Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Invisible Woman


--by hollynamaste, posted Feb 27, 2015
When I had breast cancer I had to have a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation (the works). The hardest part of that entire experience was losing my hair. I have strawberry blonde wavy hair down to the middle of my back which I have always considered one of my most attractive features.

What was hard about losing my hair, though, was that I lost my anonymity with it. After I lost my hair it was like having a tattoo across my forehead that said "chemo patient." I am a very active, athletic person so to have people looking at me with pity as if I was an invalid or a leper was very hard to take. Of course they never said anything, but if I got in an elevator everyone looked away because they didn't know what to say. I didn't blame them, God knows I've done the same thing myself, but it did add insult to the injury I was already dealing with.

The best compliment I ever received was when I was at work one day, wearing my scarf over my bald head, and the UPS guy came in to deliver a package. He looked me right in the eyes and said, "So, are you on chemo?" I said, "Yes, thank you for asking, you are the first person to actually acknowledge that fact." It felt so good to be talked to like a "real" person, without any pity, just the facts, no big deal. I asked him what made him decide to say something and he told me that a woman he works with had just gone through the same thing several months ago.

I had some "gag" business cards that said my job title was "Supreme Commander of the Universe" so whenever this same UPS guy would come in the office to deliver a package he would always say, "Hey, Supreme Commander, how is it going?" My company moved the office to a different building on the other side of town and I hadn't seen the UPS guy in probably 2 years (I think his name was Bryan, I'm not even sure).

I went to answer my door at home one day and there was Bryan with a package. Small world. And do you know what he said? "Hey, Supreme Commander, long time no see!" He sees so many people all day long every day delivering packages but he remembered me after 2 years. What a great compliment! Of course, I remembered him, too, because he was the only person who could see me during that time when I was "the invisible woman."
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Readers Comments

Maansi Pillai wrote: These stories are not just few act of kindness, all the readers are destined to open the gates of their hearts while they go through them. I have just opened mine how about you. I am sure you must have felt the same warmth with which i am writing now.

Only love for this lifetime
Maansi
Colleen wrote: Thanks for this post. I also have wavy strawberry blond hair which i am about to lose to chemo. You have trod the path before me, and gathering strength from your post, i feel i can manage the emotions of the loss to come. Thanks for sharing your experience.
acfonte wrote: Brave story of a visible telationship.
pluto178 wrote: I visited a friend in hospital and after chatting a while i asked her if she was scared. She looked at me for a while and then said thank goodness for someone to talk to i get weary of people coming in and telling me everything is going to be fine and i will be up and about in no time. I keep up the pretense for their benefit not mine. I know i'm dying why can't anybody else acknowledge that. The funny thing is we laughed a lot after that because we could talk about anything now that the elephant in the room had been removed. x
Mish wrote: Incredibl beautiful _/\_
deetee wrote: Thank you for sharing your story. I have been through it also. People would say, "you look great", when we all knew it wasn't true. I had heard that after you lose your hair, it can grow back totally different than what it was. So i just saw it as a waiting game, looking forward to what kind of hair i would have. I had dyed my hair for a long time. Well, when it came back salt and pepper color, i just left it that way.

That was a wonderful thing for your ups man to acknowledge you and remember after 2 years. People come into our lives for a reason. Who knew it would be a ups man? Keep on being the supreme commander!
KnitNana4 wrote: I just wrote a comment but when i hit submit it said - "error - i had already submitted a comment" - which i hadn't - and now i don't see my comment. Why is that? Thanx -
sandyremillar wrote: I just read everybody's comments but nobody mentioned the following: don't you think it's too much a coincidence with the ups guy? I'm inclined to believe it was an angel.

Sending you angels to fill every cell of your body and other bodies with light!
KindMyst wrote: Well, that is one heck of a good human, ups person for noticing you. I see how his presence and acknowledgment meant for you. And i am so glad your paths crossed again. I can see your beautiful hair as you describe it and i can see your beautiful spirit. One way i have changed about how i go thru live is to not look away and to make the best effort to always notice.
balou wrote: Thank you for your great post! . Not talking about it does not make it less realistic, vice versa. I always diddn't want to understand why everybody in such situations is acting as if nothing happened. But it's their own protection. They do mean well. But people like your ups guy do make the day! And i really like that you met again. And he remembered. :-)

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