I must love me for being me.
I can’t make any promises now as nothing is certain but
I love me even though my reputation* has never been at it’s worst as the old me is fading away
Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it too soon to do this yet?
Cause I know that it’s delicate.
*Reputation as in how others know me personally and professionally
Poem loosely inspired by Taylor Swift song Delicate.
So readmission happened just 5 days after I was discharged the first time. The standard reaction I got was, “So fast?” Yes, not something that you would want to celebrate in a big way or something that you would be looking forward to? Yes? No?
So when I went into the hospital for readmission the proper way, I was really scared. I say “the proper way” because the first time I went into hospital was through A&E. So the actual act of checking into my staycation (yes I call it a staycay!) was scary simply because I did not know what to expect and also I was self-conscious.
You see, I recently shaved my head botak. Prior to that, I had been anticipating my baldness for weeks! Imagine clumps of your hair coming out as you shower, dropping everywhere and all the time. Very upsetting. I have caps, beanies, scarves as a standby so that I look more normal. I began online shopping for these way before my first hospital discharge. You see, I am a person who likes to be prepared!
The irony was and still is that I preferred the bald look as opposed to covering up my head with a cap, beanie or scarf! But that only happened after the morning of the bold and brave walk in moment!
But first! Some food for thought!
Go on…you didn’t think this was all about you reading about my life without getting you to think at all right? Come on….haha…
Why is it so important to blend in and fit in?
Why is it so important to look good?
For me I guess it was to look like I’m a chic part of the status quo. Having a bald head would mean admitting there was something wrong with me. As for looking good, it would reflect that I take care of my self-care. Which is me taking pride in my best masterpiece which is myself. As the saying goes – there are no ugly women, only lazy ones!
Oh and if you say you are not bothered about looking good, it may not be physical appearance in your case but something else. It could be career, your kids, doing charity…the list goes on.
My bold bald walk-in moment.
I was scared that people will stare at me.
Would I be the only one in the lobby like me?
What I mean is being bald and never cover her head up. And when they see the botak, they automatically know I have the dreaded disease that starts with the letter C!
The answer for the morning of readmission would be – yes!
Only me bald in the lobby…
Despite feeling nervous, I decided to straighten my back, ground myself and waited for the customer service to bring me up to my room.
I decided to focus on small wins.
I remember when I was discharged recently, I was wheeled down in a wheelchair. It made me feel particularly vulnerable and small.
But on the morning of readmission, I strolled somewhat boldly walked into the ward. Small act but massive win. I use the word “somewhat” because I’m quite sure some part of me was shaking on the inside.
What made me calm down?
It was familiar faces in the ward.
You see, the ward nurse during my last stay told my Doctor’s nurse that when I get rebooked in for the next chemo session, to book me into their ward again because I was such a good and compliant patient. Yes…really. So that is why the request was made and I came back to the same ward.
So…familiar faces made all the difference upon readmission. The nurses all said I looked really chic in my new hairdo and glasses and white shorts. Afterall, they only saw me in the hospital gown previously!
A side note - I may have lost quite a bit of muscle mass after the first chemo session but thank goodness I still looked like I had toned arms and legs!
When in my room, I stayed in my outside clothes for a little while before changing into what I call “the uniform”. You can see it in the background in the picture. Not quite my little blue pinafore but a hospital version of it. Lol! But why did I do that?
I guess I wanted to have the “outside hospital me” last a wee bit longer before I switch my mind to patient mode.
*Selfie in my new hospital room right after readmission
Patient mode to me is not something negative. It’s me focusing on every cell in my body blossoming with joy and getting better on all aspects – mentally, emotionally and physically.
Self-acceptance is the key to personal development
Back to my readmission walk in moment again. I realise I grow from every discomfort moment. Once I got over being bald and being bald in public, I could carry on business as usual. Life goes on and people are not looking at me thinking why I am bald. Contrary to what I thought!
The moment I decided to own the bald (but sexy) look, was a never looking back moment for me.
That got me thinking about how I want to be going forward.
Bold and kind are the states that I want to encapsulate, as identified as helpful and useful to me in my journey to heal myself.
My State - Boldly go forward but being kind to myself.
How about you?
Here is me rocking the Cool Cancer Look
*Selfie right before readmission day with new glasses
This photo was taken the night before readmission.
I purposely chose this picture of me. No filer, no make up.
Only new glasses! Lol!
Oh and these are Tony Stark glasses. Another story for another day!
In conclusion, I do think I do look pretty and pretty cool bald. Thank God that God blessed me with a round head! Some friends told me I look like the Asian Sinead O’Connor. What a massive compliment!
Here’s the link if you want to watch the Taylor Swift song that inspired my poem above. See if you can notice any similarities that I have shared today.