• How does one respond to the question: "How did chemo go"

    Asked by Dennispx on Friday, March 2, 2012

    How does one respond to the question: "How did chemo go"

    XXX me off when a good friend asks that , as if it were something there is an answer for. I XXX it when people ask : How are you feeling or just plain : How's it going...smile

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I think they just don't know how to ask about it. Kind of like asking how was supper? Most don't know how you feel about it. I was getting all kinds of comments from, well, I see your still here so it must be working. To, I hope your feeling ok after that. To people wanting to know exactly what it is, how it happens, etc.

      about 9 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I usually say - it's manageable.... How are you doing? What are your kids up to? SOmething like that...
      If they press me for more details, then I decide whether I want to have a cancer talk or not....

      Sometimes, people just don't know how to show their support... So they ask about details when what they really ought to do is just say - hey - I've been thinking of ya....Can I bring your family some dinner this week? Other times, you have people who really want to know every detail... and some of those people know no boundaries.

      So, sometimes, I just tell people - eh - I don't want to talk cancer right now. There's one person at work who literally follows me around until I manage to go into a space with a door... which I can close... i.e., my office. In other words, she does NOT take no for an answer... She wants her details... And I think it's because she wants to be the one who is "in the know" so to speak... I.e., the rumor mill queen.

      So, at the end of the day, I usually just say - manageable... How are you? And for a very small number... I'll actually talk about it a bit more.

      These days, I talk about it a bit more because it's over... and my tumor was blasted by the chemo (woot woot!). But also, people ask about it less because it's over... and I had a good response.

      A final note... I keep a blog. This helps a ton. People who want details are invited to go to the blog... and read all they want! I send people there when I don't feel like talking about it. And recently, I've even had a non-cancer blog entry!

      So - those are my three cents....
      Hope you are having a peaceful day.

      about 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      That seems like a reasonable question to me, especially coming from a good friend. And there are many answers for it. I get that you are XXX off about having to having cancer and chemo....we all are....but why take it out on a good friend who is trying to be supportive and helpful? To me the difference between "how did it go" and "how's it going" is just mincing words. Cancer and treating it has more than enough real issues to take all the anger and other emotional and physical energy we have. Don't waste that precious energy getting XXX about an insignificant difference in a choice of words.

      about 9 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      I usually tell them it went good. When I go to chemo I make the best of it. All of the nurses come to see me since I have been going there for almost 2yrs now. I even bought a nerf gun and shoot nerf bulletts at them as they walk by. They all think I'm crazy there but I even bought them a gun to fight back with.
      So don't be mad at people they are just concerned about you and maybe they know nothing about chemo or only the horror stories they have heard. Just take a deep breath and say fine thank you and change the subject. It will change with everyone you run into. Good luck

      about 9 years ago
    • pamholtzman's Avatar

      I usually tell people it went well which makes them feel better and comfortable. I appreciate the support from friends and family. This seems to be a way they can say they care. I'm lucky that my cousin comes to chemo with me and gets me through the time. I am delighted to share how much she's helped me cope. I love the kindness and support and I spend most of my conversation sharing that feeling. I want the support from all to continue. I have learned to be very grateful for the phone calls and visits. Most of us haven't been taught exactly what the right words are. I remember my own awkwardness when I tried to be supportive of others. So... thanks to all for being there.

      about 9 years ago
    • ttisme's Avatar

      My standard response is same as Pam's...Treatment went well. and I'm Ok.

      People close to me know, that I am not going to share details unless they ask. OK is all you're gonna get!

      about 9 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      I usually say ' it went fine, i'm tired'... i have a friend that texts me almost every day to ask how i am or to tell me she's thinking about me. At first it was sweet, then it got annoying.. like i was only worth texting time. I know she's busy, but still... but i try not to let it be annoying because even if its just a text she took the time to stop and send me a caring message.

      Its hard to talk about chemo when someone asks how it went. Share what you are willing but try not to be annoyed that someone cares. If it was a rough day, its ok to say so. People really don't know how to talk to us. The fact that many are still willing to try is worthy of a response in my opinion, even if its the same response as you'd give to 'hows it going?', like someone else mentioned.

      about 9 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      It runs the gamut as others have said. Some people really want to know what you went through, others just want to hear you are okay. I am a year and a half past chemo and now I usually answer something like it was hard but it got me well.

      The one thing that kind of bugged me until I began to just laugh about it, was when people would tell me, "you look good." I guess they expected to see a walking skeleton or an emaciated version of my former self. I learned to answer; "I feel good."

      about 9 years ago
    • whirl's Avatar

      My answer is similar to the answers above. Most often people don't quite no what to say but what you to know they care. It is also important for us to acknowlege their concern and be careful not to brush them off. I am a curious person. I remember talking with an austic person in her early 20's. I ask her permission but I really wanted to know her feelings, her thought processes, and how we could interact with her better. She was high functioning autistic. Her responses were extremely enlightening. Now back to cancer. If I had had a friend who had gone through chemo before helping me with both the emotional and physial impact, it would have been helpful to me. I experienced many things I wish I had known before signing the dotted line. As some of the others said try to put yourself in their shoes and respond how you would want your friend to respond. I think the statement you look good is their way of saying you are beating this nasty pest.

      about 9 years ago
    • shauna0915's Avatar

      People usually ask because they genuinely want to know how you are. Someone that hasn't dealt with cancer or chemo really has no concept of what it's like, so it's quite often simple curiosity and genuine concern. I would expect that the closer someone is to you, the more they want to know. As the daughter and caregiver of a cancer patient, I wanted to know everything about what my dad was going through, not only because I was curious but because I wanted to know if there was something I should or could do to help him. It's hard for people to ask what they can do for you, so they often ask how you are or how chemo went as a way of opening the door for you to let them know if there's something they can do for you. They don't want to appear as though they are pitying you or feeling sorry for you because you have cancer. They just want to be supportive and help in whatever way they can. Let them. Heck, ask if they want to go sit through a chemo treatment with you so they can see what it's about. I'd be willing to bet after they sit there for 3+ hours they'd stop asking how chemo went.

      Wishing you all the best in your journey.

      about 9 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar

      It depends on who is asking for me.
      I usually say it went chemo-ie...

      about 9 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar

      Just to add something else, I've been at this for 8 years so the chemo is pretty predictable at this point and on the protocol I'm on.

      about 9 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more colorectal (colon) cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Colorectal (Colon) Cancer page.