There really isn't a good way to bring up this topic.
For example, I feel that my colleagues at Starbucks should probably know why my schedule is going to be even more erratic than normal and why I might be calling on them more often to cover shifts for me. But it's a little weird to just, out of the blue, say, "Hey--I can't work my shift tomorrow because I have a doctor's appointment--'cause I have cancer. Did I tell you I have cancer?"
Also, when customers come and order their drink and ask how I'm doing, sometimes I want to say, "Well, you know. I'm okay. I just found out I have cancer, but other than that I'm fine." Mostly that's just inappropriate. But there are some customers with whom I feel I have a long-standing enough relationship (even if I never see them on the other side of the counter), that I might want them to know. There just isn't a good way to introduce it.
I discovered this yesterday when Americano-Jimmy came and said, "So Jenn, how are you? What's new?"
Um . . .
The thing about Americano-Jimmy is that he is kind of a hypochondriac (worse than I am) and kind of a germophobe, and he has this long-standing semi-joke with a few of us: if he feels that there's any danger of our accidentally putting his hot espresso shots in the plastic iced cup before we put the ice in, he cries, "Wait! Put the ice in first! You're going to give me cancer!"
For some reason I hadn't fully thought through the fact that if I brought this up as a lead-in to telling him about my own condition, he'd feel bad instead of thinking it was funny.
Oops. Poor guy.
Manager-Hillarie says this is very literal and George Carlin of me. She also said it would be funny if we became known as the Too-Much-Information store and always just answered the "How are you?" question completely honestly. She and I probably spent at least 45 minutes last night coming up with various inappropriate answers to that question. We were very tired, so this wasn't too hard, and it also made us laugh until we were rolling on the floor and our smiles practically split our heads in half.
They say laughing is supposed to help . . .