Wow, thank you CaptainAustrali! That's exactly what I needed to hear. Gives me a lot to think about in terms of how to get along in this weird time of uncertainty and pain. The parties I'm referring to are my girlfriend of five years and her nine-year-old daughter, both of whom I love very much (and they claim to love me). They live only seven miles away, but do not care to make the trip to see me, and when they do, it's constant nasty faces from the girl and the stamp of approval from the mother. And I listen to their ailments. If I mention anything about my cancer, I always get a response that undermines the experience. As such, I avoid mentioning anything about it. In the context of cancer she says things like, "If you die, only your body will perish. We are spirit," which I take as a platitute disguised as some kind of wisdom. So sure, might as well die then, and anyway, "Cancer is not a disease," she says (another empty phrase), and "You're fine, you're gonna be fine. I'm sure of it," which is the same thing she said before my colonoscopy, by the way, a colonoscopy that, four years ago, when I brought it up as something i would like to do, she ridiculed, saying that instead I should get my pulse checked such as they do in Eastern Medicine. I'm an impressionable guy, and I lost my determination to get the colonoscopy. She basically talked me out of it. But finally there was no other option, as I started bleeding. I think you're essentially right, CaptainAustrali, but I love them, and though they are not the only ones in my life, I feel most connected to them. I wish the feeling was reciporacal. I always thought I only needed someone to love, not to necessarily be loved in return, so it was okay if they didn't, but now, with the cancer, I'm finding that I really need to be loved too. I need tenderness and affection in as true a form as it can be given. So, like Willaim Faulkner who said, "Between grief and nothing, I'll take grief," I too will opt for grief, at least until I can get my shit together and be whole again. I've already done the neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and the surgery, but now am finding that adjuvant therapy is a whole lot worse. And I've only had one treatment so far. Compared with doing Folfox, taking Xeloda pills, which was my treatment during neoadjuvant, was like taking aspirin. I know it's gonna be rough. Thanks again for your detailed and thoughtful response.
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Thank you, Granny. I think you're mostly right. It's easy for them to minimize your condition because they don't like it either, and wish you were healthy still. Lets pretend like nothing is wrong. Anybody not undegoing treatment cannot understand. Don't think I'm paranoid, but there's a heightened sensitivity to insensitivity in others.
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They say they care, but they seem to have zero understanding about what you're going through. They do not give you consideration in terms of the painful struggle you find yourself in. You're going to be fine, they say, and accuse you of wanting special attention, even when you ask nothing of them other than that they allow you to cook them dinner and entertain them with your last remaining shreds of energy. It's like, because you have cancer, you become despicable in their eyes, and a whipping post, a thing to scowl at hatefully. Wish I knew how to cope with this.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.