Unless you are close to me, here are a list of things that are off the table for conversation.
1. My “healthy” appearance. Yes – I get it – you thought that all cancer patients on chemo end up looking like a clothes hanger. Well newsflash – steriods cause water retention. With chemo comes steriods. Everyone reacts differently, however it is very common to swell up from them. No one would ever say to someone they barely see, “Oh wow, you have put on a few.” So please refrain from using the word “healthy” around me. I know what you are implying.
2. My experience with chemo. Sometimes I receive the question, “Well other than all the regular symtoms that come with chemo.. blah blah blah.. how else has it affected you?” Are you serious? Do you even understand how invasive this question is? First of all, all of the “blah blah blah” parts about the chemo suck. Nausea, hair loss, cold sweats, etc – are not a “blah blah blah”. Second of all – you barely know me. Why would I go into details about how it has most likely burned away all of my eggs – so a baby is off the table. Go fuck yourself.
3. How much my insurance company pays me to be on disability. Money should never be discussed. Stop asking.
4. What my sex life is now like. Seriously?
5. How I am even able to smile after everything I have been through. Well I am alive, so that’s a positive.
6. Did I lose my hair everywhere *wink*. Yes – It is weird to not have nose hair.
7. It must be amazing to not have to worry about fixing up your hair everyday. True – however I would still choose hair over no hair. And how do you know that I am not crying every night because I hate my buzz cut. (I’m not by the way – no need to be concerned.) The point is – you don’t know. I may smile in public but cry in private.
8. If I have lost friends because of this whole thing. The simple answer is – yes. However again, why do you need to remind me of the shit.
9. How I am doing (with the low tone and sad face). Fine. I will always say “fine” to you. No one really wants to hear my day in and day out struggles – just like I don’t want to hear about theirs.
10. My surgeries. They haunt me. I had terrible experiences in the hospital. Do not make me think about those images while I am eating.
The only exception to this rule is if you yourself are about to go through something similar. Then I know you are just asking for your own personal knowledge. If that’s the case, I am more than happy to go into detail about anything you wish to have answered.