What triggers you?

Hello amazing @LearnLookLocate community. It’e the TNBC coming to you from the Chicago area. Thank you for embracing last week’s “Pause” blog! I’m so humbled by our individual and collective experiences. Please keep sharing. This Rookie has so much to learn.
First, thank you everyone for embracing my Pause blog. I’m so humbled by our individual and collective experiences. Please keep sharing. This Rookie has so much to learn ❤️

Today, it’s about Triggers. Here we go, in no particular order. How would you respond?

“It’s just hair, it will grow back”
Then shave your head and tell me how it feels every time you look in the mirror.

“I’m just trying to act normal around you”
Define normal. My normal isn’t your normal.

“Anything could happen to anyone at any time. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.”
True. But no one is making you stand in the street hoping the bus misses you.

“I’m sure it’s nothing. There’s no family history”
Seriously? Did you see the ultra sound? Followed by: History is irrelevant. Did you see the ultra sound?

“You have every right to be scared”
Oh, thank you! And under what conditions would I not have the right to be scared?

“Your hair looks so cute! You look just like Jamie Lee Curtis”
Please stop. My hair isn’t my choice. If I was TRYING to look like Jamie Lee Curtis, I’d be flattered. As far as I know, Jamie Lee Curtis gets to choose how her hair looks.

“You’re so paranoid, not everything is cancer.”
Hello? Have we met? If it keeps me vigilant, I’ll keep my paranoia, thank you.

“I was just trying to help”
Then ask me first. Please ask me how you can help. I would really appreciate that. And when I tell you, please take me at my word, even if I say, ‘Thanks, I’m okay for now’ please don’t decide you need to “help” anyway. This is my agency. This is me trying to exercise some control over this mess.

“It’s not always all about you.”
“Yes it is.” [with a humble shout out to breast cancer moms with children at home or caring simultaneously for aging parents.]

I know these sound cranky and negative. Sometimes, that’s how it feels especially when a trigger comes from someone NOT in these shoes.

I admit to my double standard. I can hear the exact same thing from a “healthy person” as from a sister patient, any of you, or my mentor and react totally differently. When it comes from the former it’s a trigger. When it comes from the latter, it’s meaningful. What do you think? Is that playing a Cancer Card? Or do we all develop an armor of sorts comprised of a few friends and family, our partners, who we trust and love regardless of what they say because we care about them, we believe they want to change this for us and we feel so badly for bringing this darkness into their lives as well.

I’ve read and re-read all the inspirational posts on LLL. So moved by these women. I look forward to the day I can breathe deeply enough to feel their grace. What are your triggers and how do you handle them?