|Citrus in, bad energy out.|
So although I was a bit light headed, and my tummy was continuing to fight its losing battle with food, after dropping off Judah at school, I headed to Whole Foods (our home away from home) and did some food shopping.
I came home with my citrus fruits and placed one large bowl downstairs and one smaller bowl upstairs (between the bed and chaise). As I went about the house, tidying up, changing bedsheets and putting away clean laundry, I hoped the lemons and limes were busy doing their thing as well. With the sun shining through the blinds and a lovely breeze blowing through the rooms, the only thing bringing me back to reality was the clock. I had to go pick up Judah from school.
I've really tried, especially on crappy days, to limit social interactions with people I'm not terrifically close with (read: if I have to put on a smile when I don't feel happy, I'm not interested). And to be honest, even on the phone, I only want to talk to 5 or 6 of my friends and relatives. While writing about my feelings is often cleansing and therapeutic, verbally discussing my treatment and emotional condition is not easy. And also not something I am desirous of doing with just any rat on the street.
So while I know (and am heartened by the fact) that there are MANY people who care about me, my condition, my family, etc., I am simply incapable of dealing with the pitiful looks some of them give me, I think (hope?), in an attempt to be sympathetic. My worries and tears hover right on the edge most of the time, thus the tone of voice that says, "I can't bear to see you looking like this," is not helpful. It can't be my job to help others deal with my illness. I've always had high standards for those I surround myself with, but now my expectations have risen even higher.
When I go out in public, I am taking on the world. I am feeling ambitious and I probably want to buy something. I avoid almost all eye contact (except with sales persons, who are frequently helpful and do not make me feel like a leper). Because, I have discovered, there are two kinds of strangers. Ones who stare and glare, and ones who smile. I can't figure out why some can't take their eyes off of me (seriously girl in the deli on Atlantic Ave. in Ventnor, take a picture, it lasts longer), and others seem to want to hug me.
Let me say, I do not write on behalf of all of us afflicted with cancer, but simply for myself. I'm sure there are some cancer patients out there who enjoy milking those pitiful looks or who are able to handle the Spanish Inquisition. But me? What do I want when I venture out into the world beyond my doorstep?
I want people to make me laugh. Make me pee in my pants, begging you to stop. Distract me. Point to a butterfly, or my child's artwork. Talk about the weather or your daughter's wedding. Tell Judah how big he is and ask him what he learned in school today.
Please don't ask me to talk in depth about my treatment, or tell me how I'm handling all of this with such grace and strength (bwah ha ha!). If you do, you run the risk of unleashing the tears, and then we're all awkward and uncomfortable.
Don't get me wrong, I do want people to join Team Mia and visualize healthy days ahead right along with the rest of us. We are an all-inclusive, no-cut team (a little like Glee!) and we're happy to have you! It's just that it's taken about all I have to get up, get dressed, fill in my eyebrows, and eat something, plus get Judah dressed and fed (and pottied), that I don't have the energy to smile while discussing cancer all the while pretending everything's grand.
Truly, I do appreciate all of the support that people have given us. From dinners to goodie bags, to wishes fulfilled (to people who keep checking for new blog posts), I feel so lucky to be in such good company. I am reassured on a daily basis by the choices I've made in the past, to surround myself with only wonderful people who live up to (and on glorious occasion, exceed) my sky-high expectations.