• I had a conversation with someone recently about having cancer, 3 times. They were telling me that it was basically my fault

    Asked by GregP_WN on Thursday, January 8, 2015

    I had a conversation with someone recently about having cancer, 3 times. They were telling me that it was basically my fault

    One, because I wasn't eating enough fruits and vegetables, and
    Two, because I hadn't been going to church regular enough.

    I just told them I would work on both of those, and walked off in a bit of a "you can't fix stupid" daze.

    What are some of the reasons you have been told that you got cancer.

    51 Answers from the Community

    51 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Because I smoked.

      about 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Sad, the misconceptions about cancer. I wonder how the person you were talking to, Greg, explains preachers and others who spend lots of time in church getting and even dying from cancer?

      about 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      I have always known the reason I would get cancer. I am a "Downwinder" I was exposed to high levels of radiation as a child. I still have scars from the radiation burns. Most of the time when I tell people that I have had cancer. Their next question is are you a "Downwinder"?

      about 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      They are Idiots.....and nobody ever told me WHY I got cancer they all are just praying for me.....

      about 5 years ago
    • Ellie59's Avatar

      I am speechless. What a incredibly unkind and untrue thing to say to you.
      I am so sorry this happened to you.

      Very unfortunately not everyone is kind.
      In support

      about 5 years ago
    • Sunny1's Avatar

      Wow, what idiotic things people can say. But, I chalk it up to the fact that they are trying to "help" in the only way that they can relate. They become nervous, and act as if I am contagious. So far, creepy comments have included "what if" scenarios, should I die. I Try to keep only the positive, helpful people in my immediate circle, while I walk my journey. Everyone else is kicked to the club until further notice. I am not amused by the nay-Sayers.

      about 5 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      Sorry you had to deal with that a$$hattery.
      I feel fortunate in that I haven't come into contact with that kind of nonsense.

      about 5 years ago
    • IronMom45's Avatar

      Formerly Drinking diet Pepsi, gave it up in July, my work stress schedule, internalizing my stress anger. My biggest is tho I'm an ok weight not obese by no means but not 110 lbs for my height that being that a factor. I just chalk it up to what Evs with these people. No one deserves what we go through.

      about 5 years ago
    • Asanayogini's Avatar

      Greg people never cease to amaze me. I think they are scared so they will put the blame on the person with cancer cuz thy didn't do enough, ugh. I just read an article , and it said we can't avoid cancer it is no ones fault. Sad but true. Sorry you had to hear such nonsense they need to educate themselves. Fortunately I have not met anyone who put the blame on me. But I don't know what they are thinking. We are warriors and we are tough and we can take anything they throw at us.

      about 5 years ago
    • maewia7's Avatar

      So sorry that you had to deal with this person. Check your Bible, Jesus never commands us to go to church. He commands us to love God and love people. Guess this person forgot that second part.

      about 5 years ago
    • carlie's Avatar

      Sometimes others are so convinced that they control the universe. It is such nonsense. We are living beings so we call upon each other for love, encouragment, hope and faith.
      These are to be given to all people we encounter daily. They missed an opportunity to feel alive...be alive. So sorry those words were so false and void.
      Put these in their place daily..."Here comes sun, here comes the sun and I say it's alright..."

      about 5 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar

      That’s so mean! Well, it’s not your fault at all! So sorry that you took time out of your day to waste on this person. Hopefully tomorrow will be filled with warm and positive people! Because of all people you certainly deserve it! Hugs! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

      about 5 years ago
    • Noureen's Avatar

      I always say there is a stupid at the end of every corner!! Sometimes I am baffled by how uneducated and stupid people can be.
      Couple people did blame my cancer to smoking.

      about 5 years ago
    • ritafaystageIV's Avatar

      Well Greg,
      I think we should all start carrying squirt guns. When someone says something stupid to us, we can squirt them in the face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      about 5 years ago
    • 2bbcontinued's Avatar

      I just don't understand the nerve of people to be so hurtful. There was a time when most folks would be polite and empathetic. Saying such things just would not be nice. And people used to be nice. I know most still are but there seems to be a lot more recently who will say things to cause pain. I have had similar things said to me. I was talking to my PCP about my fear of either of my cancers coming back. My PCP told me I didn't need to worry about them coming back. They were both caused by my behavior. Make behavioral changes and I would not have to worry. My previous behavior was responsible for both of my cancers. I had lung cancer and uterine cancer. So the professionals sometimes say hurtful things too. She probably didn't intend to be that way but that is how it came across to me.

