On Sunday the prayer was altered to thanksgiving that the treatments are done. Lots of people spoke to me afterward to express their happiness for me. I was asked several times, usually with a mood of eager optimism, how I am feeling.
You'd think that would be a simple question. A year or two ago I'd have told all those kind people that I'm feeling much better, thank you. They all want so much for me to be well, for my life to be happy. I'd hate to disappoint them.
I'm trying to teach myself to be considerately honest and sometimes that's uncomfortable. When people asked how I'm feeling I told them I'm relieved to be done, but I don't feel very well.
Every time I felt a little like I was hurting their feelings. We'd have a very brief awkward moment in which we all took in the disappointment that happiness and ease has not yet arrived and then we'd part.
Being honest is awkward. We are all in a hurry to be done with pain and living alongside other people's sadness is hard. It is also much more helpful to all of us than polite lies. Now those people know me a little bit.