One of the most difficult aspects of having received a cancer diagnosis, I'm finding, is the having to inform friends and family. Last night was the meeting of my home group - my sponsor was chairing, and we'd agreed yesterday afternoon, when we met, that it would be a lot easier for me to speak about it at the start of my sharing, rather than have to tell each person individually. I warned her that at the end of the meeting, I was going to quickly say goodbye and shoot out the door as quickly as I was able, so as not to have to deal with all the reactions.
I didn't manage very well, because no sooner had the serenity prayer been said, than I was engulfed in a hug from a woman I know well, who started weeping on my shoulder. I calmed her down, said goodbye, and tried to head for the exit, but was grabbed from behind by another woman who wanted to hug me and began to cry, and then another and... by the time I reached the doorway, I was feeling exhausted by the emotion and the people wanting me to soothe and comfort them, in their pain, about my health.
When just before the doorway, I was grabbed by someone who would fall into the category, "Although you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way" I had had enough. I ducked her clutching arms and burst out into the hallway, up the few steps, through the outside doors, and into the fresh, cool night air.
I felt used up, stressed out, and wanted nothing more than to go home to my partner's love and comfort. By the time I arrived at his place, and he met me with open arms, I was teary-eyed with frustration and emotional exhaustion. I stood with my face pressed against his chest and him giving me soft kisses on the top of my head, and said grumpily, "They acted like I was being taken out to be hanged in the morning!"
I don't recall how he replied, but it wasn't long before I'd regained myself, and the evening went on as usual, in comfort, love, acceptance, and fun. He's such a treat to be with.