IT was with a heavy heart that I left my favorite lingerer store, Victory’s Secret. It slowly sunk in that I would never again be able to wear their lovely bras. I could not have foreseen on that gloomy day that approximately one year later I would submit a proposal suggesting some innovative ways, or at least I thought so, to create fun, colorful, sexy bras designed especially for older women minus one breast. They declined the offer; nevertheless it was fun dreaming about those pretty bras in my mind’s eye. Back to that gloomy day. As I downcastedly walked toward Macy’s department store to have a look at their hats, I pondered my apparent lack of emotions since my cancer diagnoses as not one tear had yet to fall. Not when I first received the cancer diagnoses, nor during or after the lumpectomy nor the more serious second diagnoses.
Additional cancer was found during the lumpectomy and a mastectomy was highly recommended. First however, there would be more tests. For example, a nuclear bone scan plus a devise called a portacath would be surgericly inserted under the skin in my chest to accommodate the chemotherapy infusion treatments thereby protecting the small unreliable veins in my arms. These procedures would be followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. So on this particular day, while trying on hats, endeavoring to distract myself from my imagined future of being relegated to the ugly bra syndrome, a brief but delightful encounter with a perfect stranger occurred.
As I was halfheartedly trying on about the tenth hat, I heard a very soft voice say “why you look beautiful in that hat”. To my astonishment I found myself blubbering that in a few more weeks I would be totally bald resulting from chemotherapy treatments. Without a moments hesitation she stepped close to me and pulled me into her arms. I broke down and sobbed tears that evidently were waiting for just the right moment and just the right arms. Looking back on the experience, I am quite sure that she was a strategically planted angel.