Man, it seems like suddenly I know a whole lot of people going through cancer treatment, and it’s more than a little terrifying. You should be reading Caine’s Cancer Chronicles if you like angry honesty about the disease.
I just didn’t have the energy to do this yesterday, but I talked about it in a correspondence with my friend in colon cancer treatment. Look at the people in that screenshot. Most of them with manic grins and poses, screaming “LOOK AT MY GOOD ATTITUDE! I HAVE POSITIVE!” Fuck that noise. I do not have a positive attitude. I don’t even have a good attitude. I have a shitty, cynical attitude, about most everything, and that certainly includes having cancer. If I lose that, I will be in serious trouble. My colon cancer friend is the same way. So, another little note: don’t go around telling a cancer patient something like “you have a positive attitude, and that’s the most important thing!” No, it’s not the most important thing. It’s not fucking important at all. What is important is whatever attitude your friend or loved one normally has is still intact and firing on all cylinders. If dark, twisted, gallows humour keeps someone going, don’t try to paint it pink with positivity. If razor sharp wit and observations keep someone going, allow that. It’s not up to anyone else to call the shots on what attitude will work best for any given person. As I said before, the person with cancer is still the person you know, they are still the same person they were before diagnosis; cancer is not a call to do a 360 on your personality and attitude.
I agree — if I’m ever in that situation, and I hope I’m not, I’ll be the guy with the snarl and the hair-trigger middle finger.