Archive for the 'rant' Category

23
May
10

A Granola Bar, a Little Whine, and Now . . .

It’s not fair!

I want to see Emily Rose dance the Sugar Plum Fairy. I want to see her graduate. I want to see her become a professional ballerina.

I *might* see the first; the last is probably right out, especially if she goes to college first.

Why do I have to have cancer? There’s so many things that I want to do. I want to go back to school for a Masters at least in literature, and maybe history. I want to fill my house with quilts I’ve made as well as give away a whole bunch. I want to knit my own wardrobe. I want to bead beautiful jewelry and have plenty of occasions to wear it. I want to keep learning to play the mandolin. I want to do some voice training, so I can at least hear the ghost of the voice I might have had if I’d had training when I was younger. I want to get back into shape (if not the shape I was in at 17, at least the shape I was in when Brian and I got married). I want to read so many more books. I want to play with the friends I’ve already got, and make new ones to play with. I want to travel. I want to get to know my nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, and get to know *their* kids. I want to continue my job where I left off, taking more responsibility for the event planning, and getting to know more about designing websites. I want to touch people’s lives, and be there for them the way so many people are being there for me in my time of need. I want to play with my cats and dog. I want to love my husband and spend a longer rest-of-my-life with him than it looks as if I’ll get.

And this is how I’m feeling 6 days after getting such excellent news on Monday. Guess it’s a good thing it wasn’t bad news!

OK, now that I’ve gotten that whine out (and had a granola bar), I feel much better. Don’t worry, Ma, I’m doing fine now.

Advertisements
21
May
10

Is Talking to a Person With Cancer Really That Hard?

I read an article the other day that was written by a woman who has been through breast cancer, and a recurrence of breast cancer.

The impression I came away with is that there is nothing you can say to a cancer patient that is going to go over well.

For heaven’s sake, don’t talk to them about how they look – if you think they’re looking poorly, don’t let on, because you’re likely to get “Well, of course, I have cancer, so I’m not going to be looking my best”; but if you complement them on how well they’re looking, they’re going to be upset, as if they think you don’t believe they have cancer “Well, thank you, but I feel like crap on the inside”.

Whatever you do, don’t mention either survivors or non-survivors – non-survivors remind them where they might be headed, and survivors remind them that they might not make it.

And who cares about what you’re feeling about them having cancer? Are you devastated to know your friend has cancer? Well, suck it up, because those cancer patients don’t have time to worry about you, there’s only room in there for what they’re feeling.

And don’t bother to send flowers or cards if all you want is acknowledgment of your kindness and generosity – cancer patients can’t make that kind of effort to say thank you for it.

Aargh!

Can you tell that this article rather set me off?

I’m sure that at least some of the author’s experiences warranted the kind of selfish, cruel responses she advocates, but were most people really being stupid as well as well-meaning? Probably not. I myself have run into a couple instances where someone deserved a cut, which I mostly avoided by responding kindly to their intended nastiness; but it was with people I didn’t know well, and at least one was a competing cancer patient who felt I was getting too much attention, and her not enough. I seriously doubt whether the people that this author writes about really were trying for glory by giving her flowers, or karma by telling her that they were so upset by her news that they were having trouble sleeping.

I have experienced the “Pity Eyes” the author refers to, but usually only from people who don’t know me well enough, or aren’t comfortable enough with mortality that they have no idea what to say to someone who’s just announced that they have cancer (for the xth time, even). There are times when those looks make me feel like the “Already Dead Julie”, but usually I handle them the same way that I handle the more confident people who express their shock/sadness/grief that I am back in the cancer saddle; with a smile and a thank you for the heartfelt wishes.

Because even those people who try to make me feel better by talking about how well I’m looking (and currently, other than being very bald and very tired, I *do* look pretty well), or who remark on how tired I look some days, have an unwritten text of “I hope you’re feeling well, and if there is anything I can do to help, just let me know.”

And the people that I have to comfort about me having cancer? They remind me how much I’m loved and cared about – anyone who is getting a hug from me is also giving me a hug.

How sad to live in a world where you perceive everyone in it for what they can get out of it – I know there are people like that in the world, but I guess I’ve made the choice not to surround myself with such people, but with people who are genuine and caring, even if they don’t always know what to say. No doubt the author definitely had some unpleasant experiences, some of which were brought on by jerks; but I suspect at least some of the bad experiences were driven by her own perceptions of what she thought they meant.

Being a cancer patient can be an all-consuming lifestyle, especially when you can’t just go driving somewhere whenever you want. But even if it is more of your life than you want it to be, you’re still human, and it doesn’t remove the basics of etiquette from your list of how to treat people. Is someone being a jerk? Feel free to let them know it. Is someone being awkward in expressing their feelings about you having cancer? Give them a break and take the behind-the-scenes message of “I care, but I don’t know how to act or what to say” to heart. Having cancer doesn’t give you the right to be less than human; or give you the privilege of taking your anger out on some poor unsuspecting sympathizer.

But if you are in it just for the glory, I’m sure there is someone out there who will be glad to let you have a ride on their cancer wagon ;-}

07
May
10

New Zealand on $0.00 Per Day

It’s easy – don’t go.

I’d forgotten that under certain circumstances (i.e., if either I didn’t have cancer, or didn’t *know* I had cancer) I would be enroute to New Zealand this very instant as I type.

Air New Zealand and Alaska Air were both kind enough to give us back our airfares, so it turns out we’re not out any money; and I had only just started exploring b&b’s when I found out about the cancer.

So for the bargain sum of $0/day, I don’t have to try traveling under the influence of chemo; I don’t have to try getting chemo in a different country; and I can sit here being annoyed that if I didn’t know I had cancer I could have had a very fun trip without necessarily shortening my lifespan too much.

I also don’t get to tour a sheep farm, buy wool right off the sheep, drag Brian around to all the local yarn stores as well as all the beautiful country, meet a hobbit, or find out what it’s like to drive on the opposite side of the road (legally).

Sigh.

13
May
08

May 13, 2008

What is with these Portland pedestrians?

Every day, every day, I drive downtown, people are crossing against the light. I admit, I do my share of crossing against the light, but I wait until cars that are going through a green light have passed, and there are no more coming. And yes, sometimes I will hit an intersection when the “don’t-walk” light starts flashing, but I speed up, even run, to get to the opposite side so as not to interfere with the cars that are going to get the green.

Is it just me, or do other drivers get pedestrians who start sauntering through the crosswalk just as the driver is going through the intersection? Is it just me, or do other drivers see people standing on a corner, staring at the walk/don’t-walk sign, and then start crossing as soon as the don’t-walk signal turns solid? Is it just me, or do other drivers seriously want to flip these people off, or run them over?

I’m all for questioning authority, and breaking rules when it isn’t going to affect someone else or get me hurt, but it seems like these people are going out of their way to be obnoxious to people they don’t even know. Is it a control thing, like, “See, you have to stop and wait for me because I’m the pedestrian, and I have the right of way, even if I’m doing something against the law”? Or is it solipsism? Or maybe they are just tired of living.

Hey, come on! Even anarchists can have common courtesy.




Post archive

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 33 other followers

Advertisements