Un pc thoughts

MicheleR Member Posts: 343
edited October 2020 in Day to day
So im writing this just to get it out. I dont really expect a solution. Apologise in advance if the un pc nature of this is not nice. I am getting a counsellor soon. 

Ive been aware all along that im somehow responsible for how others feel about my cancer but lately I've felt something doesn't quite work for me and I'm struggling to find any way to express it without crossing some taboo. 

I get the impression im supposed to be selfless but the way people behave is not without consequences to me. In short .. here comes the un pc part, some people are emotionally retarded. 

I have barely seen my brother since my diagnosis 3 months ago. Last year when he ruptured his Achilles and had 6 weeks off work I visited him 4 or 5 times despite being busy myself. I listened ( with my medical phobias) to his descriptions of what happened when he took the boot off. I know that he cares but somewhere outside of my understanding about his discomfort im a bit hurt that he can't move through it and make some effort. I saw him yesterday at my mums bday lunch and despite barely speaking to me at the end he said its good to see you. I thought really? At what point will it register that he could have helped me in some small way?

I had coffee with a more self aware person yesterday and she confessed that she was afraid I might look unhealthy. She said my eyes were bright and I looked good. I do not look good. I had made an effort and wore make-up a nice dress. I thought I looked alright. Photos after told me im deluded.

My hubby said as I was getting ready for coffee " so you will dress up for her but not me". On the weekend he asked if I could wear my scarf differently. I said I wasn't born with the knowledge of how to tie scarfs and I was struggling with my appearance. My hubby has always praised me for not wearing a lot of make-up. Do I have to wear make-up at home now to make him feel better? This is not something that requires an answer.

My sister was having a rough day. We chatted. At the end she said but its trivial in comparison to what you are dealing with I shouldn't complain. I said of course you should. Just because im unwell doesn't mean your life is less trivial. How many people are shutting me out of their life because I have cancer and their world is too trivial now? How many people are avoiding me because I look unwell?

These are difficult things. Sometimes I want things to be the same but sometimes I want some acknowledgement. I want people to understand a bit without all the social expectations. I dont want to have to protect people all the time and be understanding. 


  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 343
    I guess everyone is on their own journey. Maybe we are somewhat enlightened. I dont wish to cut people out who care but are not coping but ultimately you cant have a one-sided relationship. I suppose im pleased my relationships are where I thought. My parents, my son, mostly my hubby, my sister have been important. Some work mates have really stepped up. Maybe it is a bit easier without the more intimate relations. I dont want to make people uncomfortable but its a bit much to have to alter myself to avoid their discomfit. 
  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 343
    edited October 2020
    Hi @ddon, yes that's not right. Im also not uncomfortable about others seeing my lack of a boob.  Today I went and got a bra/pump up prosthetic simply so I can comfortably wear my dangle necklaces (I had rhs mastectomy only). I am concerned about maintaining my relationship with spouse but this is my new normal and he might just have to adapt. I do understand that the whole bald, Port, boobless and weight gain might be confronting but im more than my physical appearance. 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,328
    News to me that naturally flat chested women make others uncomfortable! Sometimes I think people just blurt out things, meaning to be supportive. All you can do is laugh! 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,808
    @MicheleR - "men !"  That is all I will say about the majority of them.  Friends ?  So many are afraid that they will catch it from you !
    @ddon - you go flat chested if you feel OK, stuff what others think you should do.  As you say, you are far more than a set of boobs so that can still like you or go on their way.
    My 'best' friend supported me during my saga - she came to the hospital and stayed 1/2 an hour - yep, that was her 'support'.  She has the head in the sand and everything is "too much information".  Yes, we are still friends and I do manage to laugh at her attitude.  I do feel sorry for her, though.
    People are all different and as @Afraser says, people blurt out things without putting their brain into gear first.  I sometimes think it is a bit of fear factor for them and they just don't know how to just be your friend as they've always been.  Your soul has not changed, just your body (and perhaps mindset for the moment).
    Be strong.  Be positive.  Be proud.   We are all alive to tell our story.

  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 343
    I know someone at work but we are only known to each other through breast cancer. She is great and we exchange emails. I work in a mainly male dominated workplace. They have been great.
  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 343
    Hi @cath62

    I dont know how to talk to anyone i know about this. I dont want to offend them and im truly grateful for any of the interactions i have with those people who are struggling. For me this is a long path and for them once the shock has worn off maybe im just someone who has not much to talk about but my treatments and its depressing. I want them to share their lives so im not just stuck in the cancer bubble. 

    Today I feel like people can't keep up momentum. I drove myself to chemo. I made dinner at 9.00 am ready in case I couldn't do it tonight. I am responsible for me. I accept that others aren't having this experience in the same way. Im just going to get on with it and not expect much.