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All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After → Topic: Hat & Scarf Party Gone VERY wrong

Topic: Hat & Scarf Party Gone VERY wrong

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Dec 13, 2008 10:44PM

shan1171 wrote:

Okay, ladies.  Am I an ungrateful wretch or what?  One of my friends and co-workers has organized a "Scarf and Hat Party" for me.  I know that she does it with all the best of intentions, but it sounds like nothing short of torture for me.  She invited ALL the women in the office at work.  I'm not actually friends with all these women, friendly maybe.. So, the thought of sitting for several hours with a frozen smile on my face, as I ooh and ahh over hats and scarves to cover my stubbly head sounds like my idea of hell.  I know they'll all tell me how great I look, how I don't look sick, and blah, blah and some more blah.  I'll flip, healthy hair and blood will fly, I'll end up an incarcerated chemo patient.  I wonder if there is a bc message board for that?

Dx 9/28/2010, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 13, 2008 10:57PM moodyk13 wrote:

Oh bless your heart.  I dont think your ungrateful at all, I think you are human!  You are a woman who has had this "thing" called cancer thrown at you, while you were minding your own business and now your dealing with the knowledge that chemo will make you look like a cancer patient.  Been there, doing that!

I dont know if I have any advice so to speak.  I will say that since you seem very distressed, you may want to tell your friend this same thing.  If she is like my friends she would be horrified to know how upset this party would make you, and she will do something different.

How about a "bring a meal" sign up sheet?  When I was going through chemo, my church would bring meals 3 days that same week and it made a HUGE difference for my family.

I am with you on the hair thing, it was and still is my most sensitive subject.  And dear, I am here to tell you NO ONE will understand it who hasnt been through it.  They mostly will tell you "it's just hair"  or "it will grow back" and as you said so eloquently "blah, blah and more blah."  It will INFURIATE you what some will say, just remind yourself that their intentions are to "show you the bright side" or "cheer you up" they don't get that we already KNOW it is just hair and we KNOW it will grow back---DUH!

I say call your friend and tell her exaclty how you feel.  If she is a true friend she will be glad you did, if it makes her mad, then the party was about HER and NOT you!!!!  So tell her to enjoy the "limelight" without you.

I don't care if my cup is half empty or half full; I am just thankful I have a cup! Dx 2/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 13, 2008 11:57PM Fllorik wrote:

I agree...... Call the friend. They all want to help but don't know how to do it. They need your guidance.

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Dec 14, 2008 12:14AM smithlme wrote:

I got married 2 months after I ended chemo and my co-workers wanted to throw me a surprise shower, but I found out. I asked them not to have one. I again heard through the grape vine that they were planning to bring in a cake at work and surprise me anyway. After I explained that I didn't want to be put in the spot light with my bloated face, body and scarf they finally got it. I did agree on drinks after work at a local restaurant. Once you explain your feelings, they should understand. If not, refuse to attend! It's your life and you get to choose what you want to do. I'm sure her heart's in the right place, but her common sense is lacking.


Dx 3/31/08, DCIS, ER+/PR- BRCA2+...I am NOT a survivor...I am a 2X breast cancer A$$ kicker! Dx 3/28/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2008 01:53AM Chelee wrote:

Hi Shan,  I'm sure your friend means well but I'm with you on this one...there is no way I would be up for a "Hat & Scraf" party.  One thing I've found is our friends and family just don't understand what it's like for us unless they have been through it themselves. 

I can see you already have a good idea of what would go on at that party, and that would certainly make me MORE then uncomfortable.  So again, we are on the same page.  Can you imagine the comments that some of these people might make trying to be nice and supportive!?  YIKES.  They just don't know what to say and it seems they always say some of the worse possible comments.  (As we call them, "The well meaning people".  lol :)   What makes this worse for you is most of these other woman are co-workers...not close personal friends.  So NO...you are FAR from being ungrateful.  Talk to your friend and just be honest with her and let her know OTHER ways she CAN help that you would appreciate. 

These people as hard as they try just don't "get it".  We do!  I just wanted to let you know you sound very normal.  If you plan on getting some hats and scarfs maybe just this ONE friend could go with you to help you decide on which ones you like.  That way she will feel like she is being a friend.  (And if she does get upset I agree with the other poster here that said she wanted this to be ALL ABOUT HER.)  If she is a good friend this should do anything but upset her.  This is about you and your feelings...not her.  The sooner you tell her this would make you very uncomfortable...the better.  Hang in there and let us know how it goes. 


