On the first Friday of March, 2018, I posted my inaugural Cancered Plans blog. I had a lot to say about living with cancer, and I had finally
found a place to put it all. You guys have been incredibly gracious about
following me along this path, in spite of all of the elevation changes. I’ve
learned that you really appreciate hearing the truth, but that you get a little
bit overwhelmed when I complain too much about what not to say.
I ran into a few friends over the holidays who I rarely see. It was great to catch up with them on their big city lives and reminisce with them about days gone by. I do appreciate hearing them tell me how good I look, even on the days when I can’t agree with them. It’s okay. They don’t need me to agree. So I smile and thank them for saying so. And I secretly hope that they are right.
Often, after I see someone and carry on a conversation, I’ll get a message later that goes something like this:
“I was so happy to see you! I can’t believe I said _________. I’m sorry; I feel so dumb! I should have been ________-er. I promise to be more respectful/careful/cool next time.”
Ack! I don’t want our encounters to fill you with anxiety and regret! I know I’ve written lots over the past few months about things that are great to say and things not to say. I have made people think, which is great. But if I’ve made anyone sorry for having had a conversation with me, then we have our wires crossed.
If you’re saying stuff from your heart, hoping that it is encouraging or helpful, then it is. Especially if the alternative is to keep your mouth shut out of fear of saying the wrong thing. I’d rather talk to you as we stumble over words than walk perfectly upright because you’ve avoided me. Cancer is lonely enough.
So here’s the deal: I’m not going to stop writing about things that are or are not helpful because mostly people appreciate being challenged to think about their words and how to say things “better.” But YOU need to not worry about memorizing my list of suggestions. There will be no quiz. If you learn a way to say it better, then say it better.
And, if you’re really trying to remember what I’ve written on what to say or not to say here’s a list to help you out:
1. If you’re sending love in my directlion, it is exactly the right thing to say.
So here’s to trying to say the best things and falling short. Here’s to wearing blue. And here’s to one more day of being alive, man. Send me your pictures of you in blue. I’ll post a compilation to celebrate all of our awareness and the hope of a couple of lives saved along the way.
Are you due? The prep's no fun, but it's the best nap you'll ever have.
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