Friday, August 22, 2014

Dear American Cancer Society, Man Up and Grow a Sac!

At my first chemo appointment, one of the nurses told me about the American Cancer society.  She told me that they give you free wigs and that it’s a great idea to stop in before you lose your hair to scope it out and meet a stylist and get a wig you like when you are not feeling the OH MY GAWD,  I’M BALD panic. So I left chemo and a few days later when I woke up from my chemo-infused bender, I gave them a call.  No one answered.  I called again, still no answer, now being annoyed I started repeatedly calling, putting it on speaker and would just let it ring until it disconnected. ANNOYED.
Today, on my way to meet my sister for her consult with our ass-kicking, med-port placing surgeon, I realized I passed the ACS office.   (Insert evil laugh of vindication here) So as I left my sister to run her errands after the consult, I headed for the local ACS office, where I explained to them in my most patronizing “don’t mess with a cancer patient” voice that “no, I do not have an appointment and that no I will not go home and call to make one because no one answers the phone.” 

Once all employees had gathered in the lobby, we were on our way. One person got on the phone to get me registered for my free wig and free rides to chemo while another volunteer offered to take me to scope out the wigs. We also discovered that the main phone number had been malfunctioning (however that happens in 2014) and this office had no idea,  so I dialed back the sass a wee bit.
Now, I am not crazy freaked out about losing my hair. Granted, I will probably sulk, hell I may even cry for a minute.   I will definitely charge a ridiculously expensive silk scarf on an already bloated credit card and I will find a decent wig for work. However, when it grows back I will finally have the opportunity to play with all the hairstyles I love but would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have the balls to do.  I plan on growing out a pixie and then a punky Mohawk and then a chic short bob.  I am going to ROCK the “grow out”. 

  In the meantime, while I don’t mind the idea of letting my bald head out to play, I do not need to spend every client meeting or work day talking about cancer.  I need a wig. I also need said wig to not make me look like the tranny that did not make it past the first auditions for RuPauls Drag Race.

So in we go to the wig “salon”.  First thought…these wigs all look like “before” wigs.  You know, ‘put this wig on to see how thin your hair will get’ and when your real hair gets to this point, go get a wig.  They looked like they were made of yarn and only 2 were below chin length.  Now, I don’t need my wig to turn me into a Kardashian sister but can I please have something that resembles real hair?  Perhaps the volunteer saw my dismay.  Perhaps, she thought the horror-glazed stare that must have blanketed my face was due to the realization that I was going to lose my hair and not the realization that I might have to slap one of these straggly pelts on my freshly balding head.

              I mean,  maybe for a party...but so not necessary

Oh,  I'm sorry,  but NO,  No and NO!!

Suddenly the volunteer began to tear up as she told me that losing my hair would be the most devastating moment of my life and that I would not want to leave the house and that years later I would not be over it……….. 

At some point, I excused myself and bolted.  You see, while I may have a cancer melt down or two in my future, I do not in any way think it should be brought on by a volunteer at the American Cancer Society.  No, there needs to be a vetting process and if you have been through cancer and cannot make it through the day without crying, that is OK!  There is no judgment, really,  but maybe this is not the volunteer position for you.  Perhaps you could be the button maker or the donation requester or the appointment scheduler.  However, if you are going to introduce a newly diagnosed cancer patient to the wig salon and cannot man up and do with an overly perky smile and borderline annoying level of positivity (I may have made that word up),  then this is not the position for you!
I left, with an appointment to return to meet with a “stylist” and all I can say is that the stylist better bring her A-game.  Because rule #1 of dealing with a cancer patient…if the patient doesn’t start crying first, you better bite your freaking tongue completely off before you let those tears roll down. Cancer patient gets to cry when trying on wigs, the volunteer does not.

Also,  this just came to me…cancer patient also gets to bring wine in a travel mug  because some things should not be done sober,  even if you are a cancer patient.

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