My last post was picked up by the “Is My Cancer Different?” web site and it was promoted and tweeted like crazy. I had a huge spike in readers that day, and even more comments on the IMCD Facebook page. I got lots and lots of “LIKES” which was no surprise in my mind. After all, what’s not to like about me or any of the words of wisdom I have to share, right? And the comments were like little feathers in a cap that needed to grow over my rapidly swelling head. But of course the comment that had the most impact was the ONE negative one. Why do we have to be like that? OK, why do I have to be like that? Why do I focus on the minuscule dark cloud in a bright blue sky of marshmallowy billows? I think the simple answer is because I’m human! And the funniest part of all is that as I’m obsessing over the negative, I’m being nailed for being too happy…or positive. So which came first, the happy chicken or the unhappy egg?
The following quote is the ONE negative comment that was a response to my blog post. I just copied and pasted it, so mentally add your own punctuation:
I GUESS I’M SICK OF ALL THE HAPPY PEOPLE WITH CANCER AREN’T THERE ANY THAT ARE DIEING? I AM I AM NOT HAPPY. MOST PEOPLE GET IT BACK SO ENJOY YOU FUN NOW
I’m not going to try to shrink this person, although the armchair psychiatrist in me is chomping at the bit! I’m not even going to use my amazing psychic abilities to determine if this person is the patient or the caregiver. I’m just going to take this comment at face value, and try to dissect it to figure out why it’s got my panties in a wad!
I GUESS I’M SICK OF ALL THE HAPPY PEOPLE – I’m with you there. When I’m in a mood, be it depressed, irate or any variation thereof, I’m sick of all the happy people too. I get that way sometimes…hell, I’m like that now because of one little comment. So who doesn’t? Maybe the Dali Lama…I’ve never seen a photo of him where he isn’t smiling. But I have to tell you, even though he is revered as a holy man, that continual smile makes me wonder if he’s got a press corps formulating all his wisdom, and he’s really just a freakin’ happy idiot in an orange dress! And if that’s the case, he’s probably not wearing underpants. So revere that!
I’ve picked up some good lessons during this party we know as life. And one of them is that if you don’t choose to be happy MORE than unhappy, your life…no matter what it’s like or how long it is, is going to suck the big one! If you’ve ever cried at a wedding (happy time) or laughed at a funeral (sad time) then you know that it’s all about feelings. And we can control our feelings. That’s how we stop crying over a broken heart, refrain from shooting during road rage and refuse to stay in a dark room with the covers over our head when we get bad news. Bottom line…at times I’ve had a sucky life and at times I’ve had a happy life. Happy is better. Hint-hint: It’s all the same life, so how did it get happy? Choice. Right now, I’m choosing to write about being unhappy so I can flush it out of my system and be happy again. My blog is Ex-Lax for my soul. We all need to find our mood softener!
PEOPLE WITH CANCER AREN’T THERE ANY THAT ARE DIEING? I’m sure this will seem obvious but we’re ALL dying. That’s the nature of living. At any time, anyone can bite the dust. You don’t have to have a disease, or bad genes, or bad driving skills, or bad judgement. Hell, space crap is starting to fall from the sky. Sinkholes are appearing after rainstorms in places other than Florida. You could walk into a 7-11 at any time for a gallon of milk and get shot in the head. So we’re all possibly staring down the barrell of death every day…most of us just don’t know it. And yeah, people with cancer are dying, but so are overly fat people, AIDS patients, stupid people who try to jump off hotel balconies into the pool and athletic, rich, explorers who can afford Sherpas and whose hobbies include scaling Mt. Everest. You just can’t protect yourself from everything that COULD happen!
If we all worried about dying, then we wouldn’t do half of the things that humans do…and there would be no Yahoo! News. So try not to worry so much about dying. This might be hard to take, but I’m going to tell you something important. If you’re always focused on dying, people don’t want to be around you. You’re a buzz kill. Personally, I’d rather die than be a buzz kill! I have a friend who is 82 years old. She’s been focused on her bad health, specifically on dying, since she was 60. She’s still here, and she’s a royal pain in the ass. I try to spend time with her, but it’s so depressing that I have to rush home for a cocktail afterwards. She’s lonely, she’s miserable, she’s pushed away all her friends. And yes, she’s dying…but she ain’t dead yet, so what a waste of 22 years!
I AM NOT HAPPY Yeah, we got that. I’ve got three words for you…Choice…buzz…kill. Re-read above.
MOST PEOPLE GET IT BACK Here we are. This was the one that kept me up for the last few nights. Little story.
The first time Steven went through chemo and radiation in 2004, he spent almost the entire year being sick, sick, sick. When he finally started getting his strength back, getting a few pounds back and getting his hair back, we had the best doctor’s visit ever. Dr. Sprawls said, “Your tests and scans are all back. You’re good. There’s no cancer in your body. Go home and enjoy your life.” I was elated. Steven was ecstatic. We were both floating on air. WE MADE IT! Steven went back to the chemo room to share the good news with the nurses who had taken such good care of him. I went up to the check-out desk to get our 6 month check-up appointment. The woman there, who I had grown to like after seeing her weekly for almost a year, stared at me when I told her the news. And she replied, “It always comes back.” My euphoria had lasted less than 2 minutes and someone was pissing on my dream. I never told Steven that story until just recently. He didn’t need to hear it. I didn’t need to hear it. You never need to say it. It’s a given. Everybody knows. Don’t say it again. EVER. And by the way, I forgive you. You’re not happy. You sound mad. You’re allowed to feel all those things. Just don’t ever say those words again. Seriously…I’ll hunt you down…
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