- Elevator opens
- The people inside move out of my way like Moses parting the Red Sea.
- I smile, make eye contact (I most always do-if any of my new elevator mates are murderers they'll take pity on me).
- Door closes, begin our ascent/descent.
- Someone asks "oh, what's happened to your leg?".
- "Cancer" I add.
- Cricket-laden silence.
- Nervous twitching by those who are thinking "sh*t, get me out of here"
- "Uh....oh.....I'm so sorry." answers the nice lady (99% of the time the questioner is female)
- "No worries, I'm making it my bitch." (OK, I say some other disarming quote, but I AM going to do it one of these days."
- Chuckles. Visible expressions of relief by my new friends.
- One of the guys will give me a pat on the back and say "keep it up" or "good job". Seriously, it's happened.
Don't get me wrong, I have no animosity towards anyone who asks, appears uncomfortable, gives me an expression of pity, or visually shows any other awkwardness. It's really OK - I'm cool with it. I'm sure I've had the same reaction towards someone with an obvious disease or condition in my life. We all fall short, you know.
The reality of having a potentially (but not in MY case) terminal illness really is a great way to not sweat the little stuff - and your tolerance for awkward behavior or being offended goes WAY up. I'm generally happy for human interaction, with little expectations.
What's the moral of this posting? If you, a friend, or a loved one gets Cancer or another serious/terminal illness just go ahead and treat them like a normal human- it means a LOT to them, trust me. I now have a window into the 'other side' of the world, and have a new found appreciation for those who aren't part of the 'normal' crowd.
- Tomorrow is 'Make cancer my bitch Thursday' round #5. Should be done by 4 pm Mountain - send a good word to the man upstairs, or enlist your clubhouse to put in a good word on my behalf.