I have been working as a Recruitment Consultant for over 10 years now and after spending most of my days interviewing other humans, I can honestly say there isnt a lot that shocks me. For example, my first ever candidates name was Paul Mycock. Yep, someone actually hated their newborn baby that much. Anyway, The wanker actually turned up to his blood/alcohol test so blind drunk, they had to take his keys from him. The icing on the cake however was that the client loved his name so much he gave him a second chance and he has been working there ever since. I also had another candidate sit through the entire interview with those really small footy shorts on and no underpants, so I spent the whole interview avoiding eye contact with his hairy nut sack. One candidate turned up as Burt and then went to the client interview as a very poorly transformed Bernice. That was an interesting conversation. I think some of the funniest things I have seen though have been the photos people put on their resumes and also their email addresses they probably hadn’t thought to change prior to applying for jobs….yes I’m talking to you Pornflakes69 and Slutguts@wtf.com. Solid first impression made!
So when I was diagnosed with Cancer, I honestly didn’t think that the conversations I had with people or the ones I would overhear regarding my cancer and treatment, would leave me with Blowupdoll face. There has been many things said but also a few things that I will never forget. Probably one of the most selfish was when someone I hadn’t heard from through most of my treatment said I “abandoned them” while I was getting Chemotherapy…. How the fuck these people were the fastest sperm is beyond me.
The other thing that I wasn’t expecting was people openly commenting on my weight. I put on 15kg from all the steroids during chemo and I also had another 10kg on top of that from my pregnancy, so when one of the nurses said she didn’t recognise me because I had gotten so fat, I was pretty taken back and spent the next hour fishing for compliments from anyone who came within 100 metres of my room. One of the other nurses was getting sick of me scaring everyone so she told me I was Elle Macpherson’s doppelganger and explained that if you are loosing weight on that ward, there is a massive problem.. confidence regained! But still , the other nurse could have just said I was looking “healthy” like every other person does when someone has obviously been closet eating donuts.
Along the way, you end up telling your cancer story to anyone from the checkout chick at the local shops, to the dude selling crack on the street corner and everyone reacts differently. Most people try to avoid the topic altogether but a lot try to trump your story with one of their own. Just recently we were out to dinner with a group of people and some of them I didn’t know. One woman sitting next to me asked me about my story so I basically gave her the run down of how sick I was. She then proceeded to tell me a story (that I can only guess she thought was comparable) about her dog being sick and how hard it was because it had worms. yea same same but ALSO FREAKN NOT! Look I get it, people love their pets, I have a dog too and I realise for a lot of people’s pets are closer than family, but seriously your dog getting a parasite isn’t quite the same as a human being your eating dinner next to having Stage 4 Cancer…Or maybe I was drunk and she said she had worms …hmmm anyways
Other things said to me include:
- Oh well at least you have the “good” cancer ( Well that’s lucky, here is me thinking I had the “bad” type…better go gets me a lotto ticket then! )
- But you knew the hair loss was coming so it cant have been that much of a shock ( I also know I don’t look like a Victoria Secret Model but doesn’t stop me from waking up disappointed every morning )
- Just think positive thoughts and it will help the cancer die ( Holy unicorn shit, call the Cancer Council…we have found a cure!!! )
- Oh Dear, Chemotherapy is so bad for you, you should just try alternative medicine instead ( Shove your Kale up your ass! I had two months to live so I didn’t have time to smoke Quinoa joints and bath in Goats Urine. )
- oh I just read an article about how this guy had the same cancer as you, he beat it but then it came back and he died like last week! ( Seriously WTF )
And my personal favourite…
- …but look at Delta Goodrem, she’s okay now and she has great hair. ( insert as many eye roll, spew , gun and poo Emojis as possible )
Seriously, there are so so many more and if I had one more person say “stay positive” I probably would have run myself over with a truck but I also understand people find it really hard to find the right words. Cancer is a confronting and difficult conversation, its also a really awkward one if you have had it and the person you are talking to hasn’t. I think a lot of people are really really scared of it, they are forced with its presence, they feel sorry for the people who have lived through it but its also their worst nightmare and something they don’t want to confront or accept. As a community we love to donate money to charities for cancer, its our way of showing support for the people who need it, it gives us the Friday Feels and who knows, it might even keep the Karma Gods happy and our own demise at bay. Most people however just want to avoid the details. I mean how many people who haven’t been part of their own or a loved ones cancer journey, honestly know what happens in a chemo room. How many people know what the real side effects are, what the real emotions are and what truly happens to you during and after treatment? Yet its so present in todays society. I can tell you right now I had no clue and even through it was a major fear of mine, I avoided the anxiety riddled details at all costs…..of course until it punched me in the face like walking into the toilet after my husband.
The ironic thing about all this is once you have had cancer, you learn everything there is to know about it ,with the main point being to prevent it coming back. Prevention is way better than heading back to the chemo room and you spend your days researching ( and getting caught in a YouTube porthole of cat videos) to find the answer that never really comes ……so you try anything and everything you can in the hope that you never see the inside of THAT ROOM again …..MMMMMM smoking Quinoa cigarettes in a goat piss bath , how comforting.