MORON #1: Great wig. It must be so cool not to have to do your hair.
ME: I’ve worn a wig since my hair fell out. I got tired of people gawking at me and my bald-ass head like I was some escapee from Area 51. It’s especially fun to wear this wig during the summer months. With this wig atop my head and all that heat trapped up under there, Dante could throw a seventh-ring soiree on my scalp. So hot.
MORON #2: Your legs are so smooth. What? You don’t even have to shave them because the chemo made your hair fall out. I’m so jealous.
ME: It’s glamorous as fuck. Cancer has changed every aspect of my life, and now I don’t even have to do the everyday things that once made me feel human. Gone are the days when I felt the deep satisfaction of that first good spring shave after letting the hair on my gams go wild all winter. Nope. Tossed that razor right out the window.
MORON #3: Wait, so if the hair on your legs is gone and you’re bald, does that mean you lose your hair… everywhere?
ME: I don’t have to shave or wax my bikini line. I mean, I won’t be wearing a bathing suit anytime soon because I can’t go near a beach or anywhere the sun shines, because I will burn. And I don’t just mean a sunburn. I mean actual burns. The chemicals in the chemo make me especially vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays. Even as little as ten minutes in the sun leads to blisters and swelling. But let me tell you, not having to maintain my bikini line has been the preeminent part of this experience.
MORON #4: You’re on a leave of absence from work? Oh, I’d die for an extended vacation like that.
ME: I’m so glad you asked. Thank you. It is just like a vacation, the type of vacation where you get to throw up, shit fire out your ass, not eat, feel exhausted, and isolate yourself because you are overwhelmed with depression, all the while questioning your mortality. Being on vacation these past three months has been incredible. FOUR STARS.
MORON #5: At least you get a free boob job out of this.
ME: I hadn’t even thought of that. I mean, they hack your nipples off, amputate your boobs, shove implants back in there, then stitch you back up to try to make what you have left look as close to boobs as possible. I’m like a “Build-A-Bear” come to life. Reconstruction is to make you feel like you still are, in fact, a woman, even though everything about this disease makes you feel like you aren’t. But you’re right. Fuck yes. Free boob job.
MORON #6: You have “The Cancer,” right? What you should do is get you some of the green, if you know what I mean. My mom had liver cancer. That shit saved her life.
ME: I do, in fact, have “The Cancer.” I’m sure that special green that your cousin Kenny has been growing in that RV he’s been living out of for three years now is, in fact, magical. And how did you know that unsolicited medical advice from low-looking men who smell of Allen’s Coffee Brandy at 9:00 a.m. is my favorite type of advice? But hey, since everyone is giving out free, unwelcomed suggestions lately, the deodorant was back in aisle four. I think you might have missed it.