I am not secretive about having cancer, nor about the fact that I will always have cancer.
Yet so many people are surprised that I "still have cancer."
I don't get it.
What did they think I meant, when I said "I will always have cancer"?
Is "always" finite? Did "forever" end?
People believe what they want to believe. They see the way I look; they see the way I act, and they draw their own conclusions.
They ask how I am doing, and I answer honestly, "I am doing well." Often, I include that I am tired. But most of the time I am fine, and I say so.
That is all most people want to hear. That is all they want to know.
If I was not feeling fine, I would not be out and about. I would be home, maybe even in bed; you would not see me.
People who really want to know how I am doing, check my blog. Or, they ask me specific questions regarding my current treatments.
Most people do not really want to know.
That is OK.
The cognitive dissonence helps my children (and me) maintain an illusion of normalcy. It is not such a big deal to have a mother who "had cancer."
My kids don't have patience for all the well-meaning adults who ask them in an overly compasionate way "mah shlom Ima?" (How is your mother doing?) They wonder why these people do not just ask me themselves, if they really want to know.
Thank God, my kids are polite. So, like me, when asked how I am doing, they tell the truth: I am tired, but I am fine.
Read into that what you will.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,