Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Strange things

People say some pretty strange things to me. Lately, as I've been talking to people about going through radiation, and complaining a bit about it, I've received this comment more than once: "well, it's better than the alternative."

Meaning...what? It's better than being dead? It's better than chemotherapy? It's better than having both your breasts cut off? Yes, I guess radiation is "better" than those things. But I'd rather not have cancer at all, thank you very much. And I'd rather not be reminded of it every day. And I'd rather not have ANY treatment, no matter how innocuous.

Even my oncologist, when I was wondering aloud about some of the possibly yucky side effects of the hormone-suppressing medications, said: "well, it's better than chemo."

So I guess if you have cancer, you aren't supposed to complain too much. Good to know. And if you are actually having something terrible done to you, people will respond that it's not as bad as something else. Either to make themselves feel better, or to try to make you feel better.



Starchilde7 said...

Having cancer has got to be an incredibly scary and awful thing. You go ahead and complain all you want!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Wow, for a second I was scared that I left that comment, then I realized why it sounded so familiar.

A few days ago, I emailed a friend about birthdays and I quoted my dad, who always says "Getting a year older is better than the alternative!"

Getting back to cancer, and the stupid things people say.... well, they really do say some stupid things!

Some things they say because they think it will make you feel better. Some things they say to make themselves feel better.

Most things they say because the don't know what to say and did not stop to think before shooting out the first thing that popped into their heads.

Yeah, I would rather not have cancer too. But, since I do, and will for a while, I try to be forgiving of all the well meaning people who just say the dumbest things!

Somewhere on my group blog, Mothers with Cancer, there is a post by one of the moms about how she answered someone's stupid comment. It was an excellent post about maintaining one's grace and composure when confronted by a well intentioned (I hope), but insensitive person.

OK,despite the late hour (2:28 -- I really should be in bed!), I did a quick search (ok, several quick searches) and found the post (about being a survivor) for you.

I hope you find it as meaningful as I did.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. Wouldn't it be nice if just once someone said, "Cancer totally sucks. Tell me about it." Maybe I'll try it right now. It sucks that you have cancer, and I'm sorry. Complain away. There's just nothing good about it. I hope the radiation blasts it into oblivion.