• I am still seeing people that I've known for years that didn't know I have been diagnosed

    Asked by Coloman on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    I am still seeing people that I've known for years that didn't know I have been diagnosed

    When I tell them about it some of them just get a blank stare in their face. Some say that they don't know what to say. I can tell that they are not comfortable talking about it. This seems strange to me. I am the one with the cancer, not them so they shouldn't feel bad. What do you say to people when you can tell that they don't know what to say?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I worked through treatment. Due to hair loss I'd already been wearing hats and scarves for a good 2-3 months. I was walking with one of our teamleads, who asked me where I'd been the day before, which was a chemo day. I told her. While I'd not been hiding my diagnosis, I had shouted it to the world either. She stopped and just stared at me. "You have cancer?!?!" I replied, "Why do you think I've been wearing hats?" She just stared: "I thought you just liked hats...."

      I tried to just be me. Remind them you are still you, regardless of some stupid cancer. If you are comfortable in your own skin, it should help them to be comfortable with you. And some people never will be. I lost a friend of over 30 years, in part because of the cancer diagnosis. You can't fix prejudice or fear.

      about 1 year ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I think people feel uncomfortable because finding out someone who was apparently healthy suddenly is in treatment for Cancer makes them feel vulnerable and that makes them scared. This thing can happen to ANYONE! I think Buckeye makes a good point. Just try to show them that you're still you. You're maybe going through a rough patch but you are still the same person you've always been.

      about 1 year ago
    • NorthernSnowB's Avatar

      some times it seems like it makes people consider their own mortality. Like, if it happened to you then it could happen to me too!

      about 1 year ago
    • lo15's Avatar

      People get really weird and the old adage, that you find out who your friends are is so true.

      about 1 year ago
    • PattyF's Avatar

      lo15 nailed it - you find out who your true friends are. I am blessed to have had so many people reach out to me during my diagnosis and treatments - it was truly heartwarming. At the same time, my own mother in law (and a few sister in laws), not once, asked how I was doing, if I needed anything, or to say she was praying for me. My father in law passed away from a different kind of cancer 5 years prior so she is very familiar with what goes on when a loved one has cancer. To say their lack of "concern" for me was hurtful is an understatement. I have moved on and won't let it change who I am as a person. I am grateful and thankful for my family and friends who HAVE been by my side throughout this journey.

      about 1 year ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      Many people are uncomfortable with their own mortality so when someone they know gets cancer, it hits them that this can happen to them too. They just back off from us because the possibility of cancer scares them so much. Like lo15 says, we do find out who our friends are.

      about 1 year ago
    • MyLungCancer's Avatar

      I tend to play down the severity in some cases when someone is acting that way. I know what you mean about it being awkward, sometimes the silence is deafening. I try to make them feel better by changing the subject or by assuring them that everything is going to be fine. And yes, good friends are there and are in it with you.

      about 1 year ago

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