Today we told our daughter what we’ve been dealing with. She was naturally very upset, as we all were when we found out. Once we explained things to her a bit, she was calmer, but I can still see the tears, the fear brimming on the surface. Kind of the way I feel some of the time. We’re lucky her dad is so calm. I wimped out, and made him start the conversation with her. I was there, of course. I just couldn’t start talking about it. It is important that she not see me afraid or crying. And I was sure that if I started, I’d break into tears,
Yesterday we had our first day of relative normalcy – back to a full day of work, and no doctor’s visit, yay! Wednesday was a marathon as you know, and so was Thursday. So a regular Friday was a welcome relief. I had my normal coffee run with my good friend C., who is like family. The admins who run our front desk were cheering for Boobs of Steel, and had already planned out who would cook what to bring to the house so The Husband and the Child would have hot meals while I’m in the hospital and recuperating. I didn’t get much done, partly due to being distracted (and reading too much on the internet again), partly due to everyone stopping by to talk. One of my colleagues was so NOT helpful in her comments. “My mother had breast cancer. I wish I had something positive to say” and looking at me as if I were on borrowed time. My doctor’s office called right then, or I might have said to her, “Take your gloom and doom away from me. I frankly don’t need it, and you are not being helpful with your “sympathy.”
I get it, cancer is a scary word. It’s hard to know what to say, or to know how to act. My advice? If you don’t have something genuinely positive to say, simply say I’m glad to see you and leave it at that. Because I’m not your mother/friend/Great Aunt Hilda. I’m me, and my tumor is like no one else’s, my cancer is like no one else’s. Please don’t make deductions about my survivability based on anyone else’s experience. And for goodness sake, do not pity me, or I will kick your ass.