• Does it ever bug you when after opening up about having cancer, first thing people do is ask "What kind?"

    Asked by Lirasgirl33 on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Does it ever bug you when after opening up about having cancer, first thing people do is ask "What kind?"

    I mean, maybe it's just me I guess. It sometimes feels like they are going to judge you or criticize based on the type you tell them....Then again maybe they just want to know, period, and I'm just making a fuss over nothing.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      No, not really. I think it is normal and to be expected that when you tell someone you have cancer they are going to respond with some basic questions whether that is what kind, what treatment, etc. It is really no different than when a woman announces she is pregnant. She will be asked when is it due, do you know if it a girl or a boy, do you have a name picked out, etc. In either case it is just a way for people to express interest and concern in you condition.

      about 8 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      Not really, but I do wonder why it matters to them. Maybe it's to buy time for themselves..while they think up something else to say. :)

      about 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      Sometimes it does bother me. When I tell them it is tongue cancer, there is always the next question: Do you smoke? I did, so I guess that means I deserve what I get, right? That's usually what is going on in their head, according to my messed-up thinking. I know that isn't always the case. So, it doesn't bother me when they ask, except when they appear to be judging me, and that does happen. Sometimes, though, like SunnyCloud said, it buys people time to think of what to say next.

      about 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      Either they ask "what kind" or somewhat uncomfortable questions about prognosis. I think people are trying to figure out what they need to understand your diagnosis. Probably they are comparing your answers to their own experiences with friends and family members who had cancer in the past. Of course, a lot of people are caught off guard by cancer at first, so they don't often ask in the most thoughtful of ways.

      I'd err on the side of believing that they care about you and want to understand, not that they're looking for a way to criticize you :)

      about 8 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Actually, my gripe is a bit different. When I comment that I've had cancer, the common response is "oh, breast cancer?" Mine was appendix cancer. I'd rather people asked, rather than assumed. However, I also would like them to ask nicely "Do you mind if I ask where your cancer is/was?"

      about 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      Thank you, nobrand for bringing me back to reality. You're right, people do genuinely care. I think part of it is that I'm angry with myself for smoking, which is one of the leading causes of tongue cancer. I know I don't deserve cancer. I am constantly criticizing myself, so I just figure why not everyone else too? I think today I'm feeling sad and angry, and I'm afraid for my chemo which starts in 2 days. I'm sorry I sounded so bitter.

      about 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      In my 24 years of getting asked that question over, and over, .....and over. I really don't think it's a bad thing when they ask what kind. After all, just look at the list over to the right of this page and see how many different types there are. I sometimes think it's a knee jerk first thing I can think of to say, type thing too. With me, I have to start a long winded conversation to tell them about the 3 different types i've had.

      Some people just really don't know how to react.

      about 8 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I'm thinking maybe I just had a couple of bad experiences. They ended up making me feel like I was the one to blame for having cancer. Another time after telling this person the type they responded with "Oh! Cervical cancer? You'll be just fine!"....I wanted to ask this person how, how she knew I was going to be just fine, I wanted to cry. This all happened towards the beginning of my journey so I guess my emotions were everywhere. I know for the most part people do genuinely care and that is why they ask. I can't help it, that question still makes me feel uneasy.

      about 8 years ago
    • mfd's Avatar

      That doesn't bother me as much as when I'm asked what my prognosis is?! Now, both times it was from someone who either had cancer or their spouse had it so I suppose they felt that they could get more personal with me but I was still kind of shocked that they would ask.

      about 8 years ago

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