Sometimes I feel so bitter about people who show an outpouring of emotion in relation to my cancer journey.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the well wishers and nice thoughts and comments from everyone… but what bothers me is the people who get so distressed, crying any carrying on, because they are so sorry for what I have to go through. BUT these are the people who generally don’t talk to me, don’t know what my daily life is like, and they really have no clue what my cancer life is like.
I don’t understand how they can be so overly emotional about something they don’t know about. I suppose these are the same people who cry over celebrity drama. They have no idea what that person is actually feeling, they don’t even KNOW that person… how can they have such a personally emotional reaction to a stranger’s life?
It also makes me bitter because you don’t see these people very often, you know distant family that you might see once a year. It’s not because they live across the country, its not because they don’t have your email, phone number or are unable to obtain these… its because you are not a part of their daily life, and that’s nothing out of the ordinary.
I am not bitter about not being a part of their lives… its just the way it is. Not that I refuse to be part of their lives, its just how it has happened. (I am sure there are so many reasons that we could pick at, but they don’t really matter, and that’s not what this blog post is about).
Now, these family members, when you see them at a reunion, wedding, funeral, etc see that I am still sick, and gush about how sorry they are, they are so sad for me, they cry whenever they think about how much I have to go through… blah, blah, blah!
Well, excuse me for not believing your sincerity… In my opinion, if you really did care, you might call, you might email, on a regular day… just to say “hi, how are you”… you know what… THAT simple action makes me realize that ‘hey, they do know I exist!’ I really appreciate acknowledgment when I’m not in suffering mode…
Then these people, along with their crying and gushing will almost always say “If there’s anything I can do for you… ” WELL, yea, you know what? Call me! Ask how I’m doing! Send me and email! THAT is what you can do for me! Let me know that you actually care! not that you only care when I’m right in front of you.
I am a fairly independent person, so I do things on my own, even when I’m sick. I walk my dog, even when I feel like shit; I clean the cat litter, even when I feel like shit; I do my laundry & dishes & cook, even when I feel like shit. These are things I could even get a volunteer to come in to help with, because of my health & financial situation, I qualify for these… but I do these things myself. So, I don’t need family to offer to help (they can’t actually come and help anyway — and I’m sure they wouldn’t even if I lived 2 blocks away)… but the offer of an occasional phone call or email to see how I’m doing would be GREATLY appreciated!
I have more online friends who know me and my journey than I have real life friends and family who know what I’m going through… that is sad.
There are people across the USA, who I will NEVER meet, who I only know as a little thumbnail picture, who I feel more support from.