Film critic and author Roger Ebert appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show today. He's been battling thyroid cancer since 2002, and has had his entire jaw removed and has endured multiple surgeries and attempts to reconstruct his jaw. He can no longer eat, drink or talk, but he continues to write reviews and blogs. A full-page photo of him as he looks now recently appeared in an Esquire magazine article.
Besides the example he sets for everyone in dealing with adversity and maintaining a positive attitude, I was particularly moved by his comments on Oprah about his appearance. After saying he won't have more surgeries, he said (emphasis added by me):
"I'm not going to talk, or eat or drink again, so the surgery would only be to patch my face back together...THIS IS THE WAY I LOOK AND MY LIFE IS HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE...NOBODY LOOKS PERFECT. WE HAVE TO FIND PEACE WITH THE WAY WE LOOK AND GET ON WITH LIFE."
There are several excerpts here, and this quote is in the last short video on this page:
Dear fellow Alopecians - if this man can have this attitude given his loss and the degree to which his appearance has been so radically altered, why can't we accept our lack of hair and "find peace with the way we look and get on with life"? I'm asking myself this, too - not just saying it to all of you. Though I've accepted the fact that I'm bald, I still have days when I feel angry about it, or ugly, or depressed, or self-pitying.....When that happens, I'm going to try to remember this interview. I'll remember and repeat his words that I've highlighted above. ALL I have is no hair, eyebrows or eyelashes.