Thursday, January 12, 2012

Being Understood

I was talking to a lady who is currently undergoing treatments, and someone else came by, saw my Jobst sleeve and glove, and asked if I had carpal tunnel. I told them it was for my swelling and that I had lymphedema. Then they went on their way.

They lady I was sitting next too, said, "They never understand and then they leave because they are uncomfortable." I laughed and said, "Maybe I could of just made something up." Then we continued talking about how incredibly tired chemo can make you.

Later I was thinking about it, and I realized that I expect people to understand about cancer and the treatments and everything else. I try to explain things simply, and hope they will ask questions if they don't. Sometimes the questions are hard to formulate or you might wonder if the person doesn't want to answer again and again, but usually I still ask. When people are going through something I think most know not to take it personally if they do not want to talk to you about it. Every person I have talked to about cancer though is usually glad to talk to someone who knows the terminology already.

It made me sad though that this lady felt that people were uncomfortable talking to her about complicated and confusing cancer concerns. I also thought of the other hard things to talk about beyond cancer and health problems, and I think I could try a little more to be understanding, even if it is difficult to talk about it.


  1. I forget people aren't always comfortable talking about certain aspects of their lives or extended family. I learned some more control about what I share to others because I've hurt others feelings by sharing too much. I was very grateful when you started this blog because it let me know it was OK to share your story and you gave me the answers when people would ask.

  2. I enjoy your blog too. I have learned so much about cancer through you. It helps me feel more compassion towards those who have it or are going through it. My VT companion has been going through it this past year and is doing pretty well lately. Her hair has come back and it is curly gray. She has always had streight hair so this curly do is really to her liking. As your hair got longer last time did it go streight again? Someone told Lynda that it will go steight if she trys to keep it short like it is now. Cutting it supposedly takes the curl out... do you think that is true? She really likes the curls but also likes short hair.

  3. I like your new background to your blog!Ask Lucy to invite me her blog again. I still can't get it on my computer :-(

  4. Hi Jenny, I have come to believe that understanding equals love. Or when you feel like you are understood, you feel loved. I think that is why Christ is able to love us so much...he understands EVERYTHING about us. That is also why your blog is so great, it creates understanding, love, relationships.