What not to say to a cancer patient.
When you don’t know what to say to a cancer patient and you find you end up saying something that was clearly not well received, you’ll find that generally they will forgive you (eventually).
However, in an attempt to save you from this horrible moment here is a list of some of the things you should just never utter to a cancer patient (trust me): and for the rest of you, something to laugh about, as it’s happened to all of us!
1) “You’re looking great!”
No I don’t! I still own my mirrors (as much as I kinda want to avoid them) don’t you think I know
that the treatment has made me look like I have the body of the Michelin Man with the head of a shuttlecock sewn on?
But if you mean to say “ooh for a girl with cancer you look amazing” then thanks, yeah I do, my
chemo brings all the boys to the yard! I wish…
2) “Half the battle is the mindset. Be determined to beat cancer and you will.”
This is simply not true in any way, or most cancer patients that died would still be here. Yes it’s good to think happy thoughts, but It will not save your life, only your sanity.
3) “At least it’s not on your face or somewhere they could see the scar”
Yeah, because it’s so much better that it’s traveling about around my vital organs! I should
maybe do the Braveheart style line now: they can steal my organs, but they’ll never steal my
freckles! Somehow I don’t see how my cancer playing hide and seek has a positive aspect.
4) “oh you have cancer? My Gran died of cancer, in the liver, it was painful. Then my family friend died of bowel cancer, it was really slow. Ohhh do you know who else had cancer…”
That’s right, please comfort me with a list of all the people you know who died of cancer. Next
why don’t you tell me every horrible detail, oh wait you already did!
5) “I know how you feel… I’ve got a terrible cold right now”
You’re right, 200 years ago if you lived in squalor conditions you might have died! But it’s not soman up, and get a grip! Cancer and a cold are not the same, in any way!
6) “Lance Armstrong”
Stop comparing every cancer patient to him or be prepared for that patient to muster up some
strength to punch you!
7) “Why are you gaining weight if you are so unwell?”
That’s great, as if I didn’t already feel like I looked terrible enough! For your information, cancer patients usually get pumped full of steroids. It was either that or I puke in a constant stream, you decide? PS. I can’t believe you basically just called a cancer patient fat!
8) “How are you feeling”
I know you think you’re being nice but all a cancer patient thinks as soon as you say that is:
How the hell do you think I feel, I have cancer, how would you feel?
And, it doesn’t help that they are asked this question thousands of times a day.
9) “Chemo doesn’t work. Try bathing in goats cheese, wearing a hat made of mud and smoking banana leaves. The government is covering up the natural cure”
Just get out my room you crazy, conspiracy theory, hippy! p.s. Shave your armpits mrs/mr natural
10) “I just keep thinking how lucky I really am”
Well I’m glad I could be of service! Don’t rub it in! I’m glad you feel blessed but share that somewhere else.
11) “I don’t know how I’ll cope without you!”
Well don’t start making my headstone just yet…and please try and grow some optimism
12) “It’s okay you can live on fine without [insert body part/organ]”
Yes I’ll live but don’t just push it aside like that part or me wasn’t important. I kind of grew
attached to my body parts over my lifetime you know!
I hope this was a little helpful for everyone, just remember if you don’t know if what you are about to say is going to be well received by the patient, just don’t say it!
Did you like it? I did!
So a quick bit of Em news- the reason we’ve had another guest blog this week, because I’ve been working on a guest blog for Chris’ Cancer Community, about the back to school time of year! It’ll be posted on Sunday 🙂
I’ve also been invited to the bigmoose ‘Elevation’ Gala Dinner as a guest- find out more here☑ http://www.bigmoose.co/events . I’m very excited about it!
Hope everyone’s well guys!
– Keep Smiling!