Friday, July 5, 2013

Tellling the honest answer

So you run into to someone you know and haven't seen in a long time. They greet you and say 'how are you? You reply 'fine, and you?'. Or should you answer honestly? They say honesty is the best policy but if it makes someone stop in their tracks, fall over in shock, or run for the hills screaming, is that really the case?

I mean if I gave the honest answer to that question I could say 'well, after two cancer diagnoses, rheumatoid, fibromyalgia, and degenerating disks in my back, I'm feeling just fine'. I think that's a little too much information. Maybe I should stick with the high points, 'I have been happily married for eight years and we bought a house we like.'

Or there is always the ever so polite which reveals absolutely nothing, 'just fine, how are you?' But if they are/were a true friend, wouldn't you want to tell them a little more? But then you find out they weren't the friend you thought they were and you never hear from them again? Yes that happens, more frequently than you might think.

The same can be said of living the ups and downs post cancer. Your doctor always wants 'to be sure, because your more medical history, blah, blah, blah'. So you live from appointment to appointment waiting for those little magical moments where they say its not a cancer related thing. Sometimes there are little detours down the devious side paths of procedures and tests where you might 'feel a pinch' - both physically and emotionally.

So how much do you disclose to everyone? Do you tell everyone about each little test and 'medical adventure' so they can support you and help you through it? Or do you keep it quiet and wait until you know more. But then you may be hiding at home with your scanxiety and pretending everything is fine?

Its a fine line to negotiate. The well meaning people may be suffocating you with their good intentions. They call and ask how you are doing so you tell them fine even if its not so good. Just to avoid the suffocation. Or you think they might be heading for the hills and you don't want to push them away.

I feel like I often end up keeping everything quiet and pretending I am healthy as a horse.

Right now, I am just fine. I am getting over a cold that won't go away and I refuse to disclose any more.

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