Heads up

I might not need to just yet but I’ve taken to wearing a headscarf.

Right now it’s more to hide the greasy hair that I’m not supposed to wash and to stop it from blowing away in the wind.

Luckily I’ve already got plenty to choose from. One of my flatmates is a fashion designer and thanks to her I’ve managed to build up quite a collection.

They also keep my bald patches properly covered. Since my last post I’ve discovered another one near my fringe.

I’m actually quite enjoying wearing headscarves. They remind me of being back in the former Soviet Union. Over there they’re much more popular.

This is one of my favourites. It was bought from a stall in a Kiev underpass. For my Moscow friends, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s one that Masha Headscarf would be proud of!

I’ve realised that there’s an unexpected silver lining to all this headscarf wearing. It’s not that I’m being stopped in the street to read a few palms.

No, wearing a headscarf has a kind of cancer chic to it. I think it makes me look a bit more like I may be sick.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want to appear like I’m going through cancer treatment. It’s just that right now I’ve got the opposite problem, I have plenty of hair and a rosy complexion and so I look well.

For the most part this is great. But I’m easily the youngest patient having chemo. Even mum is younger than most of the patients. I don’t think that at hospital I’m always seen as someone who’s very ill.

Looking fighting fit when you feel like rubbish has other difficulties. The chemo means my immune system is pretty pathetic and I should avoid public transport. On the odd occasion that I do get a bus or a train I really need to sit down.

Most people do move if you ask them but it would be much easier if I didn’t look so healthy. I don’t have the energy to explain to random strangers sat in the priority seats that I’m having treatment for cancer.

You can already get “baby on board!” badges, I’d like to one that says something like, “cancer on board!”

Or perhaps to be more accurate, “I might not look like it but I’m having chemotherapy and still recovering from major surgery so please let me have your seat as I’m so exhausted that I might collapse at any minute.”

Not sure that would all fit onto a badge so instead I’ll be sticking to the headscarves.

9 thoughts on “Heads up

  1. I used to take seats at bus stops and get evil looks from little old ladies – just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover! I always found it very annoying when well meaning people told me I looked really well ! Brilliant that you still have your hair, I’m mightily impressed- will all be worth it at the end of treatment when you do actually feel better and no longer want to look ill!!
    Susan

  2. a gentelman should always offer a lady a seat… however that might be a touch old fashioned so I would go for wearing a cancer badge

  3. I’ve never considered this problem before, but you are so right – in terms of exhaustion and germ-control, it must be a challenge. The button idea is a good one :) I suppose this means you need to be more active (which can be so tiring when you’re tired!) and simply say to people, I’m feeling sick, please let me have that seat.

    Catherine
    http://www.facingcancer.ca

  4. Hels, I love the idea of headscarves, but unfortuantely I look like an 80 year old woman when I wear one – or worse: my mother :-(

    Its a tricky one with the train. I think I would avoid public transportation altogether? It might be more exhausting to explain to strangers why you need to sit down – although you could say you think you are about to be sick (cue people scattering like rats…I have seen this happen!).

    Sending you more sunshine from across the pond. Really enjoying the blog, my loverrrrr XXX

  5. Your headscarves are fabulous. I have those market one that sometimes get me mistaken for a gangster. My favourite has pictures of dollars on it. Once it fell on the floor and someone thought I’d dropped some money. Teeheehee.

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