A few weeks ago I wrote about how I handle the issue of disclosure and telling people about my experience with cancer. I figured I’d follow that up with a post about how other people respond when I do tell them, since I’ve gotten some hilarious responses like...
-“Wow, congratulations! Can I give you a hug?” (not to stereotype, but this one usually come from middle-aged women haha)
-“… … … … …” *and more awkward silence and more awkward silence and more awkward silence with a dropped jaw* (cashier at Trader Joe’s who asked why I decided to study nursing in college… I gave the abridged “I spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was younger” answer and he continued to ask why)
-*handshake* or *high-five*
-“Wait, how did you have breast cancer if you don’t have any boobs yet?!?” (A girl in my ballet class when I was probably 7 or 8)
And the most common response of all…
-“Wow, that’s so cool! I mean, not cool, but you know what I mean!”
While people’s reactions are sometimes awkward and sometimes flat out weird, I tried to find the humor in it and tell myself that nobody is trying to be rude, they honestly just don’t know how to react. And despite all these crazy reactions, 99% of people I tell are completely respectful and don’t freak out or say strange things.
Anyone else have stories like this? What’s the strangest reaction you’ve gotten when you told someone about your history of cancer?