I’d never been to a chemotherapy session before today. American movies make chemotherapy treatment look like a visit to the spa – comfortable chairs, plenty of magazines, attentive nurses and other women to talk to.
Not here. The hospital I was at has no special section for cancer patients. They’re assigned a solemn room just like any other patient. Taboo and privacy restricts the development of support groups among the women enduring treatment.
Lady number three had the company of her mother – a strong Italian woman who couldn’t look at her 38-year-old daughter’s face as she took off her wig for the photo.
The cancer was not genetic (similar to the other women who participated in this project). She has two beautiful daughters who are too young to comprehend what their mother is going through, but bright enough to notice the signs of something wrong. Rather than keep them in the dark, lady number three sat with her 5-year-old (the older one) and explained why mom was sick and losing her hair. “Cancer” is too scary a word to tell a child, but it is important to be open with children when something like this happens.
**Our wig stand will be spending the next few weeks by her side. Chemotherapy treatment for lady number three ends May 31, 2010 and we wish her a successful, healthy recovery.
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