      about 5 years ago
    • angeldancer's Avatar

      I have not heard that but indirectly they ask, "what are you eating", when I tell them I am a vegetarian and I was teaching dance before all this happen and vey active lifestyle they said oh wow you just had bad luck. Well yeah, I am one of those that i got the bad hand. Most people are really ignorant of the facts until it happens to them or someone very close to them. Some people are just big dummies and won't gain knowledge until the chips fall.

      about 5 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      Well they tell me that I'm stupid and mean. These always live in apartments-tell me that I don't take care of myself. I have more scars from medical care, then I have from ERs when I had a horse wreck.

      about 5 years ago
    • sallas21's Avatar

      According to that argument, I should not have cancer....considering that I don't smoke, don't drink, have been a vegetarian for the last 30 years, and even eat broccoli! Yes, I do go to church. You're absolutely right... you can't fix stupid.

      about 5 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I know what you mean Greg. After my ovarian cancer diagnosis, I reached out to my family members who had daughters. I had not spoken with my family since my grandparents passed away because they sued me in court because my grandparents left everything to me. But I felt it was necessary to inform them because they had daughters and I wanted them to make their doctors aware that someone in the family had ovarian cancer. When I contacted my mother's younger sister who has four daughters, she told me that her daughters would never get cancer because they were all professionals who took good care of themselves. That made me so angry because I put aside the petty family issues to inform her and she basically insinuated that I got cancer because I don't take care of myself and wasn't professional.

      about 5 years ago
    • HEGCWM's Avatar

      When people tell me Cancer is my fault. Il tell them I got it from my ex. Just kidding. I just thank them for thier kind advise and tell them i will certainly make changes. It easier than having any type of discussion with someone so ignorant..

      about 5 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      Greg, I am so sorry that you had to deal with someone like that. If getting cancer was only caused by what we do or didn't do, I know a lot of people that should have had it before I did. I just will never understand how stupid and unfeeling some people can be. I personally am very impressed by all that you have gone through and obviously with a positive attitude.

      about 5 years ago
    • AnnyKay's Avatar

      I was a smoker, have since quit and I am sure some people think it but none have ever come out and actually blamed me for my lung cancer. I have been very blessed with supportive family and friends. I have had a few ask if I had quit smoking and when the answer was yes, they seem pleased and we moved on. Sorry some of you have had to deal with such ignorant people. Prayers and cyberhugs to all.

      about 5 years ago
    • amontoya's Avatar

      Ignorance is bliss.

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      Greg, what a smug, thoughtless creature you encountered! I'd have had a hard time being civil in reaction to those pearls. My thinking is: Even if someone put down a cigarette only to eat and sleep, if that person gets a smoking-related cancer, empathy and support can be useful to that person, and accusations or "I told you so's" should never be said.

      about 5 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar

      There is no arguing on this subject. Many people live unhealthy lives and don't get cancer. If we knew what we did or didn't do, we would certainly try to prevent it since most of us probably have not enjoyed our cancer and treatment. We could all eat healthy, but even that is a challenge with all the polluntants in the air, water, soil.

      about 5 years ago
    • daddysgirl00's Avatar

      Im so sorry you had to go through this. I just want to clarify something for those ignorant people who make rude comments without know a person's situation. Last February my father who is 55 years old was diagnosed with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma. Just 3 days ago we got the worst news possible, the cancer has now spread to his brain where hr has 3 tumors. My FATHER NEVER SMOKED A SINGLE CIGARETTE!

      about 5 years ago
    • kiki95632's Avatar

      So sorry that you had to have conversation with someone who is so misinformed. I never smoked, never drank soda, nor drank alcohol. I think those who try to put blame on a person for getting cancer have something wrong with them so they try to justify their shortcomings by blaming others or are just ignorant. I tell people now that cancer was a gift from God. It has made me a stronger person. It has taught me compassion and made me slow my life down so I can appreciate the people and beauty in life. Cancer is what you make of it. You can have a pity party which we all do at first...but then you start to fight and make your life better for it. Think of all the things you have done since getting cancer. I am sure you have done and met people you never would have had cancer not entered your life. Let that person gave you the gift of being tolerant or you would not be able to talk to them

      about 5 years ago
    • Hussy's Avatar

      There's no shortage of fools on this planet.

      about 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      As one of those southern comedians always said, "here's your sign", when describing how stupid some people can be. Sigh.

      about 5 years ago
    • Yvette0516's Avatar

      Hi Greg. I haven't been on for a while, I've been struggling with my breast cancer that I must have caused?!?! Seriously, you know better. It is very hurtful when people say really ignorant things because they are ill informed. Lots of people have very definitive things they believe about what causes cancer. Most of these folks have never had cancer, and so they are talking from no experience and very little education about it.

