One reason is that I can end up feeling like I'm on display - like I'm the boogeyman who embodies their worst fears. Then there are some people with earlier stage breast cancer who "just want to understand those of us with mets" - which is fine if they just go to the conference, but I've heard people express the desire to listen to our stories. This idea leaves me very, very uncomfortable, as though someone is trying to take from me more than I'm prepared to give. It's one thing if I volunteer information; it's quite another if someone is trying to get it from me for their own purposes.
The other thing is that when mets people get together, there's a kind of shared history - we all know we've got a terminal illness and that colours what we say and do. Some of the humour is pretty black, I'll tell you :) The point is that women with non-metastatic breast cancer don't usually have that history and so it has to be explained... which interrupts the flow of conversation. I know that this might seem to be a little thing, but this shared history and point of view is something that I treasure.
So with all that said, one of the reasons I was especially looking forward to this conference is that it's aimed at women with mets - women like me. There's at least one woman who's going who doesn't have mets.... she's going because she wants to say goodbye to one of the women who isn't doing well. That would be fine and normal if they knew each other well.... but these two women aren't even friends.
WTF? How creepy is that? What the hell is this woman thinking? She's gone and invited herself to this conference just for the purpose of being with one of the women who's not doing well.
I hope this woman decides not to go to the conference. It's just so.... rude of her to have invited herself so that she can be creepy and stalkerish. All I can say right now is that I have a cane and I'm not afraid to use it. I don't want my friend to have to deal with this ... this.... b!tch. Grrr.
I'm still looking forward to the *rest* of the conference, and to hanging out with my friends.