Still Living, Laughing, and Loving Despite That Look

I’m not particularly bubbly, my resting face looks like I’m totally pissed off, and my eyes water incessantly, so I often appear to be crying. I know this because people keep asking me what’s wrong and telling me to smile. My face is a total sham. In reality, I’m quite happy, a bit low key, and I don’t go around blubbering for nothing. I also enjoy a good laugh and don’t mind poking fun at myself. Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. And sometimes, when you catch it, a look can speak volumes.

I’ve learned a lot about looks in the past few years. I remember the look on my husband’s face when we learned I had multiple sclerosis (MS). I saw that same look again when we learned I had triple-negative breast cancer. That kind of look can break your heart. Then there’s That Look you catch by accident. The one that isn’t meant for you; the one that two people give each other about you. Yeah, I’ve caught That Look, too, and that’s a whole other story.

Getting back to my face, it has changed dramatically since my pre-cancer days. My eyebrows and eyelashes never did fill in properly and my hair seems like it belongs to someone else. But, as I’ve made peace with my sham face, I’ve made peace with my post-cancer face and hair. It is what it is, and the older I get the more I realize how little those things matter.

Remember when Care2 founder Randy Paynter asked you to “shine one glorious sunbeam of collective love” on me? He asked that of you because, as he put it, “together we’ll show that love is the most powerful force of all.” Indeed it is. Thank you, Care2, and thank you, Randy. Love. That’s what kept me going through illness and that’s what keeps me going still.

These days, I’m as healthy as most people I know. My MS is under control and there’s no sign of cancer. I’m alive! It’s 2014 and I’m still hanging in there, sham-post-cancer face and all. The road before me — what it holds and how long it continues — is a mystery. I’m just grateful I’m still living, laughing, and loving my way down that road.

Related Reading
How Small Acts of Kindness Changed My Life
3 New Year’s Resolutions You Won’t Fail and Won’t Fail You

Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis

Main Post Photo: Photographer/Copyright PetarPaunchev | iStock Collection | Thinkstock


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

Punita sah
Punita sah4 years ago

Yes You Punita-Still Living, Laughing, and Loving Despite That Look Cute ..

Sheila Baker
Sheila Baker4 years ago

A smile for at a stranger goes a long way.

Nicole H.
Nicole L4 years ago


Judith W.
.4 years ago

Living with MS for 40 years .. thanks Ann, for the wonderful inspiration to keep on keepin' on!

Mac C.
mac C4 years ago

You write beautifully--- and with each of your posts, you send us such wisdom and inspiration to grow. I love reading your posts and I'm so glad you are well and happy and beautiful.

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa4 years ago

Thank you :)

Joanna M.
Joanna M4 years ago

Unfortunately, I can relate all too well, having lupus, polymyositis and fibromyalgia myself...

I just started a new petition the other day - pledge to educate yourself and others about invisible illness. Please take a moment to sign and pass along to others!

Kim Janik
Kim Janik4 years ago