• RMR's Avatar

    What is the most insensitive thing that someone has said to you during your cancer journey?

    Asked by RMR on Monday, November 19, 2012

    What is the most insensitive thing that someone has said to you during your cancer journey?

    For me it was just recently when I told a friend that I had my appoitnment for my nipple tattoo. She said "ooh ... you can't be buried in a Jewish cemetary". For those unfamiliar tattoo is not sanctioned by Orthodox Judiasm. Somehow, I don't think this counts. And I don't care...not planning on needing a cemetary any time soon.

    119 Answers from the Community

    119 answers
    • Anita's Avatar
      Anita

      On my last day of chemo (while still sitting in the chair) a women called on my cell, the chemo nurse was standing next to me and heard what she said and got so upset.This women says, well I hope you enjoyed your REST these past 8 months and will be ready to start helping someone.!! My nurse wanted to get her..I did let her know, which is out of the norm for me, that there is nothing , nothing restful about having cancer or beinging in treatment
      Other than that one time, everyone who was a friend, family etc was very suppotive.

      over 4 years ago
    • RMR's Avatar
      RMR

      Anita - thanks for your response. I am sorry you had to hear that. It amazes me how people can try and equate being out if work on disability (for things like surgery and chemo) to being like on vacation.

      over 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      I've been fairly lucky. I suppose the worst for me was when my boss figured out that I was getting "CHEMO!" I'm not entirely sure what he thinks chemo entails.

      over 4 years ago
    • Modern's Avatar
      Modern

      I got two one was sort of an accident a friend was introducing me to her cousin and introduced me as "her friend with cancer" which being two days after my diagnsis I was rather upset about. The second was I was talking to my dad about being excited for college and he said well you'll have a hard time since you haven't wanted to do anything the last six months and you're fat and out of shape. I was just like you really said that after I've had cancer but still got As in two college courses cooked dinner every night and cleaned the house so yeah that one really ticked me off

      over 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      If it wasn't so sad, that would be almost funny. That's the last thing on your mind, right. Not only insensitive, but absurd. I'm sure that must be different.

      Some things are obvious, but it's difficult sometimes to know what sensitive means when you're talking to an individual. We have different rules for sensitivity. It's hard to walk on eggshells, and if you just stay quiet, then someone may think it's insensitive to not talk about it. I'm sure I have seemed insensitive to people without meaning to.

      I'm a caregiver for my dad who survived lung cancer, and then was diagnosed this year with advanced pancreatic cancer. I was talking to someone from the medical field about my health problem. Because I was naturally upset about dad, I told him that my dad was just told he had about six months to live, maybe a little more if he had treatment. The guy looked down at the paper, and said, "Well if you had insurance, we could get you someone to talk to you about that." At the time, that was a little bit stabbing.

      I learned a long time ago, that people are going to be people, and you have to brush them off.

      over 4 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar
      PhillieG

      "Without HIM, all we deserve is heII".
      That took the cake...
      (Very difficult to post this without my words being turned in X's)

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar
      JennyMiller

      On our "Journey" we strive to be strong and maintain a strong sense of Hope. A couple of times when someone found out I had Cancer - their reply was - "my grandmother died from breast cancer" -- "my cousin lost her battle early". Of course, it scared me. But then, on the other hand, I would get the positive replies -- the survivor stories -- the mom, aunt, sister and friend who had advanced stages with lymph node involvement who are 10, 15 & 20 years out and doing great. I totally love the success stories!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • planogirl60's Avatar
      planogirl60

      I was surrounded by a wonderful support system during my treatment for Tonsil cancer. However shortly after I finished treatment I went to the funeral of a older friend. Her daughter had known me since she was a young girl, had been my maid of honor at my wedding, but never called, or visited or got in touch with me the whole time I was sick. During my treatment I lost 52 pounds. I had been overweight and was thankful I had the extra pounds to lose. At the funeral my friend came up to me and took one look at my skinny legs and she started tsk tsking about how skinny I was, like she wished she was me (she was a bit overweight). I said, "yeah, cancer diet, I wouldn't recommend it." It was only then that it snuck in with her just a little of what I had been through. The other one was this past summer ( 8 years from diagnosis) ran into an old work buddy I hadn't seen since well before my cancer so we were catching up. His wife was standing there and he introduced us, she in turn yelled at her kid's to come over and she said all excited, "look she had cancer! See the scar on her neck!" Like a freak show.

