Monday, October 20, 2014

#7 Things NOT to say to someone with cancer

A warning before you read this.  It may sound like an ungrateful blog but when I began this 7777+ Day gig, honesty and not holding back would be part of my writing. I promise tomorrow's blog will be a more pleasant take on life.  (The parentheses are my reactions to the actual comments)  So here it goes...

My aunt had the same thing and died a horrible death (Obviously inappropriate).

A positive attitude is everything (Yes, this is true, but it can be wearing at times and will any negative thoughts doom me?).

Let me tell you about my ______surgery/procedure/etc. (Suddenly everyone wants to share their medical history with me--I'm semi listening).

Were you a smoker? (What????  It is breast cancer and not in my lungs and besides, you can get lung cancer without smoking).

If you eat this it will cure your cancer (Sorry it doesn't happen that way).

You look fabulous (this is a tough one because I'm sure it is a genuine and kind remark but I am wondering how bad I looked before).

You are such an inspiration (Another difficult one to criticize and you shouldn't feel badly if you had said this to me but I would rather inspire people to work out, eat right, read books-- anything but be an inspiration on how to live with cancer--so this one is really about me and not you).

Have you lost/gained weight ( I'll admit that I am a tad sensitive because the scales keep going up or down depending on the week...and really, someone did ask).

Have you tried this pill/treatment/whatever (No, but I am following my doctor's orders and he will decide if the "whatever" will work for me, but thanks for the information).

I had a close encounter with cancer but luckily I'm okay (I'm thrilled you dodged this bullet and I don't mean to be unsympathetic, but, as my kids would say, "too soon" for me to hear this now--I'll admit, jealousy reared its ugly head).

NOTHING (This one speaks volumes and it bothers me more than any of the above).  

You may be thinking about how to avoid me because anything said might end up in the blog? Fear not, tomorrow I will have advice on what to say so you are prepared when I approach you at the next cocktail party with notepad in hand.  Kidding, just kidding. 

Thanks for reading #7 of 7777.


  1. Excellent list. Keep the honesty flowing my friend.

  2. Thanks Mary, all good reminders :)

  3. I love hearing your "voice"... Keep them coming! I'm a daily reader!!!

  4. Well, I have probably said most of these but my only redeeming fact is that as a sister, I usually say or do the wrong thing and have one purpose in life, to get under your skin, make you mad or just bug you.