Dx 12-05, Stage IIIA, Her2/Neu, 3+++, Er & Pr pos, 5 of 16 pos nodes. Dx 12/20/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 5/16 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 14, 2008 03:53AM Diana63 wrote:

Shan, I would like to see any of us who have went through chemo and hair loss to get through that party. You are not ungrateful but she will think that you are, she will not understand why you don't want to share your baldness with the entire office. As someone else suggested about themselves going out for drinks, or maybe say I don't really want any kind of party but we could all go out for lunch together or out for drinks sometime.

I told everyone I didn't want to mark my BC in any way shape or form, no parties, no presents, no BC plaques and most defiantly NO Pink anything. I didn't want anyone with me during chemo, because I didn't want to share such a terrible experience with anyone but God above. The people that were closets to me understood and those that didn't understand got over it. Now I don't look at anyone and think they were with me when I did treatment #____, or have any stories to share with anyone about chemo days.

Yes many people brought meals, lotion and popcorn, and a good old movie (Harvey) to watch once in a while but I kept my chemo and baldness to minimal fuss.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Dx 10/6/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 15, 2008 06:53AM - edited Dec 15, 2008 06:54AM by Scrappygrl

I don't think you are ungrateful at all.  I mean come on now, who would want a party like that?  I know NOT ME!!!  I say that with smiles! 

I would just kindly take her aside and say that you know she means well with having this party but that it makes you uncomfortable, etc etc etc.  Once she sees that you are not ok with it, she should understand and maybe do something different, like how about lunch or get drinks after work kind of thing.  Really though some things I thought OMG no way and as soon as I said something the ppl are like oh I never looked at it that way.  I want to respond "yeah well you aren't in my shoes" but because they aren't in my shoes or anyone dealing with cancer they just don't know how it is going to make someone feel unless it's been expressed. So I carefully word it so that they don't take offense but actually explain it from the way I see it. Good luck.
When one door closes another one opens! Dx 9/28/2008, DCIS, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/10/2012, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2009 04:26PM bobcat wrote:

Hi Shan -

Jumping in late on this one but I had friends that wanted to do something like you suggested for Christmas.  I in turn suggested that we all buy each other scarves and everyone gets a scarf!  because believe me, you will find what works for you alone. Be it hats, scarves, wigs, or bald with neck scarves(my personal favorite).  And you will like certain colors and styles.  If you do get scarves and hats that you just can't abide take them to your next chemo appt - most of those places have a basket for styles that don't suit some but others will appreciate and they're free!  And don't be afraid to tell your friend how you feel.  Believe me, cocktails after work sounds a lot more fun than a scarf/hat party.  Everyone will tell you how great you look without hair and it will grow back - dugh!  We know that but it's still our bald head staring us in the mirror in the morning without makeup and puffy eyes and constipation and coffee doesn't taste good and your scalp is sore and you realize that the rest of your body hair is also down the drain.  You just have to laugh and realize that your shower will be shorter if you don't have to shave!!  Don't forget lipstick, earrings and eye makeup :o)  Check out the other threads on this site - there are some very funny and strong women with great tips on all kinds of things.  Good luck and hugs,


Dx 7/23/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 7, 2010 04:09PM kmoo692000 wrote:

My BFF is undergoing a single mascetomy today and will then have chemo and radiation.  I need advice on how to be supportative of her.  I thought about the hat/scarf party but I am definetly thinking that's a bad idea now.  I thought maybe just getting friends to give them to me as a gift and taking them to her house for her to open without the cake, punch, and stares. 

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Dec 7, 2010 04:12PM ICanDoThis wrote:

Why don't you try seeing how SHE feels about it? Just because some women here were'nt pleased, doesn't mean that others wouldn't be.

Personally, I would have gone for the meal thing,  but, hey, it's winter, and my head gets cold even with hair on it!


Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Dec 7, 2010 08:25PM ktym wrote:

Oh Shan, I wouldn't have tolerated that well at all.  That isnt ungrateful, that is realizing what works and doesn't work for you.  Tell them your doctor said you can't be in crowds because of the chemo and the start of flu season? 

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