I know I shouldn't complain, but after 10 months (OMG!) of illness, it is really starting to piss me off when people ask how I am but aren't content with a short response, i.e. once on the subject, they won't get off it again. Don't get me wrong - I know it's because people care and are interested, and that is wonderful. I do want people to ask how I am, and sometimes I want to talk about the whole illness thing, but there are times when I've forgotten about it for a short (and blessed) while - times when I just want to say, "Well, I've been better," and leave it at that. I don't want to think about the next appointment with the oncologist, or when the next scan will be, let alone what happens after that!
You see this living with cancer business is just so challenging. When I've been too ill to do anything, too ill to think straight, I've just been getting through the hours/days/weeks, but in the last week I've started picking up again. I have such a long way to go, but can now go to the supermarket, or do a bit of cleaning. It's a long and lonely day when you're ill - the rest of the world are living their lives, going to work, going out and about etc. I am stuck in all day and might not speak to another person (apart from my mum and dad!) from 8.30 am till 3.30 pm. It is depressing, especially when you're well enough to want to do thing and go places, but not well enough to actually do anything about it. So the upshot of it is, when the phone rings, or someone visits, I don't want to focus on this horrible thing I'm having to live with. I don't want to face the reality of my current situation, because I do enough of that when I'm alone for long stretches of time - it's sometimes difficult to focus on anything else as every thought of 'the future' begs the question, "How long is my future likely to be?"
So do ask sick people how they are. Do listen if they want to talk about it. But please remember that they might not have the4 answers to questions like, "So what happens next?", or might not want to face it at that moment (and why waste good company talking about cancer/doctors/treatments/bowel function/etc.?). I mean, I'd like to hear about how you are too!
Oh dear. I do hope I haven't upset anyone with my little rant! Please don't stop asking me how I am!
The amount of people who read this post, and rang me saying, "I won't ask how you are..."!!! I should try to be clearer, obviously. It isn't the asking how are you, but the going beyond the call of reasonable duty. It's the incessant digging for yet more information that I just don't have - and the unspoken, well are you going to live then, or what? question that sidles in alongside interrogations that would put the Spanish inquisition to shame.
I didn't mean to put anyone out, and the funniest thing of all, is that the people who have wound me up so don't even read my blog! It's people who should know better, who should've spoken to my parents and found out that way, the ins and outs of the cat's backside that is my current state of health. Those who read my blog know that I tell you what I know already, that I write it down so that I don't have to go over it again and again like endless re-runs on UK Gold!
I'm preaching to converted here and I thank you all for letting me have my little rants!