Others reaction to my cancer.  

It’s the reaction of others that really gets me. It’s like you have an infectious disease sometimes; people avoid you in the shops, they don’t call as often as they once did and and they don’t know what to say when they do.

A friend of mine has a son on the spectrum and he asked her if I was a walking corpse! I mean, some days I feel it, but I wouldn’t go that far ha!  

One thing you can’t prepare for with metastatic breast cancer is the reaction of others. At first, I took it personally. But you must remember that people’s reactions are all about them and their personal experiences with cancer. It’s always going to be very personal, but to them, not to you.

Everyone knows someone who has died from cancer and that’s their first thought… she’s going to die; how can we possibly make small talk over buying bread? Seeing people’s side eye, you and put their head down, those friends for years not checking in as much… It’s all because of the emotions that they are dealing with about your cancer and how it affects them or has affected them. It’s not personal to you. It bloody feels like it I know, but it’s not.  

My husband left me 6 months after my second mastectomy and just over a year before my metastatic diagnosis. Hell, fire I took that personally. I was angry, and it really shook my self-esteem. He closed his emotions during my primary cancer and decided the best way to deal with it was to shut me out. The only thing was, he took someone else in. I took my eye off him to concentrate on me and he went, getting attention elsewhere. Yes, it’s selfish and egotistical and was a seriously low blow, but do you know what? It wasn’t personal. That’s how he chose to deal with it, and I know I am not alone in not just losing my health to cancer, it also took my husband. Apparently, this can happen (who knew!). This is just another example of how subjective a diagnosis of cancer can be to a loved one, a friend or an acquaintance. There was little support for either of us at the time because of COVID and I often wonder if he’d have spoken to someone, if he’d have had that affair. But do you know what… I must remember that it wasn’t personal, you must remember this when dealing with others about your diagnosis. Everyone deals with things differently and will treat you differently. It’s not personal.

So, I shall continue to be the walking corpse, but I now find comfort in knowing that I can’t control the reactions of others to my cancer, so I am not even going to try.

My journey is personal to me, their reaction is not. Remember the clear distinction between the two. 💜