When I was getting my needle guided biopsy done the day before I was officially diagnosed in August, I watched the procedure on the little tv monitor of the ultrasound screen.
All I could think about was how I used to be SO excited to get ultrasounds so I could see my little babies growing inside of me.
This time was so awful in comparison.
As I watched the needle go in, tears rolled down my face.
I was scared.
The nurse held my hand. As the needle came out, each time, the doctor shook his head.
I soon learned why.
What was supposed to be fluid, if my lump was only a cyst, was coming out as stringy pieces of tissue. I knew that couldn't be good.
I got dressed, joked around with the nurse a bit and went back to the consult room.
That's when my life changed.
Even though my tests would have to be sent off and results wouldn't be in until the next day, I knew.
The nurses knew.
I could tell they had been talking about me in the back room while I was waiting for the doctor to come speak with me.
About eight of them walked past my room and gave me 'the look'. One handed me a squishy pink cancer ribbon stress reliever. Seriously?
They looked so sad when they looked at me. It was the worst feeling.
That's the day I decided I would never give someone the look of pity that I was receiving.
I didn't want their pity. I wanted their eyes to tell me I was going to be okay.
I'll be honest, people with obvious cancer used to make me nervous.
I didn't know what to say to them or how to act. When I would see someone obviously in the midst of chemo treatments at Target, I would give them a sad smile and look away.
I didn't want them to think I didn't want to make contact, nor that I was staring. I was just uncomfortable.
I'll be honest again, I'm STILL uncomfortable around some cancer patients.
At chemo, many of the other patients are so much worse off than me. It puts things into perspective.
I almost feel guilty for wearing the fun wigs and watching movies while I get my poisons, because they can barely open their eyes.
As I ate lunch with my daughter today at school in full make up, heels and my fancy wig on, I had to smile because I knew I was fooling everyone.
No one, that didn't know my story already, would ever think I was fighting cancer.
It made me realize that there are probably a lot of people just like me walking around. They're not blatantly showing off their bald heads, but they're still fighting horrible diseases and hardships.
When a guy pulled out in front of me ten minutes after I left the school, instead of honking and calling him a jerkwad, I refrained...which is rare for me.
Maybe he's late for a doctor's appointment. Maybe he's just received some bad news. There are millions of maybes.
Bottom line, people usually aren't knowingly being inconsiderate asses. They may have a million other things going on and they're just trying to make it through the day.
While I don't think everyone should receive a pass all the time; Plato said it best. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."