“How’s your summer going? I haven’t seen you much,” said the friendly IT guy at work.
“Well my dad died after a long hospitalization that had me making lots of trips to his hospital in Philly,” I replied more cheerfully than was expected or warranted.
“And now I’m on my way to get a follow-up MRI on the tumor/mass/lesion inside a bone in my arm.”
<he’s backing away now>
“I’ve been eating every carb I can find and petting kittens.”
“So, like, byeeeeee. Thanks for fixing my laptop and stuff.”
Don’t worry. I didn’t actually unload on him like that.
But on any given day, when someone asks “how are you?” I can’t help but feel like I might.
It’s hard to refrain OC, I know, I had cancer and survived – that generates a lot of questions. But people are really trying to care about you and it is a good idea to look at it from their perspective before answering. I was definitely guilty of slamming a few people when i couldn’t hold my tongue, but I always regretted it after the fact. I had people tell me I looked good having lost 80 pounds – I told them they were welcome to my cancer. Ha! Mean, I know. And yet your pain can be used to help others if they see you handling it with aplomb. It isn’t always possible but at least try, like you did.
“I call it the cancer diet. You should try it!”
Ha! If you want people to flee, just tell them you wish cancer on them. Whew! Works better than tear gas for dispersing crowds. Sometimes you have to engage in a bit of dark humor to keep your sanity. 😀 Try to stay positive OC, it makes the healing, on all levels, progress more rapidly.
Man I’m sorry you’re going through all this – anything I can think to say feels like a cliche. I’m glad you have a strong will, a strong sense of humor and a great group of friends and family.
Thanks Tania. Very kind of you to read and comment.
Cancer diet? *Lights 8 cigarettes at once*
I can relate to feeling like I may burst from not unloading over “How are you?”
I hope the carbs help, and of course, I wish you the best with your scan. x
I wouldn’t ask, but I would listen without dashing away, Jen. Let it out. IT dude should have been clued in somehow, I’m thinking.
A friend’s been through a very, very rough time and just hates it when people ask how she is. So we try not to. And the words fall out of our mouths anyway. I don’t know what it is, but we seemed to be programmed to say them. So now we ask and apologize, almost in the same breath.
Sending lots of love your way.