Thank You...But You’re Bugging Me

Last updated: January 2019

Okay, I’m hoping to put a spotlight on that elephant in the room that most people don’t discuss. You know, those times when you may seem like the most unpleasant patient when you're around your loved ones.

Having blood cancer comes with so many hardships. Whether it's dealing with pain, uncertainty, you name it, it can be hard to cope and grasp the array of emotions. And on those days when we’re feeling the most challenged, we may leave behind a few victims in the crossfire.

Blah blah blah

Do you find yourself disconnecting when situations become unbearable? The constant explaining or being told what you must do gets tiring.  Whether there are too many decisions to make or too many things to do at the moment, sometimes it's too much! Though you may appreciate everyone’s attentiveness, it can be draining at times. It’s like a dripping faucet - you know it has to get fixed, and that constant dripping is about to drive you mad, but you don't feel like making an effort to call the plumber!

Miserable patient

Now, if you were miserable before getting blood cancer, well, that’s another discussion. But if you’re just having one of those days, well, it happens! We have the right to just be in a mood, and it can be for no reason at all. We were thrown a curve ball. However, if you’re being a total nightmare to the people who are doing their best, well, that means it might be time to regroup and catch your senses.

Caregivers have feelings too

Well, just like we may have our moments, our caregivers may be through with us as well. The constant bickering, not listening or not doing what you’re supposed to may drive our poor caregivers mad. It was interesting to hear how T.V personality Nene Leakes, of the Housewives of Atlanta fame, went to social media to blast her husband (who is battling colon cancer), who was, she felt, "being mean".

Again, I’m sure many can relate to having those mood swings, or what have you. But, what sparked my attention was the critics on social media who dumped on her for speaking her truth. The outpour was "how dare you to speak about cancer survivors' emotions". Well, let me say this is not always the case, but some of us can be unpleasant. So, those who are quick to judge caregivers for venting their honest emotions should be mindful that life for a caregiver is not always roses and rainbows.

Timeout: Tips for patients

When you’re not feeling the best here are some things to reflect on before attacking the ones you care for:

  • Count 1-2-3: If it means holding your tongue, closing your eyes and counting to 3 until the moment of negativity leaves you, then do so.
  • Say "I Love You": Seal the deal with kindness. Tell those caregivers that you love them and allow yourself time to regroup.

Relax: Tips for caregivers

Okay, when you feel your niceness leaving your body, relax and consider the possibilities:

  • Smile: Yes, sometimes when those with cancer are at their worst and harsh words have been spewed, show those pearly whites and tell them they’re loved. This will open the eyes of many that they may have been a jerk at that moment.
  • Write a note: Sometimes when we speak, it comes off in a tone that is threatening, not comforting. If your loved one is having a rough day, when they calm down, write them a note alluding to how they were nasty, but you get it and you’re there for them. So, no need to be defensive because you love them.

The way we handle situations with subtle gestures goes a long way for both sides.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

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