      We, as people who have experienced cancer must learn to gently (I say gently because I've learned not to fight with ignorance) challenge the person to do their research if that is what they believe - - and they will learn differently.

      In the meantime, the important thing is YOU know the truth. You know you didn't cause your cancer, even once, much less 3 times. While reducing stress, not smoking, not consuming certain foods, etc.... can certainly help us maintain a cancer free life - - it is not a guarantee at all - - and I know people who never did any smoking, drinking, stress-filled, alcoholic, horrible, unhealthy food lifestyles and they have cancer - - so how would your friend explain that?

      Sometimes.... it doesn't make sense to even respond to comments that do not make sense to begin with. Follow you heart Greg, as it's an awfully big one, and will not steer you wrong.

      Much love. Yvette

      about 5 years ago
    • glam's Avatar

      I was also told that I had cancer because I did not eat enough fruits and vegetables as this was the only risk factor they could match with my profile........but since then, whenever I get sad, mad, tired, depressed or any similar feelings to those negative emotions.....people say....."pay attention....you can not feel this way as your cancer will come back sooner........(.....I think they believe it will make me react and feel better but it makes me feel worst because I believe we cancer survivors have also the right to live and react to our bad moments as any human being has without feeling this is a sentence of death........differently of having negative feelings for a long period of time and with no reason.......God continue blessing all of us

      about 5 years ago
    • schweetieangel's Avatar

      Some people are better off saying nothing at all.. can't believe the nerve of people. Sorry to hear you had to deal with someone so insensitive.. hopefully that will be the last time.. hugs xx

      about 5 years ago
    • Sandie's Avatar

      Evidentally this person has so much anger in them because this is the third time that cancer has reaccured and they lashed out at you Greg P, Im sorry for them....but to take it and blame someone else is way out of the park. I believe cancer victims carry it in there bodies because of a gene, or whatever...I dont think it is because of anything we do to "ourselves"...We are unfortunately one of the millions who have it, in whatever kind we have it....I smoked cigarettes for most of my life, and quit twenty years ago....When I found out I had Stage IV lung cancer...It blew my mind....but I do believe...It was just not the smoking that caused it.....It was there, just waiting to come out.....and it did, twenty years later.......

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      And babies and very young children also get cancer (though childhood cancers are rare). Did THEY do something to get sick?

      about 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      Cancer is part of our system all the time....we don't get or catch cancer. It happens when the mechanism of the T cells mostly lose the ability or strength to keep this in check. It's really a normal thing that happens all the time. As normal cells divide a small portion of them

      about 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      Have misprints of the DNA and are usually zapped. Cancer is NOT an alien force from the outside. SO Many people don't know this.....It starts from within and has to fixed from within.

      about 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Thanks for the comments, I know that all of us have heard your own share of similar things. While reading through these I thought of a couple more that I heard years ago, one was that I must not have heard of "xyz supplements", because if I had been taking them I wouldn't have gotten cancer. After all, just look at me, (the person said) I haven't had cancer and I've been taking this for 3 months!! Then they insisted I take the name and address of where to order some from some place in Europe.
      One of my best friends was a "health nut", only ate what he thought was low calorie, low fat, good for you type stuff. Everyone else would be eating a burger, he would have a salad, always worked out, he and his wife walked every day, etc. He had a headache at work one day that wouldn't go away, after his doctor visit, he was dead in less than 6 months from brain tumor.

      I asked my first doctor point blank, "why did I get cancer", I was young and healthy, didn't even have a family doctor. He simply said, "well, if I could tell you why you got it, we could cure it". Makes sense!

      Rita Faye, I like the squirt gun idea, that would be fun! YVette, glad to see you back with us, but sorry you're having to handle your own issues. (You should have been more careful!!) I hope you're doing well!

      about 5 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      My take on people who blame the patient is that they are (subconsciously) trying to say THEY are immune because they eat right, don't smoke, eat only fresh grown organic vegetables or whatever the case may be. I think it says far less about us and our cancer than about them, their fears and wish to insulate themselves from a disease that seems to have little rhyme or reason in those it strikes.

