Thursday, April 18, 2013
When I almost couldn't be there for her
I have always felt close to this aunt. She let me tromp around in her high-stepper boots and play with her pom poms when she was in high school, I was flower girl at her wedding (and her daughter was flower girl at mine), she taught me how to put on make up and let me play grown up in her high heels. After our happy conversation, I couldn't help but be reminded of the day I found out. I was basically almost at my heaviest and was not able to fit most places. When she asked if I would go to her appointment with her and my uncle, I panicked. I had to ask if they had chairs with arms because you know how doctors offices are, the ones they get come from some kind of chair factory that caters to waifs. I had to ask if they would have a stool I could use if they did only have those chairs. I felt horrible. I told her I would gladly do any research for her but she really wanted me there. I must've had an entire week of panic attacks anticipating going there. I asked her if it was okay for the Mr to go so he could catch anything I might've missed while writing things down and she said it was fine. I begged him to go with me more for moral support because I didn't trust myself not to have a panic attack in the office. He agreed.
I had my own set of questions to ask and the doctor had a definite God complex...he was a total tool to us because we were outsiders. I get that. I get that he probably didn't like that we asked to record the session so I could take notes after the fact but if he really didn't like it he could've said no. But he was like gold to my aunt and that's all that mattered. I can handle arrogance in small doses. Thankfully I *just* fit in the chairs around the table for the initial consult. When we moved on to the head nurse and what to expect during treatment, they had to get stools and I diligently took notes which made them happy. There were a lot of things they missed just from the shock of being in the situation. It turned out okay for me with fitting where I needed to go but when I think of her diagnosis, I immediately feel shame I even had to ask for those things. I know it was that important to her that I be there that she didn't care what had to be done to get me there but the social fear and the fear of not fitting was paralyzing. In the end, I was able to give her some good, comprehensive notes and I bought her a "chemo basket" of things that I'd read you'll need going through it that she might not have thought of. I was also the one that cut her hair for her before she lost it. I didn't want her going to a salon. I wanted her to be able to cry if she needed to. I had to be strong. I pretended she was the Mr and I was just giving him his usual haircut. If I thought more about it, I would've lost it. There were tears shed when it was over and then we had a wig party. We always kept party wigs on hand because we're weird like that. So we all tried on braids, glitter wigs, Marilyn wigs and all kinds of stuff and laughed. I was glad I could do that for her and I'm so proud that she has come through this.
Has your weight ever affected you socially in a dire situation like that? If there are any other cancer survivors out there, give a shout out and how many years!
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