When I was first diagnosed, I went to one MM support group meeting. It was just me (and my brother & sister) and one other MM patient and her husband. The whole cancer thing was very new to me. I asked the other patient what was important to keep in mind. She said that what she cares most about was that everyone treated her the same as they did before she had a diagnosis of cancer.

People say things like this, but do they really mean it? Or is it something that sounds great in a society where stoicism is admired? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, unless you were previously addressed as “Your Royal Highness,” you want to be treated better than you were before your diagnosis.

Of course I believe that people should be nice to each other all the time, not just when times are tough. When you’ve been told you have a life threatening disease, you need extra niceness. You don’t want to be treated the way people treat you when they assume you’re going to be around another 40 years. Cancer is a nasty ride, emotionally and physically, and I want people to be nice to me. I’ve been thinking about having bumper stickers made like the ones you see that say, “Be nice to me. I donated blood today.” How about, “Be nice to me. I have cancer?”

What’s my point? I’m saying that you don’t have to pretend you want people to ignore your condition. You need extra love and attention. So do they.