I took public transit throughout chemo treatment, and often found myself standing on a relatively busy subway car. And, like most things I experienced during treatment, it ticked me off.
I have no idea how physically obvious it was that I was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. (For the record I was bald, my eyebrows were thinned, and I was pale and grey-looking.) I also have no idea how much experience my fellow passengers had with identifying the signs that someone is undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Either way, I was ticked off that my weak, immune-deficient, tired body was forced to stand while happily healthy people sat contently just inches away.
I made a mental note to myself that when I was back to being one of those happily healthy individuals, I would always choose to stand if no seats were available, assuming that someone else might need the seat more than me. And that's exactly what I did last week - I offered my seat to a young mother with a toddler and stroller in tow. (Ok and there are other times when I think "I'm a cancer survivor, I earned this seat!")
My point with this resolution is the gentle suggestion not to assume - depending on how someone looks - that they are fully capable or healthy. Cancer patients (among other individuals with health challenges) are everywhere. So, be courteous. Cover your sleeve when you cough, open the door for others, and choose to stand instead of running for that last available seat.
Let someone else be the jerk who a cancer patient glowers out for making them stand on the subway car.
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