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12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

27 Oct 2016 23:27 in response to Dory

Oh dear I think I have been horribly guilty of mentioning staying positive to people in the past and now I will learn how it feels I suppose ... sorry everyone I didnt realise how stupid that was but now obviously I do but its too late to take it back

This thread is so helpful and uplifting

I know that the line that I hear every day at work is going to really hurt next week when I return to work.  I work with the elderly and they very often say to me 'Dont get old love' they are simply expressing how hard it is having aches and pains etc but suddenly that statement is going to really hit home

They will not know of course that I have cancer but I am not sure what if anything to say.

In the past I just quipped well I will try but the alternative isnt much fun either 

somehow I dont think I can manage to just say that now 

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

28 Oct 2016 18:37 in response to Andrea11

That sounds like the perfect come back to me Happy

 

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

4 Nov 2016 08:07 in response to LorraineD

nobody should be quick to comment.

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

9 Nov 2016 15:38 in response to max56

I totally agree with you.  I had a hysterectomy in March for cervical cancer and they told me everything was fine afterwards.  This week I have been diagnosed with cancer again.  I didn't tell anyone except my family who I swore to secrecy but it still got out and the funny things that were said to me was something else.  This time I'm not worrying about it and I'll just laugh and dodge the dodgy remarks.  Thanks for writing this - It made me laugh!!

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

13 Nov 2016 08:08 in response to jessietrevor96

Well said

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

29 Nov 2016 14:34 in response to Moderator Sarah

I'm a carer for my MIL who has pancreatic cancer and after reading this list I thought "oh heck" I've used many of these phrases and platitudes over the past three months Sad 
But then, after reading through so many other posts in the forum, I've come to realise there are no "right or wrong things to say to someone who has cancer" because I've just read other fellow cancer suffers on here using the exact same phrases and platitudes with each other :/  "Yours so strong; you are so brave" and "I know you will get through it"!  And more to do with how you are feeling or the mood you are in the time, that makes them irritating :/ 

I've even been on the receiving end of some of these platitudes when I've been in hospital battling my own health issues Laugh And when I've been lying there feeling sorry for myself and heard these it's raised my blood pressure right up . . . . which was a good thing for me at the time ;)

So, I think I'll not worry about what I might say wrong or right that might peeve off my MIL, so long as it keeps her fighting Laugh :D Laugh  The time to worry would be when she stops getting riled by these "foot-in-mouth" remarks Wink 

As for Item 3 on that list; I have wanted to shave my head....as recently as just last week Shocked  I've always hated my hair since I cut it short.  It used to be down to my waist but when I started having babies and they started grabbing and pulling on it so much, I had it cut short.  But it's a pain to style as it's so flat and boring so I get it cut that bit shorter each year until now little ones sometime mistaken me for a boy Shocked  Only last weekend I overheard a little girl say to her grandad "that is not a lady" when he told her to stand back to allow the lady to get into the shop Laugh  Unfortunately my children won't allow me to shave it and threaten me with dire consequences if I ever do Sad  I've already been ground for life several times this year for minor misdemeanors Cry And getting so close to christmas, Santa might not visit me if I'm grounded again Sad
 

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

29 Nov 2016 15:54 in response to Moderator Sarah

I get always asked "you look really well" I may look really well but as we all know with terminal prognosis, it is all inside and you get by being very positive and fighting it with the good treatment I am receiving.

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

29 Nov 2016 19:02 in response to Simon77

"You look really well" is my pet hate. I was told that when I was chemo, had lost weight and felt dead on my feet with exhaustion. My response wasn't very polite lol

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

15 Dec 2016 04:18 in response to Moderator Sarah

Thanks for this post, But is there any thread for the topic under motivating/supporting patients who is having deppresion due to Cancer?

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

15 Dec 2016 08:52 in response to hopethebest

Hello Hopethebest, 

You may find thisinformation on our website about Cancer and your emotions helpful. It includes a section on sadness and depression. 

Best wishes, 

Jenn
Cancer Chat moderator

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

26 Dec 2016 04:48 in response to davek

Hi Everyone. Some great comments here. I hate the 'positive' word too - I'll feel how I feel, thanks. And being endlessly told about someone else who had cancer - and your point is....? When I told an acquaintance I was frightened of having chemotherapy, she said, "Well, my friend Anne was told she'd be dead by Christmas unless she had chemo, so she had it and lived until the summer." There's also an acquaintance who, whenever I said I felt rotten, responded, "Well, at least you're still here."

I find it most helpful when people just ask, "How are you?" and listened to my reply.

I'll share one funny moment if I may. When I had my breast ultrasound I was told one of the problems with getting a clear reading was the denseness of my breast tissue. "Like a 15 year old." (I'm 60.) After surgery the dishy young consultant came on the ward rounds and (cue Miranda Hart) I revealed all and blurted, "Apparently I have the breasts of a 15 year old!" He looked down, hesitated, and said, "Not really." 

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

24 Jan 2017 15:46 in response to Moderator Sarah

As I am not the cancer sufferer it is my husband who is I dont really know if other people have said totally inappropriate things or not. My husband is in  denial at the moment therefore I dont think people realise how serious things are. You are quite correct in saying that the best thing people can do is to help when they offer and not to shun you if they see you outside of your home environment. We have found that some of our friends are very chatty to me but dont seem to know what to say to Dave. He still loves a laugh and a rattle (good conversation) so please well meaning people dont shut him out.

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

24 Jan 2017 16:14 in response to lynnd

Exactly that is all I can say, being a person who has cancer with a terminal prognosis, but fortunately and hopefully timescales will stretch given the chemo and immune therapy drug I am on. People always say how well I look, this does bug me as I do look well and at the moment feel well.....but it is what's inside that is the problem!!! Take care Simon.

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

24 Jan 2017 16:22 in response to Simon77

Hi Simon

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have only just joined this forum and having read a few of the posts on various themes I think this will be somewhere I can hopefully gain comfort. I am so sorry to hear of your terminal prognosis.

If you need to rant at someone hopefully as an outsider rant at me. I am a good listener.

 

Take care 

Lynn

12 things never to say to someone who has cancer

24 Jan 2017 16:42 in response to lynnd

Hi Lynn. I may take you on on that At the moment I am very calm and enjoying an early retirement too so it is not too bad at the moment.