Sunday, June 7, 2009

Taking Control

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy PostSecret. This is a site that posts anonymous postcards containing about a secret about the writer. Today’s update had this postcard:

This card reminded me of a topic that comes up with almost every new patient I see. I am inevitably asked, “When will my child’s hair fall out?” Both parents and children usually ask what they should do about it. Like I discussed in July, I always refer them to our Image Recovery Center, where they can learn techniques for maintaining a healthy self-image from cancer survivors.

But do you know what most of my adolescent and young adult patients do? Not only do they visit the Image Recovery Center, but in an effort to maintain some control over their body, they cut their hair short or shave it off altogether! What a healthy response to knowing your treatment will rob you of your hair. Taking control of whatever can be controlled is important. Feeling in control is so much better than feeling out of control – whether you are being treated for cancer or jumping out of an airplane.


Related Posts:
Cancer and Self-Image
What an Image!
The Joy of…

14 comments:

Frosty said...

It's inspiring to see young people assume control of such difficult situations. PostSecret sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Obsessedwithlife said...

I totally agree! The first time I lost it, I cut it short first and then I some remaining strands for awhile I wore in tiny pigtails. The second time I dyed it blonde-it looked awful and I was happy to shave it off when it started falling off and the third time I cut it short again and then buzzed it!

Rachel

Ares Vista said...

PostSecret is awesome! It is a place where people can be REAL, something that is extremely rare in America today. Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, PostSecret is always illuminating. This one yanked my heart strings HARD. I'm inspired to do something for a patient in the children's hospital. Thank you!

ArkieRN said...

I had my sister shave my head. She was in tears. I had to comfort her.

Jill said...

I really like your blog and have made a link to it on my own blog. If you would prefer it removing please let me know and I will do so at once. my addresss is
http://somethingislostsomethingisfound.blogspot.com
It's really good to get an oncologists perspective and yours is an uplifting blog. Thank you. Though I seldom comment I often read.

Jill B.

Bert said...

Your blog is truly inspiring. I'm in the process of reading every post, the post about T was really touching. I hope I would have that same type of courage in that situation. As a hopeful premed student, the passion for your patients and work is a reminder for what I'm working so hard trying to achieve. Thanks and keep blogging!

bOrderlineDrugjunkie said...

I admire these people who manage to salvage their flagging self-esteem and courage despite the sad truth about their sickness. I know of this pretty teen in church who always wore an artistic turban to complement her chic attire, as it turned out she had leukemia, and none of us noticed! All of us thought that she just wears the turbans and head scarves as an accessory for her fashionable attire every time we attend service.

jaime said...

I loved this postsecret! :)

Medical Tourism said...

Right...sometimes medical anxieties are so high that they drive us to do abnormal things.It is concern for ones we love I guess.

fluoxetine said...

PostSecret is a great site, because it provides people with a way to let it all out. And not without any of the risk of social scorn that comes with doing it in real life.

leonbasin said...

Brilliant post..!

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