Day 1,995 – Hard Conversations

Sunday, I popped back into the museum where I worked up until January to see my old colleagues and friends. It was good to get caught up and to hear how things were going since I left.

Of course, they inquired as to how I was doing, and that led to a small dilemma for me. Do I tell them about what’s been transpiring, or not?

I lied and told them that things were just fine with me. As I did, it immediately took me back to the days of being back in the closet and having to pretend to be something I’m not all over again. It wasn’t a good feeling at all.

My intent in going there was to let at least one or two of my closer friends there know what was going on, because, as one fellow blogger recently wrote, “A burden shared, is a burden halved.” (And as therapeutic as venting on this blog has been, it’s always better to have a real shoulder to cry on.)

But after spending a little time with my museum friends, I realized that it wasn’t the appropriate time or place to share what I’ve been going through, so I didn’t.

So far, I’ve only told two of my friends (a husband and wife team) face-to-face, and four others via email. That’s it.

Telling my friends in person was more difficult than I expected. The words hung up in my throat and didn’t want to come out. By saying aloud that I had early indicators that the cancer might be returning, made it real.

I could tell the same thing was happening on Sunday with my museum friends as I got closer to uttering those words—they didn’t want to come out. (Hence, another reason not to say anything.)

I’ve yet to tell my sister and her family that all of this is going on; they’re still reeling from my brother-in-law having had his massive stroke in August. They’re emotionally exhausted right now, and I don’t want to add to that burden until I know something more definitive. (And, yes, I know that they have a right to know at some point and, no, the chances of them reading about this here are pretty slim to nonexistent. Trust me.)

The support that I’ve received from you has been incredible, and I’m truly thankful for it. But right now, I need some additional local support on this roller coaster ride. To get that, at some point, I’m going to have to come out of the “cancer may be returning” closet and have that hard conversation with those closest to me.

[Yes, I know I’m getting waaay ahead of myself, but that’s the way this crazy mind of mine works. I like to be prepared. It’s really, really annoying at times.]

Speaking of closets and hard conversations, here’s an interesting 11-minute video on the very topic.