Full disclosure, I have had a rough couple of weeks. Knocked out after my 12th chemotherapy session which caused me to be relatively useless as I slept most of the next two weeks and developed a grapefruit sized abscess in my ass...Can you imagine? Also, it burst making me feel like a humanoid slug as mucus, blood and god knows what flowed out of me in a seemingly endless slow flowing stream of horror. So you can understand why I have been feeling a bit low to say the least and when this happens words can do a lot of harm, even more so because the reserves are low. These words can come from a well meaning place or a thoughtless one, either way they can be harmful.
Example 1: “Of course you feel bad, you are putting poison in your body.” I actually hear this a LOT. If someone has decided to go the western medicine route they most likely know that chemotherapy is a mixed bag and do not need to be reminded of the toxicity of the therapy. A positive attitude is so important when you are dealing with this sort of thing and keeping one can be somewhat tenuous, so please, think twice before adding your 2 cents to a person who is just trying their best to get healthy.
Example 2: Me “I have stage 4 colorectal cancer”
Them: “Oh I am sorry”
Me: “I am not out yet. I could have this for years or it can go away. I am just going to do all the things that make sense to me. I am doing this without fear.”
Them: “Or you are just in denial.”
Example 3: phone rings, it is my surgeon “Hi Kara, this is Dr. Blank, how are you feeling?”
Me ”Kinda crappy.”
Dr. “Well yeah, your CT scan was pretty crappy.”
Me: “What?! My liver tumors shrank even more.”
Dr “Yeah, but you’re rectum is a mess.”
Just three examples but there are many more and I have to confess I just had surgery a few hours ago to deal with my abscess and I am quite altered on several opiates that are all the rage these days. I am super high but I have a blog post to write, the show must go on.
My point, THINK before you say something that may wound someone, especially if they are already in a compromised state. This doesn’t just have to be cancer related either, we all struggle.
I have said this before and I will probably say it again, be kind. If you can’t think of something to say that isn’t harmful, well don’t contribute to the conversation, it is that simple. This being said we can all be idiots, it doesn’t mean we are bad people it just means we have room for improvement.
Let’s keep improving together one step, one word at a time. All my love to you.