Everyone is trying to be kind to me right now, but friends and coworkers keep asking me “how are you” and I have no idea how to answer that because I feel like garbage. What should I say? —Callie L., Savannah, GA
Oof, I feel you. I got this question all the time when I was going through breast cancer treatments, and it consistently threw me for a loop. It’s really strange how so many “normal” things become weighted with meaning after a cancer diagnosis, isn’t it? Ordering takeout used to be such a simple act, but now it’s… complex. And answering a question that you used to answer unthinkingly—”busy!” “great!” “so good!”—stops being mundane and becomes, well, incredibly fraught in light of your new reality. Callie, you don’t say exactly what you’re concerned about in regards to the question, but from my own experience as a breast cancer survivor, I suspect there might be a couple of different issues at play here.