As I predicted at perk # 35 (https://perksofcancer.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/perk-35-i-get-to-escape-dish-duty/ ), I am still getting a break from dish duty, even though my cancer treatments have ended. On Easter Sunday, for example, there was a large family gathering at Mom’s for turkey and all the fixnin’s. At the end of the meal, I noticed my sisters’ eyes dart nervously around the table. I knew exactly what they were thinking: “Who is going to wash all of these dishes?” It was touch and go there for a while, as both of these sisters had also experienced health issues over the past year. However, as we all know, cancer can trump a hysterectomy any old day! So once again, I was ushered off to the couch while the job of clean up fell to the men. (Looks good on ‘em.)
I am happy to report that I am still getting mileage from this particular perk. There are times however, when the trump value of cancer can be a disadvantage. Many times over the past year, friends and acquaintances have abruptly clammed up, mid a legitimate complaint, because they seemed to feel that my cancer made their problems seem insignificant. Example: “My husband just left me/I am going bankrupt/All of my friends blocked me on Facebook….BUT I shouldn’t complain after all that you have been through.” Did anybody ever stop to think that maybe I LIKE hearing about their problems? That came out wrong….what I mean is, I am a Psychologist. Lending a listening ear makes me feel useful. So, in the future, please keep in mind that cancer does trump other issues when it comes to washing dishes, but NOT when it comes to being a supportive friend.
Tip: It is unethical to use one’s cancer to make other people’s problems seem insignificant. However it is totally acceptable to use your cancer as an excuse to avoid household chores. (I feel confident that the entire cancer community will back me up on that.)