Not in my treatment – that seems to be going very well. But I’ve definitely lost significant confidence in myself and the way I look, and will look in the coming weeks and months.
Mr P. and I went to a wedding this weekend and I met lots of people that I hadn’t met before. People who may, or may not, have known that I have cancer but probably didn’t realise that I was wearing a wig.
Now, I’ve already said that I’m not ‘wig confident’. Even though it is a good wig, I’m not able to move my head completely naturally, style it in the way I would really like, and I live in permanent fear of it slipping or someone knocking it off. So being in a room full of (albeit lovely and friendly) people who with increasingly drunken exuberance hugged me, kissed me and generally flailed their arms in my direction on the dance floor, filled me with unmitigated terror!
Obviously with close friends or people who are aware of the situation I could say ‘please don’t touch my hair or put your arms round my shoulders’ but with people I’ve only just met that would have been impossible and churlish.
Consequently, I felt like a massive party pooper in wanting to keep out of the way of the ‘action’. Anyone who knows me well will know that this is completely at odds with my natural behaviour. I’m normally right in the thick of it, at the heart of the chaos – having very likely started it (or egged someone else on!)
I hate feeling like this and subjecting Mr P. to it too. His natural ebullience is legendary, so I then end up feeling guilty because neither of us is able to completely relax and be ourselves. But I can’t help it. Rightly or wrongly, so much of our self-esteem is determined by how we feel about ourselves and our appearance.
In honesty, I actually feel much more comfortable in just a scarf or hat because then there’s no pretence. However, knowing that I’ll probably lose my eyebrows and lovely long eyelashes over the course of the next three treatments also really upsets me. And yes, I know this is sheer, shallow vanity but at least I admit it!