Tuesday, December 2, 2014


There have been many occasions since I have been dealing with cancer that have been incredibly awkward. At least on my end. My guess the feeling is somehow mutual, but it is hard to say.

More than once someone has offered me something, or asked me for something or do something so they could do something for me, or offered to do something for me, but then when I follow up, I get silence. It is really hard to know how much to follow up on something. I have asked people to let me know if there is an issue, or a concern, if they've changed their mind. I have asked them to be in contact. And, still. Silence.

There has been a time, or two, I followed up only to receive defensive responses. It hardly is what I thought I would receive. It is hardly how I would want anyone to feel.

I share this because I figure you might get something out of it for yourself. If you offer someone something, it might be worth considering how they may be feeling if you don't respond. Maybe you want them to do all the work, but maybe they can't. Maybe it is awkward for them, like it is for me.

How do you ask about something that is an act of kindness or free? "You were going to give me that free thing, remember?" Consider not giving the person the chance to become annoying, or to lose out on something because they aren't managing to be how you would like them to be.

If you want to help someone, especially someone in a position like mine, consider making it easy on them. Consider being in contact and letting them know what is/isn't going on so, if they contact you, there is less of a chance you will feel guilty or defensive for not being in touch. That reaction would not likely be good for either one of you, and can sometimes torpedo the best of intentions.

I have to let a lot of it go. Recently I followed up on something offered a year ago. What the heck? I never heard anything back, maybe nothing was ever received of my messages? The person responded that she would check into it, and then...nothing...again. Well. I won't be asking any more. Maybe it is available. Maybe she is just busy. Maybe all kinds of things. The problem is I just don't know, and it is more trouble at some point than it probably is worth it. And, just maybe, it is just not something I am supposed to be doing.

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