How to Deal

I posted a link on my Twitter earlier, but I thought I’d post it here, too.

How to Deal with Me Having Breast Cancer

If it’s TL;DR for you, here’s my favorite highlights.

“Dissect every page of those celebrity tabloid magazines with me in the waiting room at my oncologist’s office, as if Zooey Deschanel’s red carpet look for the Golden Globes is the most important thing in the world. Distract me while my nurse hooks me up to the chemo pole. Make a stripper pole joke as soon as she’s finished.”

Yes this! But not at chemo. Make a date to come to my house. Let’s lie around on my bed or my couch, because moving around too much makes me nauseated. Let’s laugh and snark and let me feel normal for a minute.

“Try as hard as you can to never, ever Google anything about my diagnosis because I already have doctors who went through years of schooling for that, and I’m pretty sure they’ve got me covered. Accept that no matter what you read when you inevitably Google my diagnosis, chocolate is critical to my recovery.”

and this one goes hand in hand with

“Read all the Internet articles about how someone in an ashram is curing their cancer with kale juice, meditation and magnets. Send me a link to a video of a baby elephant swimming in the ocean for the first time instead.”

Please. This is hard. I didn’t make the decision to undergo my treatments lightly. I didn’t neglect to do research. I’m doing what I think gives me the best chance of survival. I’ve found who I think are the best doctors. And as much as I know you want to see me healthy and happy and cured naturally, I just want to be cured, and alive to see my children grow up.

“Understand that even though I’m aware on some cosmic level that what doesn’t kill me might make me stronger, I’d much rather be a non-cancer-having weakling.”

“Bear with me when I get a little weaker and a little more fed up each day of my treatment. Be patient when I don’t snap back to normal as soon as it’s over. Make peace with the fact that as long as I’m above ground, it’s never totally over. Embrace my new goal of just being okay, because whatever normal is I’ll never be it again.”

So far, a little more extreme than how I am feeling, but it’s definitely sinking in that I HAVE CANCER AND I COULD HAVE IT AGAIN. I might end this chemo and in two months or two years they could find it in my lungs or my brain or my liver or my bones and I will always, always have that hanging over my head. I will always know that my cells can turn on me and that they very well may and I won’t walk away from it.

“Make a list of all the probing medical questions you want to ask me, then ask Jeeves.”

I’d also like to add:

If you don’t know what to say, I don’t care. If you don’t know what to do, I don’t care. Just come be with me and pretend I’m normal because I really need some normal right now.

Thank you for saying I am beautiful bald, though realize I don’t believe it, and I hate being bald.

Text me funny anecdotes. I don’t care what they are. And if I don’t text back, please don’t take it personally – I might be sleeping. Or crying.

So there’s your abbreviated how to deal with KATE having breast cancer.