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Woman snaps at brother's GF at party after she comments about hair, 'I have cancer.'

Woman snaps at brother's GF at party after she comments about hair, 'I have cancer.'


People tend to get really awkward around illness, particularly someone else's illness.

The awkwardness is often an unconscious reaction, as Americans in particular don't know how to cope with our own mortality. Sometimes the awkwardness manifests as useless platitudes that undermine the complexity of illness, telling someone that they're 'inspiring' while they're in tremendous pain.

Other times it comes in the form of comparison, bringing up random acquaintances who also suffered and survived. No matter how well-meaning it is, it can still be deeply uncomfortable, which is why some people keep their sickness a secret as long as possible. But there are times, when ripping off the band-aid is the best way to go.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for loudly saying she has cancer in the middle of a party.

She wrote:

AITA for pulling the cancer card to shame someone and drawing attention to myself at a party?

Seven years ago I had cervical cancer, which wreaked havoc on my life in a lot of ways. Perhaps stupidly but I was more upset about losing my hair than I was my fertility, at least at first. I used to have long hair, rarely ever cut it, but shaved it during the course of chemo. Even after treatment, after remission, I found that I felt empowered by my new hairstyle (mostly what it meant to me) and kept it short.

Recently I’ve been diagnosed with vaginal cancer. Thankfully we caught it early so hopes are high, but I won’t lie that I’m not upset that this is happening to me again. This upset has led me to be tetchy. My brother and his new girlfriend and newborn flew in for a visit, for the first time since the baby was born. This is the first time in years we’ve seen him, except for video calls, because they’re out of country now.

She’s a sweetheart but kind of blunt. Over the course of the party: She pointed out that my haircut made my face look round - but that’s the chemo causing fluid buildup. She asked me multiple times if I was sure I didn’t want a drink, mostly because she was also getting herself one.

She also said I was very confident to avoid wearing jewelry with such short hair; again she is a little lacking in social mores but still she’s very genuine in what she says. I just got sick of answering questions about my lack of alcohol, about my haircut, about my face, so I snapped, admittedly. After she commented about my hair again I said, “I have cancer” very bluntly and too loudly.

Many people overheard, which caused many eyes to turn onto us, during a party that was meant for my brother and his girlfriend. My brother took me aside after everyone else had left the house and his GF was in the car. He said I made a scene.

He expressed his sympathy that I was dealing with cancer again, but he said that he wished I chose a better time to reveal it, because it took away from his and his family’s announcements.

People weighed in with their assessments of the scene.

No_Yogurtcloset_1020 wrote:

NTA. She was being pushy about details and you gave her an answer. The only AHs in this situation are your brother and his wife.

Abject-Strawberry525 wrote:

NTA! At all! Ever! This ‘sweetheart’ repeatedly making comments on your appearance, nope, and how dare your brother!! Didn’t need to announce it then?!? The entitled behaviour from people honestly astounds me!!!!! They did not know the level of your cancer or severity so to instantly run to you stole our little party with your life-threatening illness is disgusting! I can’t cope 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️

Lady_RosariaM wrote:

NTA, She kept pushing you and being rude about it. She got the answer for the comments she has been making. Even if you did not have cancer that would still be uncalled for. Hope all goes well for you and that you recover soon. Best wishes OP.

blahrgledoo wrote:

Absolutely, completely NTA. What you are going through is more than enough reason to be tetchy and want to be left alone. They should be apologizing to you for being pushy.

Laines_Ecossaises wrote:

NTA. One 'well-meaning' but insulting comment is a mistake, multiple is an attack. Stop excusing her behavior with euphemisms like 'lacking social mores', 'blunt' or 'genuine.' She's a catty bully and she reaped what she sowed.

Clearly, OP is galaxies away from being TA here.

Sources: Reddit
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