The fervor in some people’s cancer conversations with me over these past two years reminds me of the intensity some folks approached me with during my first pregnancy, from waxing philosophic about a particular OB-GYN or midwife to long diatribes about why it’s better for the Earth to use cloth or disposable diapers – all without my having posed a question, and well before the baby had even arrived!
Some people are absolutely convinced that I should follow their lifestyle tips, adjust to their miracle diets or receive care at their preferred cancer facilities; but they don’t know my situation, or even the specific type of my breast cancer (there are many different kinds, just like tick-borne diseases). The energy behind their words can feel like, “Erica, you’re doing it wrong!”
Now that I’m expecting to pass away within a matter of months, the current static is more about my preparation for death and end-of-life choices, because it means less time for getting together. I am racing against the clock to complete my preparations.
I’ve been the zealot countless times. I wish I could take back the moments I may have created these feelings of inadequacy and confusion in another person.
I have traveled the world; I have seen, done, eaten and experienced a tremendous amount in my lifetime. My entire focus right now is fully living, and fully dying; so the kids still get their mac & cheese, and I am cleaning out my basement.
It’s not everyone’s way, not everyone’s choice. And I resist offering advice now, more than ever. What might be a throwaway conversation to me could be a real curveball to you. My goal is simply to See You and to Hear You before sharing myself.