When I was in high school, a social science class had us conduct real life experiments to see how people would react. I remember one such occasion when my friend Jackie Kelly and I parked ourselves at a shopping center and acted like her car was broken down. We then waited to see how people would respond. Most women walked right by; most men stopped to help, strutting off when the car would start. I wonder if any of them saw us circle back around before parking and putting up the hood. It’s a wonder the police didn’t get involved at some point.
I share this because I’ve experienced my own social science experiment lately. Since losing my hair, I’ve gotten more comfortable wearing hats and often choose a hat over my wig. I’ve noticed that people in the general public are much nicer to me when I’m wearing a hat. For example, it’s a natural reflex for me to smile at everyone I encounter. Usually about one in ten smile back. Now, the “smile back” rate is much higher. I suppose it’s partly due to pity, but I hope it’s also because people see life and hope in me despite the cancer. Whatever the reason, I now joke that even when my hair grows back I’ll hide it under a hat when I’m going out in public.
I’ve been waiting to post expecting to have some significant news to share, but no blockbuster announcements seem to be forthcoming. Here’s the latest:
- I am still struggling to breathe and get out of breath by something as simple as walking across the room. The doctors were very concerned and ordered another CT scan. Fortunately, none of the scary things that would have resulted in my hospitalization showed up on the scan. We suspect the main problem with my breathing is inflammation from the radiation, but I’m going to see a pulmonologist in hopes of finding a treatment that will help remedy the problem.
- The pneumonia is gone, but I continue to have problems with a severe sinus infection and am planning to see the ENT on Friday. I expect he will make arrangements to go in and clean out my sinuses, which probably won’t be fun but will be well worth it. I am ready to be done with this!
- My doctor agreed to let me go three weeks between infusions, which I know will help with side effects. I have felt better this week (my extra week), and know that once the breathing and sinus problems are straightened out I will notice a significant improvement.
- I have an infusion this afternoon and hope that the side effects will be minimal and the reduced chemo will still hold the cancer at bay.
I continue to hear from people who say that they are regularly keeping me in the prayers, and for that I am so grateful. Prayers make a world of difference! Thanks to everyone for your care and support!
Happy with my hats,