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The Bald Blessing

by Nicole Malato

Inspiration image

The other morning I looked into the mirror, just as I do every day. The woman with no wig on her head and no makeup on her face had a very different appearance from the dolled-up version who prefers to shield those around her from what cancer really looks like. This is the real me, a private reality that often brings sadness to my heart as I examine my reflection.

However, this particular morning was different. I saw that same bald woman sans makeup, but rather than thinking how pathetic, the world blessed came to mind. I realized that I have received so many blessings through my cancer journey.

Simply being in treatment is a bless­ing. I know that may sound odd. Trust me, nothing would be more pleasing than to hear my doctor say that all is well and I don’t need treatment any­more. But in the meantime, I am more than OK with having to go for treatment because it means there are things my doctors can do to manage my disease. No matter how unpleasant those things may be, knowing that my cancer can be treated is a blessing.

Knowing that my cancer can be treated is a blessing.

With this realization, I stopped feel­ing sorry for myself. Instead, I now feel proud and blessed to have options available to me. I am bald because my cancer is being treated, and that’s a good thing. To be honest, wearing a wig takes the extra stress of styling my hair out of my morning routine anyway. Plus I don’t have to worry about taming the humidity-induced frizz I battled for the previous 34 years.

My advice for you is this: Don’t fret over treatment. Treatment begets hope, and hope is what carries us forward each day, giving us dreams to live for and reasons to fight. I am here because my cancer can be treated. I may be bald, but I am blessed.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Nicole Malato is a breast cancer survivor and mother living in Toms River, NJ.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, May/June 2014.