It’s been difficult to figure out how to approach this at work. My work friends are kind-hearted and gather around to support people in our department who fall ill. It comes from a caring place, but I don’t want to be the center of attention at work in that way, for a few reasons.
First, I’m not ready to have personal conversations with a lot of people about the whole thing – I haven’t even worked through my feelings about it, and need more time to figure that stuff out. I’ll chat with a few people one-on-one, but having caring people drop by my cube with pity in their eyes and share their best wishes with me would just feel weird (like I’m sick or something!).
Second, I don’t want to be defined professionally as the person with the brain tumor. In everyday life, I’m relatively clumsy and often forgetful. I don’t want people peering at me when I drop a pencil or can’t remember a word and thinking to themselves “I wonder if it’s the brain tumor?”.
Third, I really, really don’t want any co-workers to visit me at the hospital, which they often like to do under circumstances like this. If it were a broken ankle or something, I’d love to have lots of visitors – we could play board games and I’d ask them to bring cookies and we’d have fun conversations and it would be grand. This is different, though. I don’t have a lot of confidence that my brain will be working well after surgery, and I don’t want visitors when I’m not cognizant of what’s happening or whether I’ll even be in a position to make sense.
Overall, I just don’t want the Brain Tumor cloud following me around at work.
So, the official word is that in a few weeks, I’ll have a medical procedure and will be out of the office for a while. I’ll share more with everyone as the opportunity arises, but not right away.