Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Reunions and what has shaped my life

It sneaks up on you. This year I have both significant year reunions for my college and high school. I am getting requests to attend both - which I probably will. Life has changed greatly for me since then - 30 and 35 years ago.

I am still in touch with just a few friends from high school. Some of them know about my life and health issues and some do not. I went back late for my sophomore year in college due to thyroid cancer treatment and it was a much smaller school so more knew about it. I am in touch with more college friends (they are the most interesting part of my Facebook feed)

So the question looms, when one goes to a reunion how to address health issues? I have a college friend who has a bad back. At the last reunion I attended she was fairly open about it and lay down on a pew during the chapel service to avoid back pain. I sympathized with her on that.

But what about other health issues? The hidden ones. I don't feel like telling everyone about cancer one and cancer two - never mind RA and fibromyalgia. But then they are the reason I am not attending the evening events on my college weekend or staying late at my high school dinner.

The shallow people in high school are still shallow. I reconnected with someone who was once one of my closest friends on Facebook. We talked about getting together but once I said 'breast cancer', the offer was dropped.

Then there are the people who hear the word cancer and either develop pity or suddenly spout well-intentioned, but unfounded, advice on what I should do. I am not up for either of those options. My choices are to keep my mouth shut when someone says what have you been doing for the past 30/35 years and stick a smile on my face. Or skipping the issues which have shaped me in recent years.

I am on the fence on how to handle these. Reunions are not meant to talk about the low lights, but the highlights. But sometimes the low lights dominate one's life.

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