Oct 10

You’ve all been lying to me

‘you look good!’
‘you look GREAT!’

I hear it everyday. But I don’t believe any of you. What I believe is that I look good for someone in my situation. I could look a lot worse. I have had MANY conversations with A. who assures me she will tell me when I don’t look good.. Well well, A., you’ve been demoted, because someone else took the spot of Cancer Dictator today!

This morning, I went to my CT scan pre-radiation. They use it to take lots of measurements that will then position the radiation machine properly. They also made 3 tattoos… sadly, nothing but 3 small pin prick dots. Though the handsome tech admired my real ink AND wrote down the name of my crafting blog because he was really interested in my knitting. (really wrote it down, on a piece of paper, not ‘oh what’s your blog?’ with no intention of every reading it. Which you know, could have happened, since I was lying topless, boobless and tied to a CT scan when he asked)

Anyhow, when I left, I had a question about the parking pass that they sell to radiation patients, because you have to go EVERY SINGLE DAY for 30 days, so you know, that can get costly and annoying. This is the one and only reason I ended up at the Hope and Cope desk. I love those ladies, they are so friendly and helpful, but it’s a lot of rainbows and puppy dogs around there….

I asked my question and the very nice volunteer answered. Then she said ‘What it that on your head? one of those t-shirt thingys? Honey, come back here with me’. Before I could get one word out, she had hushered me into the wig room.

‘Where are your eyebrows? Hasn’t anyone shown you how to draw in your eyebrows? No foundation? Honey, you cannot leave the house looking like this!’

She wasn’t mean. She was just very blunt. She sounded like my mother. I ended up being her hostage for about 25 minutes, in which she made me try a least 15 wigs (they were all awful on me, even she admitted that). I told her I had a very fancy expensive wig at home, I just found it too much trouble to wear.

‘Then it’s not the right wig. You are way too pretty and way too young and not sick enough to leave your house looking like this. Where are your friends? Why aren’t they putting lipstick on you?’

I assured her that I had great friends, and that I am basically a lazy, low-maintenance girl. To which she replied:

‘You WERE a lazy low-maintenance girl. You could get away with that because you had fabulous hair. I remember you – the braid. I was there when they encouraged you to cut your hair short so it would be less dramatic when it fell out. But honey, let me tell you what your friends are not telling you: you don’t look good. You don’t have to look like this. Go home, pencil in some eyebrows, put on some lipgloss and go somewhere to get a cheap wig that you like. But stop leaving your house looking like this.’

Bam. And just like that, she called you all liars.


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  1. Liz

    some of us don’t think that makeup makes a woman look better, of course. So to us, you do look good (not that I can see you in person, but you look good in pictures!).

    What I think matters is how you feel: have the wig for the times when you don’t want to attract extra attention. Use the lip gloss if it makes you feel pretty. Wear the modcloth if it makes you feel pretty. Wear the PJs all damned day if that is what you want (and why wouldn’t it be? I love doing that.) I could draw on eyebrows a bazillion times and they would just look stupid, but if you can do it well and it makes you feel better, then do it.

    What ever you do, do it because it makes you feel better about yourself. Know that the people who love you think you are gorgeous with or without all of it: they aren’t lying, they are seeing the you they love, and that you is beautiful with or without hair.

    1. outrunningthecloud

      you are 100% right, and that has been how I’ve been doing it. I don’t give a crap. And most days, with cute dresses and cute shoes, I can make it work.
      But today, I was in yoga pants and a not very good top, I did have a t-shirt twisted on my head (click on the link above to see what I’m talking about) and I am missing 80% of my eyebrows. you put all that together and it’s not a good look.

      Had this conversation taken place when I was wearing a dress, or a cute scarf, I promise you, she would not have been so direct. But today, I really did look like crap. and I’m glad she told me. Because sometimes, it’s good when someone just tells you the truth instead of always trying to be socially correct.

  2. A

    Obviously the lady from Hope and Cope doesn’t love you as much as we do. And if she wants to be the g-ddam dictator, she can walk 60 g-dam kilometers. Bitch.

    1. outrunningthecloud

      actually…. she did. every year. and she’s a 2 time survivor….
      In her defense, she was SUPER SWEET, I was wearing lulus and a t-shirt at the time and frankly did look like crap!
      it’s their whole spiel though: look good, feel better!

  3. Jennye

    She didn’t pull any punches. She must be French. God I hope I never get cancer. I will be screwed because I am the laziest , lowest maintenance girl ever. I will be eyebrowless and awful (although not crafty enough to be able to create a head covering from tshirt. ). You look better than me even with cancer and a tshirt head wrap. She would just have made me cry. Yet more proof of your awesomeness.

  4. Nance

    But how do you feel? Did you feel like you were looking like crap most days? I still think you look good! You can rock those dresses and boots better than me, eyebrows and all!

  5. Ellie

    Did she hook you up with a merkin? 😉

    1. outrunningthecloud

      I’m the merkin expert! I probably should offer to supply them. Can you imagine THOSE interventions?

      1. Ellie

        Bwaahahahaha !!!!

  6. R

    You always look better than me so who am to say a thing? I cannot judge. You look better than me, you dress better than me. That’s my frame of reference. WTF do you want from me? Get a fashionable friend. xoxo Also, she must be french, whole different idea of what’s mean.

    1. outrunningthecloud

      she was very much Jewish, we did the geography thing, she has grandkids at our school!!!

  7. Deanna

    I did not lie one little bit. I haven’t seen you :)

    Sounds exactly like a talk my aunt gave me after surgery when I was still recovering: IF YOU LOOK GOOD, YOU’LL FEEL BETTER.

    That said, I give two hoots what people think most days and makeup/accessorizing isn’t my thing. Do what you want.

  8. Jane

    I think this is a good omen. It means you already look good-enough / well-enough / strong-enough to hear her feedback. There’s probably an unwritten rule down at Hope and Cope that once they start handing out make-up advice, it’s like a rite of passage; you know you’re nearing the end of your cancer saga. That’s how I would interpret it.

  9. Amy/grrlTravels

    Is it bad that “One of those t-shirt thingys?” is making me giggle? I have greatly appreciated it every time someone has told me I look like crap for the simple reason that I know that they care enough to say it. And it is hard, although probably less hard at the rainbows and puppy dogs Hope and Cope Desk. You looked like crap and she called you on it. It’s still your choice to look like crap if you want to, and it still an odd sort of kindness by her to tell you.

    1. outrunningthecloud

      I don’t know this for a fact, but I have a strong suspicion she knew about me, ie that my mom was gone, everything from the last few years, etc. She was there the day they suggested I cut my hair short, she’s seen me around, she knows I can try when I want to and that clearly, today, I wasn’t trying.

  10. outrunningthecloud

    boy, you guys sure took this one personally, RECORD number of comments!!!
    for the record, I think as a total outsider with no dog in this fight, she just decided to talk to me like a mother would have.
    and also, she was very fancy-pants.

  11. Steph

    I think if I had suggested that you wear lipstick, you would’ve never spoken to me again. You are SO not a lipstick girl!! You have to be who you are and do what feels good to you.

  12. Melissa

    Ok I admit it – I lied. You look like shit.
    But I was afraid you’d kick my ass if I told you the truth.
    Whew, so glad I got that off my chest!!

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