Yesterday I got up at 0430. Read emails, fed the dogs, drank coffee, showered, dressed, drove to work. Ops normal. But on this day, I have breast cancer. It was the first day back to work after the surgery.
It’s weird, encountering people who clearly know I have cancer but don’t know if I know they know. I can tell they’re desperately ignoring the 500 pound lump of carcinoma in the room. What do you say, after all? What would I say in their situation? A month ago, I’m not sure. Now, I would say, “I heard about your diagnosis. That sucks. What day works for you when I can come over and (select one of the following) bring dinner / mow your lawn / walk your dogs / clean your bathrooms / pluck your eyebrows for you?”
My diagnosis was in the newspaper. The newspaper, for goodness sake, so I’m pretty sure most of my friends and colleagues have heard. So to cut through the uneasy ignoring of the thing, here’s my line, “have you heard my news?”
“Well, yeah…how ya doin?”
People are funny. They love me, want to support me, want to relate to where I am and most of all, make it better. Everyone responds in their own way. The hardest are the people who appear to be tearfully estimating how long I’ll last, as though it would be a good idea to step out of the way in case I fall over dead in the middle of the conversation. The best…and bless you, my brothers and sisters…are those who are encouraging, share a success story, laugh with me, or just say, “This sucks. I’m sorry.”
I love them all. I will gratefully accept support and prayer from all comers.