Friday, March 09, 2007


Getting cancer allows you to see the yin and yang of what human beings are capable of. You see people's true colors- what they are truly made of. And while I am awe inspired by the love and generosity of some people, others were simply unacceptable.

Now, I can hear those of you with bleeding hearts and open arms talking already, "Everyone handles crisis differently. It doesn't make it bad, just different." Well, I will take the unpopular stand. I think that's crap. Total crap. Sunshine up your ass bullshit to make weak people feel better. Like telling a bride, "It's good luck to rain on your wedding day." You're just telling her that so she doesn't think about her ruined outdoor pictures and spots on her $2k dress.

Cancer's a scary thing. It forces us to face our own mortality. It scares us to think about losing people. Or seeing them suffer. Guess what? Sucks even more if you actually HAVE cancer.

Every single person I've talked to who's had cancer has a story about someone they've lost because of the disease. People who just didn't step up. Or people who simply stopped calling. People who couldn't handle it. And they all wonder if they should forgive this egregious lack of support. I can hear the leader of my support group now. "Courtney, it's not that they don't care. They just weren't capable of dealing." Since when is being weak an excuse? Yes, I said it. Weak. And as I once heard around my own family's Thanksgiving table, (albeit after a few too many drinks), "We spit on the weak."

What sparked this rant, you ask? Nothing in particular. I've been thinking about this a while. Ever since I lost someone I thought was a close friend. Someone who just stopped calling. Someone who was so self-absorbed they could only think about their own life. Someone who lied to me. Someone who wasn't necessarily a shitty friend because I was sick. I think they would have been a shitty friend anyway. It's just that once I got cancer, I lost all respect for that kind of crap. I saw who my real friends were and I gained more. If I lost one... well, it's not like they were helping me anyway. As a woman, we constantly over analyze why someone did this and someone did that. Getting cancer made me realize- I don't give a shit why. Doesn't make it acceptable.

On another note. I'm not stupid. I am, in fact, smarter than not just the average bear, but most bears. Don't be so dumb to think you can lie to me and I won't know. I can piece it together. Your excuse of blaming your doctor? I can add up that your appointment you told me about actually was on a Saturday. And doctors don't see people on Saturday. All that raising money you said you did? I can go online and see it was zero. Don't insult my intelligence. If you can't come, have the courtesy just to tell me. Don't' make up shit to "save my feelings." You'll just piss me off.

If it seems that I've gone into a bit of a personal call out. Perhaps I have. Just as me getting cancer does not make it acceptable to openly hurt people, it also doesn't make it acceptable for you to hurt me.

My thoughts for anyone who doesn't know "what to say" so they don't say anything? Or the person who drops off the face of the earth until their friend's cancer is easier from them to deal with. Or the person that thinks their relative or friend getting cancer is about them:

I seriously hope that you are lucky enough to have more friends like me and less friends like you.


Jennifer said...

Hey Courtney,

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that a shitty friend is a shitty friend no matter what. . . if nothing else Cancer is a great excuse to walk away from people that we don't need in our lives. I'm a huge advocate of the fact that we keep people around out of some sense of loyalty, or desire for the old friendship, when it's not now what it once was--if it was ever real/good. Cut 'em out. . . you're making room for the new and real friends that false allies take away from. Be well!

Anonymous said...

Cancer or not, you're stuck with me!

Anonymous said...


You've become what I like to call a "hard grader." Good for you! Some people have to set the standards for ethics and morals and plain old right and wrong. You go!

Love from Elgin, RP