What's your policy?
by Shafeenaaz on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 11:54pm
The moment I found out I had cancer, I started SAYING I had cancer. To myself to start with. I did say it out loud in the confines of my bedroom a few times...just to get used to the idea. See, I am the first in the family to have cancer. Genetically, we tend to favour diabetes, heart diseases, fibroids, back pains, eye problems and such stuff in the family. It's become bread and butter stuff for us. But cancer? That was new to me and mine.
So yes, the Ca word took some adjusting to. Now, it never occured to me to present my disease as anything else other than what it is. Neither the type, stage or even the location of it is a mystery to most of my folks. I am just generous that way....with naked truth.
But as soon as I started informing people, I sensed unease in some quarters....which to this day manifests itself randomly in conversations.
It's quite subtle. I am sometimes gently advised not to mention it unless specific questions are asked, or to gloss over certain details if the questioning gets too gruelling or to plainly avoid certain people so that the opportunity of it coming up in conversations is evaded altogether! Kind of a.... don't ask, don't tell policy.
I am fine by all this. I shrugged off the advice. And decide to decide on the spot what answer to give to any specific question and the questioner. The people in my circle know me well. Hence, noone has come close to suggesting that I give a precrafted answer that would go against the truth.
I've hidden many things over time. I still hide many things. My cupboard is full of old (and stinky) skeletons :) I like it this way with the skeletons that are there. But this skeleton is not staying in the cupboard. The entire world is welcome to feast their eyes on this one :)
Funnily enough, I understand that some people feel uncomfortable about others knowing that they or their loved ones have cancer. This disease is not pleasant on the surface and its innings can be uglier.
So here's the deal. I'll politely listen to your advice and your perspective on MY Ca. I don't promise to abide by any of it but in return, I promise not to insist that you choose my policy on this subject.
To each one his own. Democracy at its best here!