I was shopping with my husband one day at Walmart. It was early in chemo treatment. I hate shopping, by the way. I dispise it. Especially grocery shopping. It’s cold, things are placed inconveniently in purpose, and there are people in my way. The only place I get road rage is in a grocery store. I write lists, and I stick to them. I hurry up as fast as possible and I get the hell out of dodge. If someone slows me down it’s irritating as hell. My husband makes a day trip of shopping. On his behalf, I have to say I feel most people do. Ok. Everyone else that doesn’t shop like me. If you go down every isle, your a day trip shopper. If you like to browse, your a day trip shopper. If you check unit prices and can’t make up your mind, your a day trip shopper. My time and sanity is worth more than the pennies I will save. That’s why I prefer to shop alone and of course I spend a fortune more when someone else is with me because they don’t stick to the list. Well, this particular day, I decided to be nice and join my husband and go grocery shopping because he loves it when I do. I really shouldn’t have. I was not up for it in any way. I was physically too exhausted to walk around, so I tried to use the cart, which helped a bit. I was pushing myself too hard and it was draining all the energy I had. This also happened to be the first time I went out with a head scarf. Not a wig.
I hate the looks I get from strangers. Nobody means them, and I used to give them as well. The second glances and stares as they try to figure out if you are going through chemo or not. Then, they try to make eye contact so they can send a telepathic message to you that they feel for you. I’m guilty of it as well. And there isn’t anything wrong with doing that, but it drove me nuts. And this was the first time I encountered it. It was emotionally tolling. I just wanted to not think about cancer while grocery shopping. Being reminded that I have cancer every time I look at a face isn’t my idea of fun.
Well, at one point my husband and I get separated. I stay in the same place because I have no energy to go carting around looking for him, we are both frustrated when we find each other, start arguing and I just start bawling. I ended up walking out of Walmart sobbing while he tails after me. I call my mom and end up talking to her wailing about how everything is unfair while sitting in the truck for the remainder of his shopping. On his behalf, he did ask if we should just go home and I told him to shop and he did indeed hurry up. It took a bit of time to sort out everything emotionally. I cried for the good part of an hour. It was obviously needed.
I made it a point to stop looking at peoples faces in the store after that. That sounds cold, but that’s how I feel. Once I grow eyebrows and hair back, I’ll look like everyone else and I’ll go back to my friendly self.