We all get asked it. It’s not that it’s a rude question, but often we don’t know how to answer it. You, even a healthy non-cancerous person, is asked it every day too.
“How are you?” someone asks.
Most people give out the general “Good. We’re good” line avoiding deep details about your inner world.
Some say, “I’m OK.”
Some say, “Ehh…I’ve had better days.”
But the question is asked, and an answer is given.
The problem with answering this question when anyone is going through a tough time (cancer/health-wise or not), is you don’t know how much to divulge. Ultimately, it’s your choice (the one being asked), but when you’re asked it over and over again, you don’t want people thinking you’re fan-freaking-tastic if you’re miserable. At least I don’t.
Perhaps because I’m not one to mask myself or my relationships or my life to make things “appear well” on the outside. So many people on Facebook and social media (you know them and I do) like to post pictures about how grateful they are to have the most amazing spouse when you know they cuss each other out behind these “posed” photos, call each other names, and even cheat on each other.
The sad thing is they aren’t fooling anyone, but themselves.
I brag on Klay. Yes, I’m the first to admit. But boy, does he deserve it! But I don’t share things about how awesome he is to make others jealous or envious of our relationship. He can be a complete douche or ass bag just as much as the next guy. And, I’m the same. I have these insane mood swings sometimes that are off the charts and Klay has to deal with it. I can be a bitch. I can be mean. I can piss people off. I get frustrated, annoyed, and small things can set me off. I’m an EFFING human. That’s what we do.
So, when people ask me, “how are you feeling?” or “how are you doing?” I feel like answering with a “Good.” or “Ok.” isn’t being truthful. Not that I want to sit there and have a 3-hour therapy session with you about what all is wrong in the world and my life, but people seem to interpret that as “that’s great! You’re on the up and up and moving forward aka getting better.”
Too many people take it literally and think I’m fine.
Life moves on. Well, it does for them. For me, not so much.
For me, while I’m listening to you talk, I’m touching my shoulder to try to keep the pain at bay or searching around the room for somewhere to sit, or examining the room for the nearest bathroom in case things start to get shitty all of a sudden. And while you’re still talking or asking questions, I’m trying to keep my left eye from closing, which may look like I’m falling asleep, or I’m disinterested but I’m not.
My eye is just effed up.
The sad truth is by the time I made it to the event I’m attending, I’m worn out, tired, can hardly see, feel shitty about myself and the way I look and feel, so answering what seems like a simple question ends up feeling like the biggest challenge of the day.
I know it’s people being nice or genuinely wanting to know how I am, but it’s so hard to explain when the list is long and seems never-ending.
I’m not that funny girl that says inappropriate things anymore. My energy, my spirit has been sucked from me, leaving only a shell that looks kind of like me (just a worse-looking version than before).
I try to be. And I’m trying to be, but on days where I’m physically doing a lot of stuff it’s really hard. And answering questions about my health may seem easy because well I’m the one that knows the most about it, but in reality, my current health sitch is up in the air.
We are at a standstill and it’s hard to explain that to everyone. Really hard. And I’m not ready to get into the deets until we get some real progress and answers.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I may give a short answer, but please don’t mistake it for life is getting better for me or things are easier. If they are, I’ll say so. If I’m feeling better, I’ll say so. But if not, it’s safe to assume, life is still shit right now.
A big pile of smelly, messy, stinky shit.