Friday, June 19, 2009

Hey, it's me

Near the end of my VAD treatment I had an interesting experience in a shopping mall.
We had received my latest test results after the third cycle of VAD. Results were positive, IgG was dropping, and I was feeling healthier, less bone pain, so to celebrate we went to the shopping mall for a coffee. One thing I always try to do; celebrate success
As we were about to leave we met acquaintances of Myra, an older couple. A conversation took place as if I did not exist. I was ignored, the invisible man, being talked around. Sid was “he or him” cancer was “it”. They had a problem, probably a generation thing, unable to face a person with cancer. That C word again.
“Hey it’s me, I’m here, look at me” I said. Eye contact was still avoided.
Stuff them, that’s their hang up.
All I ask is stand by me, stand next to me and treat me as normal. My physical appearance may have changed during treatment, yes I do have cancer but I am living with cancer not dying from cancer. I am still me. I need your support.
It was with great restraint that I avoided giving them a single digit salute. (My mum taught me to respect older people).
What I did learn was involve myself in conversation more. From the beginning make eye contact, smile and ask if they want to listen.

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