the third in our Seeing Scars talks is coming up on tuesday. it’s one that i am very passionate about, and one that i think many people will be able to get something valuable from. the discussion will be led by our dear friend, Sarah Brown.
i started thinking about this topic during the planning phases of our first annual show and celebration. i was sitting on the porch brainstorming with a good friend of mine. she said that her neighbor had been diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly she struggled with what to say to her. she wanted to find the balance between checking in about her friend’s health, and not checking in too much – she didn’t want it to be the only thing they talked about. in the past they had always talked about gardening. so should she keep it to that? and then would cancer be the elephant in the corner? how could she be respectful and not prying? supportive without dwelling on it?
while everyone we talk to in this project has had a unique experience, there are many common threads that we see emerge. one of the major things that people experience is the difference in how people look at them, or engage in conversation. even strangers in the grocery store, staring at their shaved heads. it’s one of the things that can impact your self esteem as a survivor very greatly, and that’s why we are set on exploring it in this project.
i hope you will join us and contribute your experiences to the discussion. we believe that by talking through some of these root causes of self esteem issues in cancer survival, we can all play a role in making the experience less difficult than it already is.