I know, your Aunt Sally died. I know, Uncle Henry lived for years with his cancer. I know, your friend Melinda was mis-diagnosed and had treatment she didn’t need. I know, I know, I know. Don’t tell me. I know all the scenarios and they play continually in my brain. I don’t need your help with that. It is already the elephant sitting in the living room of my thoughts.
Although well meaning, I couldn’t listen to all the stories people wanted to tell about their connection with cancer. I had watched the movies, seen the news and read the accounts. I had no space in my head for more stories. I just couldn’t listen. As people started on a scenario about the someone they knew, Jim or I just said, “You know, we’re living it right now. We’d rather not hear the stories.”
One of the good things about cancer is it gives you permission to take care of yourself and your needs. Sometimes you just have to be straight with people. If you don’t want to talk with someone, let them know. If you need to leave a function because you’re not feeling well or are tired, then leave. The amazing thing is that the people who care and count understand that this is about saving your life and not about hurting their feelings. It’s all about YOU right now.