LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Try not to jump...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Try not to jump to conclusions

There are 3 comments on the Public Opinion story from Jan 14, 2011, titled LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Try not to jump to conclusions. In it, Public Opinion reports that:

You might imagine the sadness when I learned that my 46-year-old aunt had breast cancer.

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Shippensburg, PA

#1 Jan 15, 2011
Dear Leah, what you have been through! My heart reaches out to you and you relatives and everyone in these circumstances. I hope this works for you.

Yes, too many thoughtless people breath air. At your fairly young age, it is harder to hear these crude comments from uncaring folks. I would have been just the same - now with another decade (or 2) under my belt, I have the experience to know that people like that just do not matter in your scheme of things.

I wish you could learn not to take them to heart. They leave your store and go on to another and make more idiotic and mean remarks about someone else which somehow must (as I read) make them feel better.

Perhaps you can smile back at them and think as you are, that you are helping to make someone else's moronic day brighter. Put on a mysterious smile and make them wonder. Then be glad that your results are visibly working!

Since these personality types will never change their ways, there is not much else you can do to be kind to yourself. It's sad, very sad, this is happening to you and I wish you courage in dealing with people who don't matter for you.

Asking these people to cease what they are best at, sadly, will not work. There are far more compassionate people out here than those who are not. Each and every time someone doesn't react or say something, please try to make that a positive and imagine they are cheering you on to good health. I know I am.

Most of all, carry in your mind your own messages and listen to them alone.

CHIN UP and ALL THE BEST, sweetie.
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#2 Jan 16, 2011
Unfortunately it's worse than just people who stare. When the topic of this kind of elective surgery comes up in these threads, some of the responses are so ugly they're cruel.

I think we ALL need to look out for the Leahs in this world. I would also speak up for myself and just say briefly, "Yes, I had reconstruction because of breast cancer." I wouldn't get into the fact that it was preventative. I think a short, to the point statement would educate others. It WAS because of breast cancer that Leah had this surgery. Thank you for noticing."

I think an unexpected response like that might force people to rethink their prejudices.

I've had that reaction to the poor 82-year-old woman who was forced to remove her silicone breast for airport security. If that happens to me, I'm going to pull it out, wave it about and invite people to get their cell phones out. I'll hold it over my chest and show people how it gets positioned.

Better to stand up to bullies and bigots, I think.
first hand

Greencastle, PA

#3 Jan 16, 2011
You've summarized your story well. I can fill in between each line of text how very terrible the recoveries of each surgery was. Rebuilding muscles after they were cut through. The inability to reach up high to grab a can of beans from the... cupboard! The pain & complications you had to deal with. The unexpected trips to the doc & hospital, a great driving distance away. The unexpected extended stays in the hospital that were so lonely being 2 hours from your family. Accidental dose of wrong medicine in the hospital with horrible sickness to follow! The sickness and inconvenience you endured preparing and recovering each time. The frustration of having clothes irritating incisions while trying to abide by dress code. Think of the inconvenience a pregnant woman would have dressing herself if there were not maturnity clothes to buy. I'm sure I missed several things that others may not even have thought of. Bless you, dear sister-in-law. It is hard for me to stand by your side and watch this happen to you. I can only try to imagine what you must have gone through and continue to go through yourself. I Love You.

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