The Toppers

People like to compete about the strangest things today. They are smug in their ways, calling themselves Type A personalities, or Alphas. I see a shallow value system among this group. How does an illness spark competition against others suffering from the same disease? Travel to faraway countries and different continents brings out the worst in these argumentative people. When it turns to bullying, I turn my back, and try not to absorb the poisonous darts being thrown every which way.

People justify their horrendous behavior, never caring that they may have really hurt the person who was (at that particular time) perhaps very vulnerable. Breast cancer has become a source of “topping”; a way to feel like you are a warrior. Initially, I liked the idea of battling cancer being akin to that of a warrior rather than a victim of the disease, but it has led many women to fight one another. They fight or compete about who had the worst experience, the longest treatment, they take over discussion boards, and often have to start new ones in order to continue their fight. It almost feels as though if you didn’t lose your hair and toenails, you must cower in their mighty presence, and offer them some form of reward for going through something worse  than everyone else.

Many times, cancer is related or a more likely diagnosis when you have certain autoimmune issues. Meaning, you may have already suffered for thirty years with a debilitating illness before the cancer comes along for the ride. Too bad these Toppers can’t see the big picture. They see themselves as more deserving somehow, but they are really just sickening, angry people.

I lived abroad for five years, I had always wanted to do this. I never realized that others were angered by this, and how much it provoked their competitiveness. Questions I am asked have nothing to do with whether or not I enjoyed it, instead, they present like this:

How old were you the first time you went to Europe? Haha, I went before you.

Did you stay at The Ritz? I did, I stayed in all of the best hotels.

How can one converse with someone like this? I am exhausted when I finally drag myself out of their clutches. I let them know that they have topped any experience I may have had, and I hope to never see them again.


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