The "look". I feel like I've got a big 'ol "C" stamped on my forehead now.
I have, TWO times, in the past week, saw someone I knew in a public place and purposely slinked away and pretended I didn't see them because I don't like making people feel awkward. I need to stop doing this. Let's face it, people who know me will be thinking about and asking about my health for the. rest. of. my. life. And I can't run away, or stand there awkwardly fumbling for words anymore.
I know that the "look" means people care. And I've seen this "look" very frequently lately, because I've happened to hang out recently with a lot of friends who I haven't seen since I was a normal healthy person. I'm not upset, or mad at anyone about anything. I just hate making people uncomfortable. And people, in general, are uncomfortable with cancer.
I see a mixture of reactions from people. Without fail, saying "you look good", and followed by one or more of the following -
1. Silent, avoiding asking questions of any kind about any topic
2. Pretending nothing is different, but can't disguise the "look"
3. Huggy, lovely, showering me with good wishes and gestures
4. Asking pointed questions, usually accompanied with apologies for being so forward
Any and all of these reactions are completely acceptable. I used to a be a cancer-free person myself with NO IDEA how to treat someone with or caring for a person with cancer. I just hate, hate, hate creating an awkward situation. I've always been a little (or a lot) socially awkward anyway. I've always been overly sensitive to making people comfortable, and yet on the flip-side, completely unskilled at doing that very thing.
Its not a huge deal. I just feel ashamed with myself when I end up hiding from someone I know at the grocery store. One of my least favorite side effects.
In other news, I came across an awesome website.
Great articles about health & wellness in general. I read this one recently.
5 easy things you need to do today to dramatically lower your cancer risk
This quote resonated with me, because its how I often feel:
"Cancer has become an increasingly overwhelming and confusing subject. Not only for everyday people, but also practitioners in the healthcare field. There are studies coming out left and right about protecting yourself from the dangers of “X, Y and Z,” so much so that it makes you wonder if you should order a Hazmat suit and just sit in a padded room to protect yourself."
Hazmat suit. Where can I get one of those?