My cancer has become “the Elephant in the Room,” the topic that is not discussed although everyone knows it’s there. We had some family members over recently to play some games and just chat. My illness, probably the reason that they were invited and the reason that they came, was never discussed, hinted at, or even mentioned in passing.
Sure everyone was concerned about how I was feeling but that was the extent of the conversation. I guess people make the assumption that talk about my disease is uncomfortable, either for them or for me. Perhaps they expect me to initiate the discussion. I’m not sure how to handle these situations — and I am sure that this pattern will be repeated many times in the next months or years.
I want people to know that I don’t mind discussing my cancer and all its implications. After all, isn’t that what I am doing here on my website? Lee says that maybe I should begin talking about it and drop it if people seem uncomfortable, or continue if they seem interested.
Sometimes I feel that a disease like mine is the universal “damper.” It depresses people and becomes the “dark cloud” which ruins a potentially fun evening. Unfortunately I want to know how everyone feels about my cancer. I am looking for feedback. I want my experience with cancer to help others deal with the disease in the future. I would like people to learn first-hand that they should hug and kiss their friends and family as if it was their last day on Earth. I want to teach people to open their hearts and minds and to cherish their time on the planet. I just have to figure out how to engage “the Elephant in the Room.”