Subtitle: What I need from my friends and other people
Sub-sub-title: or am I just a stroppy independent b***h?
This post has come about due to discussions I have had with various friends and aquaintances. As I’ve said in previous posts, I dont like pity or sympathy and think true empathy of my situation only comes from tuning in to how I feel and how I want people to react to me. I found this quote which sums it up for me
We recognize others as empathic when we feel that they have accurately acted on or somehow acknowledged in stated or unstated fashion our values or motivations, our knowledge, and our skills or competence, but especially as they appear to recognize the significance of our actions in a manner that we can tolerate their being recognized – Wynn Schwartz:
I need people to recognise that I will be talking a lot to my closer friends and family about my hopes and fears. I am still getting my head around the whole ‘metastatic cancer’ scenario and what it means for me and I will talk to help me process this. It does not mean I need anyone to try and jump in and fix it. Just let me talk and process.
Maybe I’m selfish but I can’t handle well meaning hands on my arms saying ‘”how are you?” in ‘that’ concerned tone of voice. I also dont know how to respond to “but you are looking great” – that one I think is getting to OH as well. We bumped into a workmate of his who said it and OH’s reply was “yeah, apart from the tumour growing inside her”
My emotions are going all over the place sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes nervous and sometimes annoyed. I have less patience with percieved ineptitude, or people who aren’t being sincere or people who express overt pity and sympathy. If they were truly empathetic they would pick up that I really hate that. I am getting angry easier. I know this will calm down to a certain extent once I’ve got my head round the situation more, but I can’t guarantee not to bite someone’s head off in the meantime.
I don’t need people to tell me to go try alternative therapies instead of starting on this next chemo regime, which a stranger did the other day.
I need my friends and family to just be my friends and family, allowing for my mood swings and wanting to spend time with me. I want to just have fun spending time with people and not make it all cancer, all the time.
Most of my class mates at Uni have picked up on the fact that my health has got worse and most of them are judging correctly how I want them to react. That I need Uni to be a ‘normal’ place for me. Somewhere I am not a cancer patient.
If I continue down this metastatic track there will come a time when the family and myself may need a lot more ‘hands on’ help but we dont need that right now. Its part of me needing to feel as independant as possible.
On the whole people think I am a fairly positive person and that is how I think of myself too. With metastatic cancer you have a choice – either carry on living your life to the best of your ability around the strictures that treatment may put on you, or curl up in a corner and wait to die. I know which one Im choosing.
Thanks to all my family and friends who understand me. I’ll try not to be too much of a stroppy b***h