I approached him at a get-together for a local nonprofit earlier this week.
I hadn't seen him in several months.
We served on a community board together a few years ago and have always greeted each other and chit-chatted when our paths have crossed since then.
The other night when I approached, he looked deeply into my eyes and said, "You look familiar to me but I'm having trouble placing you."
"Ann Erdman," I said, smiling.
He was embarrassed. He hadn't recognized me in the hat that covered my bald head, the bare skin where eyebrows used to be, the look of fatigue on my face, my body a little stooped from bone and back pain.
"That's OK," I said. "I do look different. I barely recognize myself anymore!"
And then we chit-chatted just like old times.