Or being told what to do.
This past Tuesday I bought a hat. Apart from an old, tan, ladies baseball cap I wore on occasion to keep the sun out of my eyes, I haven’t really worn a hat since I was a young girl. Even then, it was a toque, worn in the winter, because my mom made me wear one to keep my head warm. I loved my mom, but I don’t love being told what to do.
I don’t like hats. On me at least. Vanity in reverse perhaps, I know. I dislike the one I just bought even more than any others I have ever owned. Why? Because once again I was told to wear one. And I’m not even a kid anymore, geez. Did I tell you I don’t like being told what to do?
So why on God’s earth then did I buy a hat that I am going to wear on a regular basis?
Because exactly 4 weeks before buying the hat, I was diagnosed with skin cancer. Cancer sucks. It makes me do things I don’t want to do. Like wear a hat because my skin cancer doctor told me to. Very sternly no less, with a pointing finger in my face and all. Do you already know I don’t like others telling me what to do? And that I don’t like to wear hats?
Breathe Marianne, breathe girl. There. It’s done. I just put it out there for the whole wide world to see. I have cancer. Okay, now breathe again, deep breath this time.
I debated sharing this info about me through this venue. Until today when I came across an article on the Cancer.Net website, while I was doing some more research on this nasty thing I now have. The article is titled “The Power of Writing” and this line nailed it for me:
Because blogging is much more public than journaling, it not only acts as a way to cope with the highs and lows of cancer treatment but may also connect you with and help inspire other people who are going through a similar situation.
Wow. Double whammy. In a good way though. Sharing the news and my adventures to come about having skin cancer will help me AND help others. Okay, I’m in then. Decision made.
I won’t go on about the cancer now apart from saying, with much gratitude, that it’s been detected in its early stages and at this point is believed to be fully treatable. I am having one bad tumour over my ear removed surgically next week, and some biopsies done then too. After that, there may be some more procedures to be done and I will be set off on a course of vigilant monthly body exams along with regular checkups with my doctors. And of course, I will be upping the SPF level of my sunscreen and wearing it even more than I already was.
And yes, I will wear my hat. The one I don’t like. The one I was told to wear.
The one that could help save my life.
“Fashion was not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves.”
Yves St. Laurent, a fellow past cancer patient and lover of hats, especially on women
Featured image source: me. Yep, you guessed it. That’s the hat I bought. That’s the hat I will learn to love. It’s the hat I will be grateful for being told to wear.