Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Should Not Judge But..........

**This post was taken a little too seriously by someone so I thought I would post a warning: Obviously, this is just my opinion of a woman I observed for ten minutes. No, I did not actually want to slap her. She just annoyed me because of her public negativity. There are certain things that should take place behind closed doors---definitely not in front of fellow cancer patients who are hanging on to any hope they can find. Now please---read on. And don't always take me so seriously....goodness! I tend to be a bit sarcastic about my makes it less scary! ;-)

While waiting for my appointment on Friday, I was seated across from a woman and her parents. I am always curious about other people in the waiting room. How advanced is their cancer? How are they handling the anxiety and depression that comes with the territory? Are they in remission?

This woman did not make me curious. She was having an open (and rude) conversation with her parents. She was a pretty lady, maybe in her mid 30's, demanding her father promise her that everything is going to be OK. first I thought, "Oh man. This breaks my heart." Then I thought about it some more. How cruel of her to ask someone to promise that everything is going to be OK. Her poor father looked stressed out enough. I mean, he is there with his daughter--who appeared to be quite the Daddy's Girl--in a top cancer center. I guarantee you he wishes nothing more than to be able to promise her that she will be "OK." I understand we sometimes need to hear "you are going to be fine." Maybe it was the way she behaved that bothered me more than her selfish request. If she had been nicer about it, my heart probably would have broken for her. Instead, her nasty attitude made me raise my eyebrows.

Then she looks at her Mother & starts discussing how things are getting worse, not better, that there is no sense in buying summer clothes because basically she does not know if she will be here or not. Talk about a debbie freaking downer. Yes, I do not know her situation. They may have given her 3 months to live---but based on the attitude of her parents, I have a feeling this woman just has a nasty attitude. Don't get me wrong, having cancer freaking sucks no matter how advanced it is. But, why waste the time you are given being downright rude to those who love you? She was ready to bury her own self. When her mother patiently reminded her how far a positive attitude can take her, she made a smart remark.

Quite frankly, she pissed me off. I wanted to slap some sense into her. She may have a terminal disease that will only allow her a few more months to live. But, she was still able to get from point A to point B. She was able to make herself pretty for her doctors appointment. She was stable enough to belittle her parents in a waiting room full of curious people.(This is obviously what bothered me most about this woman.) She made me angry, but at the same time I feel so sorry for her. She must be absolutely miserable being that miserable!  I wanted to show her my friends who feel so horrible they can't take their kids to school, but can still laugh daily. I wish she could see the warriors who are, in fact, stage IV cancer patients, but still make the extra effort to be there for their friends. I wanted to remind her that her parents did not have to be at that appointment with her, they made the decision to be. Give them some respect, lady. Even if you do feel crappy, don't be hurtful. I think life is tough enough.

The point of sharing this story is that I honestly believe a positive attitude can do wonders for you, not just with cancer but with your daily life. Things get scary sometimes. I have days where I am terrified. Days where I am ticked off at the world. I embrace with those feelings, and then I deal with it. If people crumbled because of one bad thing (no matter how horrible it is) happened to them, well, we would be surrounded by a lot of miserable people, huh?

The truth is, sh*t happens sometimes. That is a part of life. You accept it, you deal with it, and you move on in any type of way you can.

I sure hope she finds the peace that she so obviously needs.

OK. Rant over.


Nicole said...

I think she is probably moving on in any way she can. And perhaps it's unfair to refer to her as someone with a negative attitude, especially given that you were seeing her at one point in time - a point in time that is surrounded by many others, others in which she could be volunteering, fundraising, or penning a blog about how to stay strong in the face of cancer.

We all have bad days and we all have moments when we are less than stellar. It's wonderful that you are able to put on a brave face, really is. But she made you angry to the point that you wanted to slap her - certainly not a positive, shining moment for you either.

We all have ways of coping with life's curveballs, and sometimes we can't always be graceful about it. :) C'est la vie! Thank you for writing this blog and being a positive force for those who need one. It's a good service you do. Hang in there!

Chelsea said...

Obviously I was exaggerating when I said I wanted to slap her. If you read my blog, you'll see that statement quite a bit... ;-) I haven't actually slapped anyone---yet.

*And if I must make this a serious comment in response...I would never slap someone. It was just a saying. Didn't realize it would be taken so seriously. Oops! :0) But yes, she made me irritated because of her negative, ungrateful attitude.

She made the decision to act the way she did in a public place. I made the decision to judge her behavior in that moment. There was more to the rude exchange, I just did not post it. I saw her for a ten minute exchange where I made my own judgement about her. She had a very nasty negative attitude. Just my own observation that lead to me realizing that the positive outlook she dismissed is actually the one thing I am grateful I have. It makes a huge difference!

Thanks for your opinion though! :-)

Nicole said...

I do read your blog, I enjoy it a lot! You didn't have to make a serious comment in response, I wasn't looking to start a confrontation or anything. :) I just found myself feeling empathetic towards her, because I know that when I've been incredibly stressed out it's been hard sometimes to keep a happy face plastered on. That's all I'm sayin'. ;) But thanks for responding!

Chelsea said...

Oh, I definitely understand! It is hard to keep a happy face plastered on. Sometimes it is TOO hard.

When I first sat down in front of her, I actually texted my boyfriend telling him how upsetting it was for me to listen to her. But then there was a switch....I guess you just had to be there. My mom actually brought it up once we got into the room. You know how you watch tv sometimes and you see people being downright ugly? That's how it was yesterday...Painful to watch!

Nicole said...

Sometimes you do have to be there, and that's the part that we're not privvy to. And I would imagine that when you're feeling your own stress, that's NOT the kind of nasty energy you need flying around the room.

I feel you, Chelsea! And I'm sorry if my comment seemed rude or anything, I wasn't trying to be. I just was feeling sappy towards her, like I said. But as I think about it, I' probably want to slap her too! LOL

Chelsea said...

You hit the nail on the head. "When you're feeling your own stress, that's NOT the kind of nasty energy you need flying around the room."

I have my own days where I question out loud if I will see 30, have babies, live to beat the statistics, but I share those without the audience of other (very) scared patients.

I understand where you are coming from though. This blog is my online diary--I very rarely censor it--there are always multiple ways to look at things! :-) I appreciate your opinion! Feel free to email me anytime.

Unknown said...

Just a quick "negative attitude experience " I had. I was speaking with a older woman once just daily chit chat. She asked how I was feeling. (The prerequisite. Cancer politeness ) and I responded " heat! You would never know I was sick. I feel wonderful. No symptoms of anything." Her response " don't worry dear, cancer always takes its toll. Its just a matter of time honey) Wow! !! Seriously? Their went my positive attitude for the day. I politely told her I was greatfull for my good days however many I had. But really how horrible for someone to say. Of course I worry about these things on my own. I did not need to hear it from someone else. But like you I wanted to hit her and at the same time felt so bad for her. What can make a woman so bitter? Just thought I would share my negative people moment.

Chelsea said...

Oh my, Christina! I would have been caught off guard by her comment...Not sure how I would have responded. Good for you for saying what you said! We have our own fears we don't share with others. IDK about you, but any day I am still healthy enough to get from point A to point B, I'll take it! ;-)

I know that some people have different ways of handling things. I think we are allowed (and should have) "bad" days where we cry and let our anger out. But I think we are very blessed that we can continue to smile through this VERY stressful time! I think it shows just how strong we really are... :)