Posted 7/5/2020 9:23 AM (GMT -7)
I hope this observation doesn't come across as cynical, and that's certainly not my intention, but I believe it presents a valid, and I hope objective, point.
A point that arises out of remembering, as I was thinking about things yesterday, past Fourth of July family gatherings (there wasn't one this year, at least partially because of the local assembly ban) and conversational exchanges that happened at some of those gatherings.
I got the distinct impression when talking with relatives occasionally at those earlier events, that there was often a definite lack of communication and empathy when I discussed my cancer situation with them.
"How's the cancer going, Uncle Steve, I sure hope it's going better, say, the football team sure is doing great this year, isn't it?"
I certainly couldn't blame them for not understanding my PCa situation, as most of them were in perfect health, and I was genuinely glad for them that they were. But there was usually a certain awkwardness in the conversation, a disconnect, as they were all saying the "proper" things, with no true perception of my actual situation.
It was the very opposite of my talks at those gatherings with my cousin Marsha, a breast cancer survivor, who entirely understood, and could well empathize with, my accounts of radiation treatments, side effects, etc.
Again, no resentment toward the ones who had never gone down the cancer road, but perhaps I felt a bit of impatience, yes, that's the word, impatience, with their lack of understanding of my situation, or Marsha's.
But now, in a strange sort of way, the whole world, everyone, has been thrust into a situation where each one of us, even the healthiest, is now being forced to deal with the kinds of issues that WE have faced since PCa diagnosis.
Things such as
There's this thing now, which if I get, might possibly kill me
The odds are that it won't, but it's possible
And it could still make me very sick
I have to spend time thinking about this thing now, even if i don't want to
I have to do things now to try to prevent it, or to keep it under control
I don't know when this will be over, it could be around for years
There's no effective cure for this
If I get sick, I may have to be hospitalized, maybe even be unable to work for a while
There are people who have never had such thoughts in their loves until now, but now they do. And, again, it's not my intention to confront any of them with a kind of well-now-you-know-what-it's-like accusation, but understanding what it's like to be in another person's shoes in this manner is likely bringing to many a greater appreciation of what others deal with, especially when they have cancer.
it would certainly be one of the strange legacies of this pandemic, if this is so. But I think it would seem to be happening.