Y’all. I can’t even.
Two things have been on my mind today. Two things that rub me the wrong way. Fair warning, this post is fueled by frustration and pregnancy hormones, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
Number one. The nosey nature of humans really intrigues me. Why is it that every time something bad happens to someone, people want to know all about it? For example, my child is diagnosed with cancer. Terrible life event. And then I log onto Facebook, and I have 70+ friend requests from people I’ve met throughout the years (and people who don’t know me at all– they’ve just heard about me through someone else). So y’all had no interest in being my friend until something awful happened to me, and now you’re curious? I find that a tad offensive. But I get it, I guess. If I’ve met you, or I actually know you, there’s a good chance I’ll accept your friend request, but if you are my mom’s cousin’s friend’s sister with one mutual friend, chances are that friend request is going to be sitting in my inbox for awhile.
Number two. Unsolicited advice. It really is amazing how many people suddenly have medical backgrounds when your kid has cancer. Two pieces of advice really stuck out to me– and if the people who posted these snippets of advice are reading this, I mean no offense– the advice was posted in response to these pictures I posted on Instagram.
One of the comments read, “I thought that sunlight is very dangerous after chemo. Did you check with the doctor about this?”
Okay. I don’t know what kind of parents you’ve been around, but do you really think that I– a mother of two who also happens to be married to a doctor– would deliberately put my sick child in harm’s way? I appreciate the concern for my son– seriously, I do. Of course I ran it by my child’s doctor. In fact, I have discussed (in detail) every possible scenario and side effect that could occur as a result of Reese’s treatment regimen. Before we go anywhere out of town, we map out where the closest ER is, and we have our oncologist on speed dial. When we went over the diagnosis and treatment schedule, we discussed possible side effects and risk factors. There is so much that goes into educating parents on the child’s cancer and treatment that I could probably earn an honorary medical degree with the amount of scientific knowledge that is swimming through my head at this moment. So rest assured, dear lady, I’ve got this under control.
The other comment read, “I just wanted to say one thing. Keep your child away from ice creams and all as sugar feeds cancer. I know it’s hard, but you can limit it.”
This one irks me deeply. After doing some research of my own, I discovered that this is apparently a pretty common myth. “Sugar” does act as “fuel” for all body processes, but eating ice cream is not going to make cancer grow faster. All cancer is is a bunch of rapidly-dividing cells that don’t have an off-switch. It takes over your body and screws with your normal functions. Some holistic hippie folks don’t let their children eat any sugary foods because they believe that the sugar is feeding the cancer. What these people don’t take into account is that a toddler who is undergoing chemotherapy will more often than not lose his appetite. So when he finds something that he can stomach (which in Reese’s case, is ice cream), then he needs to be eating it. Please, Instagram friends, please don’t tell me how to feed my child. I know you mean well, but, to quote “Step Brothers,” you’re just coming off stupid.
But for real. People are coming out of the woodwork with opinions all of a sudden. With all the advice I’ve been getting from everyone, I pretty much don’t even need the oncologist anymore! Good thing I can rely on Instagrammers with their Google degrees. JK. I think I’ll stick to getting advice from medical professionals.