Sunday, November 11, 2007
Today's episode focus' on the cashier at Wal-mart. It's pretty clear that I am being treated for cancer because I wear a kerchief instead of a hot and uncomfortable wig. I'm also weak and so I zoom through stores on one of those shopping carts that go fast enough I can wipe out several able-bodied people in one sweep.
As I was checking out at Wal-mart today, the cachier asked me "How are you doing?" Fair. "How are your treatments going?" (That's kind of personal but OK, I'll go along with it.) "3 down, 3 to go." The cashier then opens up about her family. "My mother died from lung cancer, and my sister had breast cancer and they treated her with radiation, which cooked her skin something awful and she suffered something terrible with it, but she got to live 2-1/2 years longer because of it. My other sister had two different kinds of cancer but she's in remission, but she has to go for chemo on a regular basis to keep it in control." I looked at her, and in a rare moment of candid nastiness said, "Thank you for making me listen to your family's depressing history today." She hastened to say, "It's not depressing!"
Like, it's not depressing because ....what, one sister is still alive....barely? If she felt she had to make some kind of testimonial, it would have been a kindness if it had been POSITIVE!!! Wouldn't it have been kind if she said something like, "My family is fighting cancer too. I wish you well." But the gory details of her sister cooking in radiation -- THAT was IMPORTANT for her to share with me this morning?????? WHAT ARE PEOPLE THINKING!!!!!! I know that somewhere deep in her heart, she THINKS she said something positive and was trying to be kind, but deep in my heart I think she's a stupid damn idiot that just FREAKS me out and gives me TOO MUCH INFORMATION about the 10 million things I can be afraid of in the future. Thanks for making my day!!!!!
How is one supposed to respond to people who do this? Because people do it all the time. This is the first time I've ever responded back in a crass way. But people tell me stupid, scary, depressing, and gory things about cancer all the time, like it's something I need to or want to hear. How much of a jerk do you need to be to do that??????
I don't understand. I just don't understand. I think I have to just see them as little meercats running around trying to survive and mouthing off with the IQ of a meercat. Jenny tells me a I need a "Bubble of Peace" to mentally hold around me for moments when a meercat comes close with unsolicited and inane comments. An angry part of me wants to make cards and hand them out saying, "Thank you for raising my anxiety levels about cancer. I'm sure because of you I'll live one less day. Thank you for being a stupid fuck!" But I probably won't.
Breathe........Bubble of Peace.....remember Shirley the mail lady. Remember all the cards in your basket by the bed. Remember all the dinners people have fixed. Remember the nice kid at Ingle's who just yesterday was kind. Remember the nice e-mails, calls and concern. Not everyone is a meercat. Many are angels aware and unaware, but I need to remember them when I stumble across a meercat.
Please don't be a meercat. As cute and harmless as they look, they have the IQ of a gnat and the self-awareness of a blood-sucking mosquito.