out of a psychiatrist....you know like some "comforting words." None of the psychiatrists I know actually practice psychotherapy, they only prescribe meds. They usually only spend 15 min. or less with a patient.

People avoided me like the plague there after because they didn't know what to say to me. I am afraid my mood carried over into work this morning and I finally lost my temper. After growling at two busy bodies, I continued on my rein of terror. I was called into meet with the CEO. I also barked at him, mostly about work related stuff. However, his statement was "I didn't know you felt this way." He actually came down on one busy body in front of me....which left me with a smile. I sware I felt like sticking my tongue out at her, but chose to take the high road! Ha!! The CEO later called me back into his office to commend me on "the good job I have been doing." Then why do I feel like crap??? I hate to lose my temper. It makes me feel guilty, and like a loser! I guess I am only human.


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I have not been on this board for long, but you seem to be so helpful and kind. I can't imagine that you have any reason to feel guilty about blowing some steam off today. I am so sorry that people made you feel uncomfortable. In this day and age there is really no excuse for that. :roll: I have been having some pretty crabby moments myself when people don't seem to act as I believe they should. For the most part I can't stand the pitying attitude - I find it totally destructive.

At least YOU know that you are not defined by your cancer. You are as much yourself as always - maybe just a bit stronger and a lot more enlightened.

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Cheryl, we are all human and you deserve to blow some steam off every now and then. A lot of people where I work look at me with these "wonder how long he will be alive" eyes and avoid me like the plague. I am lucky that I do have some pretty good buddies where I work who stand by me and Karen no matter what is going on. I have decided to smile and proove everybody wrong by being there for many, many more years to come. Shrinks do not know everything, they are human too and subject to human attitudes and thoughts just like the rest of us. Don't let them get you down, just proove them wrong.

David C

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So true, people freeze when you say the word cancer,

when I got bc in 1999, we were living in a small town and

people were crossing the street so they would not have to

speak to me. If they were unlucky to meet me face to face

they always looked at my breasts (still there) never at my


My husband was mad about those people but I took it a different

way, I did all I could to provoke them, by words or actions.

And we had a hilarious time, we moved from there after my husband

got lung cancer (2002), and at that time I was obliged to shave my

head as the psoriasis was coming back, so the people were sure we

were both back in treatments and happy we were moving away

so the contamination would not reach them..............

What we learned by those years, is to keep laughing and we did every

day, when the news were good and if they were bad, we found

something else to laugh about.

Now my husband is gone and each day I find something to laugh

about or if there is nothing I laugh at myself.

I still have my shave head (bad in cold winter) and I never

had treatment for bc only operations, so people now out of curiosity

ask me if my treatments are doing me good, I always answer,

no...but I do not tell them I am not having any, so I leave

them with a long face and go with a big smile on my ugly face.

That is my reward for their stupidity.



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