Going through a cancer journey takes a person on many paths.
Life changes almost daily and we all learned to lean when the earth shifted so we wouldn’t fall down.
Cancer has so many ways of throwing a person off balance.
Some one I know going through the unhappy end of one of these, has recently returned to work. He’s still feeling his loss and although he says he’s steady and feels good about being back in the office, he was thrown for a loop the other day when a colleague asked him how things were going. He felt it was a sincere question, but his office pal, didn’t wait for the answer. He just picked up the conversation and moved on to another topic. My friend was left standing there, stunned, with only his thoughts and couldn’t wait to take off down the hall.
Was this a thoughtless gesture, just plain rude, or do people just make terrible mistakes when it comes to dealing with friends who are going through illness or a life crisis?
I can remember a friend’s reaction when I was explaining that Leroy had just found out about his cancer metastasizing to his brain and that the scans had discovered a mass that would require brain surgery. Looking at me with no hesitation, she said “Bummer.”
All I could do was stare at her. No words would make that response go away. And, it’s stuck with me to this day.
I guess what I’m saying here is, choose your words carefully: tread lightly around office friends who you know to be involved in a life changing moment. They are sensitive to words and if you have the time to ask them how they’re doing, make the time to stop and listen to their answer.