Even people with breast cancer can be toxic. Having a disease does not necessarily make you above toxic communication patterns and other shit.
Listen. I am telling people about having cancer because I tell people about everything. It’s how I cope. I’ve been writing blogs for years and years.
I went on /Reddit over the last few weeks of waiting, and I was just reading people’s posts. I was just reading. That’s it. Yesterday I made a post to introduce myself. I said “I have DCIS, just found out two days ago. I’m here because reading your stories helps me.”
You would be shocked at some of the shit people said.
The most prevalent comments to me were “you don’t really have cancer.”
OR. “Don’t feel guilty for not having the real cancer that many women really suffer with.”
These comments were made by women with breast cancer.
I didn’t imagine this. I didn’t just randomly diagnose myself with cancer. I didn’t go out getting all kinds of random tests to confirm a suspicion because I’m a hypochondriac. (But, um, I also think that doing my tests may be what will keep me from dying…) My doctor told me I have cancer. There were no “you barely have cancer” comments. Sure, there’s debate out there about what DCIS is, but DCIS is something that needs to -at the most minimum-be monitored that it doesn’t turn into more invasive cancer. I think all the conspiracy theories about DCIS and over-diagnosis aren’t especially helpful to the women experiencing a diagnosis. They’re not helpful to me.
I didn’t know what any of this shit even was two weeks ago. And the fact that women that have the same diagnosis as me would take my two-sentence intro and spin it…well. Let’s just say not all advice is helpful.
No. I’m not talking about cancer because I’m trying to get attention, either. Just in case some people reading this are about to jump on that train, because I’ve seen cancer patients mentioning that in the platforms I’ve been reading. The fact that women with breast cancer have had to say, “I’m not sharing to get attention” makes me mad. If that’s what you think I both don’t care and don’t have the energy for you. Go live your life elsewhere and read someone else’s blog.
It has annoyed me so much all day. I thought reading other’s stories and briefly introducing myself in a cancer group would be helpful, but it was 100% not helpful at all.
I Google Searched the phrase “is DCIS really cancer?” and came across an awesome article by a woman that is a science researcher and got the DCIS diagnosis. She put it this way.
Hannibal Lector is in jail. So he cannot be out there mutilating people. Does him being in jail make him NOT a killer?
Um. NO. It doesn’t.
So the cancer in me being confined to my milk ducts does not mean that it doesn’t exist. FYI, I didn’t imagine that painful biopsy…
Sigh. My biggest lesson hard learned over the last few years is that not everyone is a good person. And that stings oh wow it stings. Not everyone is good or has other people’s needs in mind. I got catfished last year around this time. I haven’t talked about it much because it was and still is so so so humiliating. The person made me think they were a particular person, they talked a really good story, developed trust, were very attentive, posed an “emergency” and then stole from me and threatened my work and my life. I just have 0% energy to deal with people targeting me ever again. It’s not ok. I could feel this energy inside to defend myself on the /Reddit, but then I realized that’s useless. The best thing to do is to conserve my energy and just move on.
There’s a woman battling breast cancer on Tik Tok that is really funny. She had this whole video where she has labels of stupid shit people say and sings “toxic person? just walk away!” and that’s been playing in my head all day today. Anyone that wants to tell me that my path is not a big deal, well, step off. Everyone processes how they process.
If you want to share a recommendation of a healthy food or essential oil or book or tarot deck or vitamin, cool. I’m totally down for that. If you want to tell me to fly to another country to be cured by a Shaman…I’m not that rich, especially now.
Look. I know this cancer is probably not a death sentence. Thank GOD. I just don’t need anyone to make comments about how I’m lucky or how I should be thankful I don’t have it worse. I already feel those things.
Almost everyone has been amazing. I treasure my friends and family that have just said things like “I’m so sorry this is happening.”
That’s basically the best advice. The willingness to say that, and then to sit with me, or send thoughts via telepathy or text. Just acknowledge and move on. That’s what I’m trying to do.
Telling me you love me is the best message ever. Thank you.
I got started on my mural today. I decided that’s what I wanted to do, not going out in the trailer. I am painting Lucy in a rainbow. She’ll say “VOTE” in the middle until election day. After that I’ll change the message.
I won’t let the haters get me down.
My neighbors have already complimented the mural. I love my home.