Monday, August 4, 2008

The Joys of Cancer

#1 We Share.

Doesn't matter if you don't want to share. You just have to stand there and listen. Once the word gets out (from you or someone else) that you have cancer, the Cancer Stories are going to roll in. They are going to limp in, crawl in, shuffle in, only a few of them will skip in. Everyone you know -- especially for some reason, people you don't know well -- is going to have to tell you a Cancer Story.

Many of them will end badly, but for some reason the Storyteller will not realize that until they are more than halfway through the Story. Then you will see the dim bulb flicker above their heads; they will blanch and try to wrap it up. "Well, yeah, as a matter of fact, he died, but I'm sure you'll be fine."

So far, I've been okay with this, even the accidental telling of the horrible stories. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the Teller's intentions are good. It is their clumsy way of saying, "I've known others who've gone through this.
I'm sorry you're going through this." Even the plumber with near-blinding butt crackage who insisted on telling me twice that he donated stem cells for his brother's second stem cell transplant, and his brother died. I really don't think he told me that to be malicious; it was just a very inept attempt, I think, at empathy. I wasn't quite sure how to comfort him; I think my eyes were bleeding.

Well, Cancer is the club no one wants to join. But membership has its privileges.

More Joys of Cancer:
#5 Kindness
#4 Accepting Help
#3 Asking for Help
#2 New Priorities

1 comment:

David said...
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