It’s almost July. That means it’s almost time for the hummingbirds to come back. It’s almost time for our vacation to northern California where, please God, make it not be 90+ degrees everyday. And, almost July means almost 8 years that I’ve been free of cancer.
When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2002, I had just started a new job at one of the largest and most well-respected ad agencies in the southeast. But here I was taking off all these sick days for biopsies and scans and tests. When the diagnosis came, it was good news, and bad news.
Good news, you’ve got the cancer we know how to fix.
Bad news, you’ve got six months of intense chemotherapy that’s going to make you feel like hell and make you dumber than a BP oil exec.
Oh, and you’re going to lose your hair too.
When my new coworkers found out, they weren’t sure how to react. I hardly even knew the ones outside of the creative department. But they got together and planned a hat party for me. Everyone brought me a different chapeau and I drove home that night with more than 50 hats crammed in my trunk and piled high on the back seat.
I’ve given most of them away to other hairless folks in past few years. But I kept one and ran across it the other day.
Everybody there signed it. Friend Gregg is right on the brim, with another message underneath. (He always has a lot to say.) My little cousin’s signature is on the other side. Some of the names are faded, and I hate to say that there are some names I can’t put faces to. And some are the names of women I really didn’t know well at all then, but are my wonderful friends today–Janine, Penny, Karen, Kimmer and Kathleen.
The hat party was a wonderful gesture and I’m glad I found this reminder of that event and of all the people who contributed.
If I didn’t say it then, thank you.