Posted 8/17/2017 7:30 AM (GMT -7)
While shopping in my local Walmart store the other day, I happened to notice a woman about my age standing in the aisle I was in, as I was looking over some merchandise. I kept looking at her, and she seemed so very familiar to me, somehow, like I knew, or had known her before, perhaps when we were both much younger.
I studied her face for a minute or two, and then it hit me. This was Rita, my good friend from the days when we were both students at the University of Florida, a good fifty years ago! We were both much older now of course, but for sure it was her! I recognized her!
She must have been going through the same mental process as well, because a few seconds after I realized it was her, she smiled a big smile, and came over, offering a handshake, and said "Steve, how nice to see you! How are you?" And I replied "Yes, it certainly has been a long time, hasn't it, Rita?"
So of course we chatted there in the middle of the aisle for several minutes, she telling me that she was in town only for a short visit, and she told me about her life over the years, her husband, children, career, etc, and me doing the same for her, a time for "catching up" for the two of us. Then, after a while, we wished each other well, and we both moved on to continue our shopping.
Then, as I was moving along in the store, tending to my purchases, it occurred to me that I had not brought up or said anything about the PCa as I was recounting some of the noteworthy points of my life to her. I would have had no problem bringing it up, and we actually did discuss briefly, but only generally, our respective health situations, especially in view of our common age. But from the way the conversation was going, pretty upbeat really, maybe it just didn't seem like something I felt needed mentioning. There were other, more positive things that we were talking to each other about.
So what would you have done? Remember, we're not talking about relatives, coworkers, bosses, long-time friends, and such, people steadily in our lives, but people like my friend Rita, people from the past, that you just happen to run into in a store every now and then, and are unlikely to be seeing again any time soon, if ever.
With that sort of person, someone from the past that you once knew, one could, I suppose, go into any amount of detail about such a health issue, since it would seem rather unlikely that that person, remotely from your past, and unlikely to be seeing you or anyone you know again, would then be on a position to pass on this information to anyone you know now.
There are also a number of places where a similar scenario might occur. Perhaps you are on a plane ride, and the fellow passenger seated next to you is chatty, and the subject of health comes up. Since you will likely never see this person again following departure from the plane, and this person is most unlikely to ever share any information with anyone you know, would you be interested in talking about the cancer with him or her, even going into detail?
If it's that kind of person, would you be willing to talk about your PCa history openly with them, or would you still prefer to keep it to yourself?