• I don't know how to describe what I've heard more than once or twice from some people.

    Asked by GetItOut on Saturday, May 9, 2020

    I don't know how to describe what I've heard more than once or twice from some people.

    I've had a strange response from a few when I told them about my cancer diagnosis. It is "oh my God, are you going to die"? Or, "how much time did they give you"?

    Why do people automatically assume that we're all going to die? As one of the popular songs says, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now".

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I think this harkens back to a time when a cancer diagnosis WAS a death sentence. When I was a kid, if you heard someone had cancer the next thing you were doing was going to their funeral. Times have changed. Today there are so many new treatments that now it's swinging the other direction where cancer is looked at as "just" another disease. But many people are still stuck in that old mind set, cancer equals death.

      about 1 year ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      You can't fix "stupid." The general public doesn't not realize the strides that have been made in cancer treatment over the past 30 years. Cancer strikes fear in all. They all remember stories about Aunt Susie or Granddaddy Ben and that they died within weeks or months. Just keep on walking.

      about 1 year ago
    • GetItOut's Avatar
      GetItOut

      I guess that's true, I just can't get over someone blurting that out though. Is that really the first thing that pops into their head?

      about 1 year ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @GetItOut- yes it is the first thing that pops into their head. If only the filter between their emotional brain and their mouth was a little better. The time when cancer WAS a death sentence is not even that long ago in terms of the whole span of history.
      I don't know why people blurt out such insensitive things, but sometimes we just have to turn our head so the "stuff" doesn't hit us when it comes out of their mouths.

      about 1 year ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @GetItOut, yes, it probably IS the first thing that pops into some people's minds. I have to admit that when I was told I had stage 4 lung cancer, it was one of the first things that popped into MY head. My experiences with loved ones who had gotten a similar diagnosis was not good - my dad had the exact same diagnosis as I did and he made it exactly 6 months, just like the doctors predicted - and stats also said I was likely to die within a year. For me, it is not that difficult to see why people might jump to the conclusion that your days on earth are more numbered than perhaps theirs are. (I say this without looking to see what your cancer or stage even are).

      For cancer to be as rampant and common as it is, people still hold lots of misconceptions about it. Many of those misconceptions are based on facts of the past.

      For people to blurt it out to the person diagnosed with cancer ... all I can say is that some people just don't have a filter!!!

      about 1 year ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      People say stupid things. You just have to ignore them.

      about 1 year ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      @LiveWithCancer - best username here! That is precisely what each of us is doing.

      In the case of follicular lymphoma, each month and year that go by bring new treatments, less toxic and more effective treatments. We have the great blessing of that daily reminder of our mortality. Thus, we have a different perspective on life and generally, a greater sense of gratitude. When asked, I can name several reasons why I consider cancer to be a blessing. The new intensity, the new beginning, the new confidence that comes from the battle and each little victory.

      about 1 year ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      None of us is getting out of this life alive. We don’t know when or how, whether we have cancer or not. A fall, car accident, heart attack, stroke or any number of things can happen. Every morning is another chance to grab another day and make the most of it! Remind the dummies that their time will come too! Could be any day now!

      about 1 year ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @po18guy, I too have a list of blessings that have come my way as a direct result of having lung cancer. The list begins with a much stronger and deeper faith. High up on the list, too, are wonderful friends I have made that I would have never ever met if I had not been diagnosed with cancer. Truly, the list of blessings is quite long. I wouldn't have wished to get cancer, but having it has blessed my life in many, many ways.

      about 1 year ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Like espresso, it can initially be shocking, but once you acclimate to the intensity, you find that you have a deep appreciation of it, savoring the taste, the aroma and flavor. It motivates you and its effects are long lasting. How long?

      A day at a time.

      about 1 year 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 follicular lymphoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Follicular Lymphoma page.