1.  In February 1997 I decided to get a closet organizer
installed, to bring some order to my chaotic wardrobe. I
planned to pack up the clothes that no longer fit, and
donate them to Goodwill. I was sure I’d never lose
enough weight to fit into the size 4 suits I once wore.
2.  The Closet Factory installers came 2 days after I was
diagnosed with cancer, so I decided to  hang onto the size 4
outfits. From what I knew of cancer treatment, I expected nausea
and vomiting, and figured I’d drop at least 15 lbs. I realized I had
put a positive spin on the disease: Cancer, the ultimate weight
loss experience. Later I found out that 50-70% of breast cancer
patients gain weight during treatment. So much for the size 4's.
3.  The day I found out the cancer had spread to my lymph
nodes, I read in The Boston Globe that the giant panda in the
Washington  Zoo underwent surgery a day earlier, and had his
lymph nodes removed. The idea that I had something in
common with the panda made me laugh on what otherwise
was a very grim news day. I was also relieved that the late night
talk shows weren’t joking about me like they were about Hsing-
Hsing, who had a testicle removed.  
4. Dean Jack Galvin introduced me at Fletcher's
Commencement ceremony by saying "I know
Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher is a friend of
mine, and Maria Judge is tougher than Margaret
Thatcher," thereby inspiring the title of this exhibit
5.  Of the hundreds of Fletcher students who
attended Commencement, I posed for
pictures with only two of them, both bald
men. I don’t think I chose them on purpose,
but perhaps subconsciously I was thinking
ahead a few weeks to the day when I
expected to look like them.
6.  For surgery I wanted to take my rosary beads (from the shrine of Our Lady
of Knock, in County Mayo, Ireland, where miraculous healings occurred) into
the operating room, but was afraid if I held them they'd get in the doctor s
way. I began to obsess about this, as if there were a high incidence of rosary
beads being stitched up inside people during surgery. Finally I stuck them in
my sock, where they’d be out of the way. 3 weeks later I had more surgery,
and since the rosary beads had worked so well, I took them again, along
with two small crosses. This time there were new socks, green and
smaller.  "Patients complain the socks fall off their feet,” one of the nurses
told me, and I had visions of my religious paraphernalia spilling out all over
the operating room, but I didn’t dare leave them behind.  Luckily the socks
stayed on, and everything stayed in.
7 Armed with my Walkman, an aromatherapy eye
pillow, snacks, and a book to read, I found my first
chemo treatment  at Harvard Vanguard to be a much
calmer experience than I expected.  A friend said I
looked as relaxed as though I were getting a facial
instead of being injected with toxic chemicals.
8. My parents came to my first treatment, and I joked that
chemo was fine, but the ride home with Dad was tense. At 82,
he was a good driver, but casual with lane changing and
directional signals. I was sure we’d be rear-ended and I’d
have my first bout of nausea in the middle of Memorial Drive
while he exchanged insurance information with an irate
motorist he’d just cut off in traffic. The next month Dad was
diagnosed with cancer; he died 10 weeks later.
9. Professor Dick Shultz, a Fletcher friend and director of
our Security Studies Program, took me to my second
chemo treatment, and we discussed the drugs I was
receiving.  
"Dick, I heard my chemo drugs contain the same
ingredients  as chemical weapons. I hope they don't ratify
the chemical weapons treaties before I finish treatment. It
might limit my supply."  
"Gee, Maria, I hate to tell you this, but they already ratified
the treaties."
10.  Anthony gave me the final haircut, before
my hair fell out.  I thought this was one of the
shortest cuts I'd ever had, then realized in 2
weeks it would be a lot shorter.
11.  The wig fitting at PK Walsh: I had my choice
of color, style and length, and several people
suggested this was the time to return to my roots
(genealogical, not follicular) and become an Irish
redhead. But I opted for something as close to
my own hairstyle and color as possible
12.  Cindy and I met at a cancer program  and after
discovering that we were starting chemo at the
same time, we decided to go through treatment
together, a couple of  “Bosom Buddies”.  We both
bought our wigs while we still had hair, and after it
fell out we went back for a re-fitting, posing with
new hair in hand before turning it over to the stylist
for a “tune-up.”
13.  After a little trimming, our synthetic hair looked as
good as the home grown stuff ... well, almost.
Continue
14.  I was a little obsessed about the wig when it was
new.  Each night when I got home from work I would
put it on the stand and carefully smooth it down, so it
would be in good shape for the next day.  One night I
even set it with sponge rollers, something I hadn’t done
to my own hair since high school