Much Needed Hats

I have been adjusting to this most recent discovery of a "concerning spot" in my lung. No more "crying over a forgotten can of carrots" for me. I really have put on my velcro gloves and gotten a grip. It's only cancer, right? It's not like I didn't know it was coming. Granted I may not have know when it would strike, but ignorance is no longer my name when it comes to this cancer and I have come to accept anal cancer as my own. I can be so naive...

Yesterday I was getting ready to go meet a new friend of mine in Emporia (and that's a whole other blog entry). This is no ordinary friend. She is in the midst of a battle from which I have been enjoying an unexpected reprieve. Her hair is falling out right now from her chemotherapy and I went in search of the various caps and hats that I had worn during my treatment. I remembered that I had stored them in my cedar chest at the foot of the bed on the day that I had "cleaned cancer" out of my bedroom about two years ago. I opened the chest, lifted out a sweater and there was the decorative box that I had stored them in. It is a pretty brown and cream striped box tied with a cream ribbon that sports brown polka dots. I remember having washed them all putting them carefully in the box and the then the chest for safe keeping. I pulled the ribbon free from the box, lifted the lid and they were in there, all "clean and shiny" like my sissy would say. I started to sort through them. Strangely, the first two I touched I put aside thinking "not those". They were two hand knit caps that were made out of soft, baby yarn. I had alternated wearing them everyday during my two week hospitalization when I was so sick and burned and tortured. That box held seven skull caps in all that were primarily used for warmth while sleeping. They are just hats so my angst here was confounding to me. My intention was to throw them all into one of the spare gift bags that are stored in my hall closet and give them to her saying "Enjoy! I hope you get as much comfort as I did from wearing them!" Yet here I was debating on which ones to loan her...that was the key word right there! Loan. I was incapable of giving all these caps away because subconsciously I knew I might need them again. Well, if the caps were a debatabale item to share then the "chemo sucks" and "I love pain meds" buttons were out of the question! I finally managed to pick three hats, one soft yarn and two of the cotton knit. The quirky buttons, however, remained tucked in the bottom of the box under the four hats I decided to keep and I secured them in their box with the ribbon once more and returned them to the safety of the cedar chest.

This whole "hat scene" replayed in my head over and over during the hour and fifteen minute drive to Emporia - what was my problem here? As I often do, I called my sissy to share my feelings...more like validate them actually. When I told her the story she listened while I talked and while I cried. I told her that I did not know if I could do this all again and that it just wasn't fair. I told her about my fears finally getting around to the fact that I was just having a one bad day. My sister validated my feelings, told me that I was entitled to them, and said when I was finished feeling crappy to stand up and "flush" and walk on. She reassured me that it was "okay" that I kept a few hats just in case I needed them and that doesn't mean I am beinging negative...just human...but not negative. We filled the rest of the time just talking about "this and that" and before I knew it I was in Emporia and feeling much better! I went in to the hotel ready to meet my new friend and give her some.....much needed hats.

Smurf, Helen Marshall sent you a hug.
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Hi Maya I understand your feelings about not being able to part with the hats and feeling like you are dodging bullets. Coincidentally I finally decided to put edit my hall closet of hats so I can put my winter hats there. I came across my chemo hats and had the same feeling. I thought of giving them to the cancer centre but the "what if" thought occurred to me so I kept them and packed them away and hope to never use them again. It is a reminder of the ordeal but also I believe it helps us to remember how strong we are to have tackled the big "C" and carry on with our life. Good for you to help your friend as well. Big Hug Marcia
 Thanks Marcia... Michele
 oops - sorry Michele for the name error can I still blame it on "chemo brain" :)
 Absolutely! I would...and no apology necessary, but it is accepted :)
 Chemo Brain is our permanent excuse, it never goes away - and beats "Senior Moment!"
 I am totally on board with Helen on this one :)
Beautiful reflection on the perpetual fear behind every moment. Thank you for adding it to my arsenal of ways to think about survivor status.
Michele likes this comment
I still have the pair of shoes I wore to every radiation treatment. A pair of slide on Clarks in black. I will NEVER put those shoes back on because of what they remind me of, but I can't get rid of them either. Linda
Michele likes this comment
It is funny what we associate with treatment. I started with my thong panties - as it got worse and unpredictable I graduated to boy shorts -final days were full out depends. (my cancer center was 1 hour away)
 Hugs to you....I never wore depends, I did go commando for 3 weeks though at the end. Good :)
 It was totally humiliating, but still better than the fear of not making it to the bathroom on the trip there or back. I still have a towel, pair of panties, a pillow and a pair of shorts in my trunk. You never know :)
Funny how "little" things take on significance. I suddenly realised the other day that I know longer carry a spare pair of pants in my handbag when I go out which use to be a major item on my check list. Mind you I still try and work out my routes where I know there are easily accessible cloakrooms - just in case!! Annabelle
 Love your comment ...see's an early morning for me.
Love your comment...and it's sooooo true! I know not only where the best bathrooms in town are, I know which ones are clean and have private ones as well! I keep underwear and baby wipes with me at all times ;)
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January 31, 1963 - June 10, 2020

Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

June 10

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.


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