      It's not your fault. It's not my fault. BLANK happens. It really does. And it sucks, but that doesn't make it our fault.

      about 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      Nobody is immune from death and cancer is just one tool God uses among many to let us know when it's time to move on and make room for somebody else. All this talk about this and that is stupid........it's just NOISE.....Live your life and when it's over IT'S OVER......can't push back the tide forever and to worry about it is USELESS....

      about 5 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      Greg, I am sure you know," don't sweat the small stuff", some people fall into this category too.

      about 5 years ago
    • Molly72's Avatar

      I used to smoke but many years ago
      I hate many vegetables
      I used to exercise, but now can't
      I eat what I want & weigh what I don't want, (Cancer=Weight loss is a un-truth, at least for me)
      I don't go to temple or church, nor have I ever read the bible.... nor do I want to
      My spiritual beliefs are not very orthodox, some of you might burn me at the stake

      So I am living proof ( 5 cancers) that what all those sanctimonious fools have been preaching to some of you is possibly correct. Please have them write or call me ASAP for further discussion!!!

      about 5 years ago
    • debrajo9's Avatar

      I understand! Had a Doctor{at cancer center} tell me my "obesity" caused my cancer. He said all OVERIAN cancer was due to this. News flash doc, who's chart are you reading?....I have UTERINE cancer, UPSC, not hormone driven, ect. Must have got the doc at the BOTTOM of his class! JERK!

      about 5 years ago
    • Jean-Luc's Avatar

      I keep these kind of people away from me.
      They have nothing of value to contribute, and it seems their only function is saying nasty, insensitive and horrendously false misconceptions and lies (to feel better themselves by putting someone else down?).
      As I see it, cancer - and other terrible diseases - are like items on the big wheel of misfortune, and they can happen to any body, and any age, and even though there could be aggravating factors, no reason could be pointed out, especially by cancer uneducated self acclaimed specialist like these individuals.
      So I give them the choice to either keep their irrelevant rude opinion to themselves, or actually be supportive to me instead of destructive (aka help or get out of my way).
      I am 44, and I have lung cancer (learned I have it for sure on New Year-s Eve).

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      Jean-Luc, I wish you all the best.

      about 5 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      The ignorant ones who stay that way are not worth our precious time. I'm open to explaining and sharing experience with cancer since that will help the more open minded people understand cancer.
      As I have heard many many times....LET IT GO! Especially the unnecessary stress.

      about 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      I'm amazed at your even handedness.

      I'm just learning to balance and stay cool.

      about 5 years ago
    • tvizme's Avatar

      My siblings are either top of the heap at the First Baptist Church or pill head drunks. I am just me, don't drink not do I go to church. So do I listen to those that play the blame game, absolutely not. Many years ago I started to surround myself with loving, supportive friends (chosen family) and everyone else is shown the door, simple as that.

      about 5 years ago
    • Beeps' Avatar

      Response: " ouch"- if they ignore the "0uch" move on... If they ask about the " ouch"- attempt to educate them so they don't continue to thoughtlessly offend people who are already suffering-

      Unfortunately- some folks have drawn there answer to why you've got cancer... Don't ask, say nothing, etc... And move on holding onto their ideas...they're trying to believe there's. No way they'll get it!

      over 4 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar

      Yeap ! always my fault each and everytime also.

      over 4 years ago
    • TracyLynne's Avatar

      I have to laugh at some of the comments I've both heard and read here... I've been told by people that, because I don't believe in their god, I'm being punished... Another said it was all the diet coke I drink... Another, from smoking... Okay, the smoking I can accept as we all know that it a leading cause of kick starting those nasty buggers that lie in wait in our bodies... Most times, I just give them that "you're an idiot" smile... If it's someone that is genuinely ignorant regarding Cancer, I talk to them... Fortunately, it is rare that I run into the actual idiots... I have the most loving and compassionate support system! I loved the questions from my niece and nephew, as it gave me a chance to educate them and, hopefully, put their minds at ease a little (does it hurt? Can I catch it? Are you going to die?). Innocence... :)

      over 4 years ago
    • janealexa's Avatar

      i just love to read everything to see if someone is going thru what i am and when and what will be next

      over 4 years ago

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