“Save your energy and emotions and let me be your voice. People can be frustrating, but they mean well.”
My wife and I need to develop a communication plan. First she is getting hit with lots of questions from all the people she has told and secondly, she is getting inundated with those three major questions which are slightly uncomfortable: 1) Are you going to have a mastectomy or lumpectomy? 2) Are you going to get reconstruction. 3) What size do you think you’ll get?
Hey people? She’s got cancer? How about waiting to see? I know we all have a curiosity factor, but come on! My wife has been pretty good about this, but our communication strategy has broken down and she doesn’t know how to stop it. So from now on she is just going to tell people that she is waiting to see what the doctor says. Well that is partly our fault. We don’t need to tell everyone. We don’t want pity. We want something else. Well what is that?
Really, the key to all of this is to create a vision.
We’ve broken it down to: 1) Immediate Family, 2) related family, 3) close friends, 4) School and work social circles, and 5) casual friends. Only 1, 2, and 3 we are telling about the surgery for sure. Only #1 needs to know the details of scope and such.
As I mentioned, we have a vision and my wife have discovered this vision as we’ve met people that have had cancer and are helping us. Every time we find someone has had cancer, we are shocked. We say, “Wow, you look great! We never knew! When did you have it?” Every time we do that there is a joy in their face! They know that we are genuinely surprised and are happy that they are healthy and doing well. It is so much better than the sorrowful look of having to tell people you have cancer as they look for away to ask if they can help and then clumsily ask too many questions.
So we are working on our cancer epitaph. What do we want people to say to us when we kick this thing. We want high 5’s , wows, and congratulations. That is what we want and are going to strive for. We are only telling people who can help us and that need to know. No need for sorrow or pity.
Now be sure to get back to me here on this. I’m going to come back to this section in November and hopefully we’ll be getting those pats on the back. They are so much better.