Another Perspective Part 4 - Awkward Conversations

My Scars Tell a Story
By Mark Everett Kelly

When I started this blog, I had no idea what the topics would be from entry to entry. To let you in on a little secret, I still don’t know.

Some days I get inspired to address something significant that occurred in my life directly related to my diseases. Other days, if I’m honest, I have to force an idea, but the premise is strong enough to create an applicable reality.

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On August 12 my blog entry was the first of a five-part series called “Another Perspective”. One thing I wanted to encourage in my readers (and once again I’m so blessed an thankful for your support - please know that!) is how important it is to listen to other survivors and what their struggles are. Knowledge, in any aspect of life, can only benefit you. Regardless if you benefit in any way, your story just might be what encourages someone else to take action.

Part 4 of our look at Rachael Yahne’s article “5 Things that they never tell you about life after cancer”, is titled the following.

There will be some awkward conversations...

Despite how obvious this might be to some others, the topic jumped up at me. Here is an excerpt from my book “My Scars Tell A Story” on a conversation I had with my brother-in-law when I was diagnosed and we were waiting to be admitted in Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“As we pulled up to the hospital, my dad let my mom and I out and we met my brother-in-law Rich, who was waiting there for us. Rich and I always had a lot to talk about, but today we didn’t. What could we talk about? We usually talked about sports, but somehow that just didn’t seem fitting. All my conversations that night were like that. When-ever the unknown is involved, conversations are weird. An escort with a wheelchair met me in the admitting room to take me up to my room.

“I don’t need a wheelchair, I can still walk,” I said. The escort proceeded to tell me that it was hospital policy to wheel all patients to their destinations.

“Well, I’m not a patient yet!” I said and proceeded to make it halfway to the elevator before my legs gave out and I collapsed. I tried to get up, but for some reason, I just couldn’t. “Well, I guess I’ll use the wheelchair now,” I said, still managing to keep my marvelous sense of humor in an extremely sad circumstance.”

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It’s funny how God works sometimes, but if I didn’t read this article by Rachael Yahne, I don’t know if I would have thought to write about this topic. I can’t imagine not discussing it now, because it is so blatantly obvious.

Conversations about EVERYTHING will change. Why? Not because of you, but because people don’t know what to say, especially those you were close to. I mean, think about it. What would you say to someone who was suffering from something you had no idea was like and the purpose of your visit or call was to be supportive of them in it?


One reason why others will feel uncomfortable is that they don’t want to upset you. Now, I’m only speaking for me here, but I am not easily offended and no question or opinion about things was going to upset me.

Another misnomer is that the person visiting has to ask you about treatment. What you dearly miss when you are going through this is the ability to be NORMAL. Cancer patients are the last ones that want to discuss their pain and suffering. The best thing you can do with a loved one - and pay attention here because I’m giving you guys PEARLS, is treat them like you always have. Doing so makes them feel that they don’t feel sorry for them and still love them for who they are.


I decided to open this up to the minions. I would love to hear back from some of you concerning the most awkward conversation you had during or post-cancer treatment.


  1. Your submissions need to be 300 words or less or 2:00 minutes or less.

  2. You don’t need to include your name, but do have some way to be identified.

  3. Entries need to be received no later than September 21, 2019. Please send your entries to

  4. I will post the top 3 conversations in three upcoming blogs and the winner I will co-write a blog entry with in the future. They will also get a free signed copy of my book “My Scars Tell A Story”


Our visitors have slowly grown in the last month compared to our first full month (see picture). I cannot express my gratitude enough. If you enjoy my posts, PLEASE share this with someone. The more you share what I write, the more others will know we exist and we matter. In my next post I will show the traffic for July and on September 2, I will show August. You can help add to the numbers with your support!

Right now, we are all on the ground floor and we get to build this the way we want. As always my thoughts and prayers and with you. Enjoy your weekend.

God Bless

Mark Everett Kelly

NEXT BLOG ENTRY: August 26, 2019