      over 4 years ago
    • Taagbu's Avatar
      Taagbu

      After hearing that I was just diagnosed with cancer, I had a co-worker who told me, "We both had such horrible day yesterday". I was very concerned and asked what had happened to her. She told me that her roommate had been in a car accident the day before. I asked about her state of health, concerned. I was then told she was fine, but the car was totaled. Really, did you just compare me learning I had cancer to a wrecked car?? I now laugh about it, but at the time I was now than a little annoyed!

      over 4 years ago
    • CountryGirl's Avatar
      CountryGirl

      Hi, RMR. After diagnosis, I cried constantly until treatment finally started and I had a plan. During one of those weekends, I asked my mother in law to watch the kids and have fun with them. She did. I cried on the way to pick them up. I was sad that i couldn't be more cheery when I picked them up. When I returned home, my husband met me at the door. "My mom called. She wants to know why you were short with her." I exploded. On top of everything else she caused a fight between me and my husband when I needed his patience and support most.

      She has not talked to me in two years. We will spend the holidays out of the state to make it less of an issue for our two children.

      Your tattoos are not intended to deface the body. Everyone who has radiation has tattoos. God would not keep every faithful soul who has radiation out of heaven. And i don't think that God will judge you for nipple tattoos after reconstruction. That's crazy talk--catholic, Protestant, or Jewish.

      over 4 years ago
    • spring's Avatar
      spring

      Right after I was diagnosed with NHL, I told my dentist of 27 years, and he said,"Chin up!"

      Also, two girlfriends of mine and I went out to dinner during the worst of my radiation side effects. They started going on about how routine cancer screenings aren't always necessary, ending with, 'Well, you'll die anyway, so what's the difference?" I was so appalled, I later ended those friendships, a toxic to my survival.

      over 4 years ago
    • Daytonagal's Avatar
      Daytonagal

      I was diaganosed 2 months to the day that my sister died of cervical cancer. (I was her caregiver)
      When I told our mother, she said "Great..just great...now I have to bury another daughter."

      over 4 years ago
    • freshcarrots' Avatar
      freshcarrots

      After I was diagnosed with BC I was down at our neighborhood pool with a friend of mine. I was quite social with most of the neighbors and we typically would gather in the evenings and have a few drinks. A man who lived a few houses from me was quite drunk and started heckling me and calling me "chemo girl" at a very loud boisterous chant. He just wouldn't let up and it felt like it went on forever. I was 45 years old at the time and felt like this should have been coming from some white trash instead of a so called "professional" man that worked at Siemens; a well thought of company. No one at the pool including the woman I was sitting with or his wife made any kind of comment or seemed to think this was inappropriate. I was very nervous and blew it off with a nervous laugh at the time, but inside I was torn up. I went home and cried in the privacy of my home and never shared it with my husband. It amazes me first of all of the insensitivity of this creep, but also that not one of the neighbors intervened on my behalf. That was such a bad memory for me along with my cancer journey that I can't seem to forget. I moved from that neighborhood and chalked it up to a very bad experience.

      over 4 years ago
    • JMS's Avatar
      JMS

      To me, the most insensitive things people have saiddeal with feeling compelled to tell me of another person they know or have read about who died of pancreatic cancer (and how long they survived after initial diagnosis). Why do I need constant reminders that I've been diagnosed with a serious and often fatal disease?

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      Unbelievable....a former boss told me that they got the short end of the stick when I was in treatment...I wanted to rip open my top and say who got the short end of the stick!!!! but figured she would fire me on the spot (she was trying to get rid of me anyways..and eventually succeeded). And any truly religious jew would know better than to make the comment this person made to you...they would know not to say a hurtful comment!!!! (sorry to make this generalization.....I am a MOTT!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      oh my! I have had numerous insensitive/ignorant things said to me during my cancer treatment.
      1) I had received free tickets to Universal Orlando theme park through Compassion Partners for me and my family so we could just go have fun and forget about cancer for a day or 2. I was telling a coworker about it and another coworker said "oh, you are so lucky you got free tickets to Universal because you have cancer!" Ummmm, I for one, would rather pay the $90.00 entrance fee and not have cancer, but to each their own!
      2) I had a friend send me a book called Cancer Killers and tell me I got cancer because I eat a lot of bacon. (for the record, while I do enjoy bacon, I eat it once or twice a month at most!)
      3) That's awesome that you got new boobs. (Well, yeah they are nice and perky but they have no feeling and no nipples, and I HAVE CANCER!)
      4) During my hospital stay for my last surgery (to replace my left implant) my nurse told me that her neighbor had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and she grills her food a lot. She asked if I grill my food a lot and I said I did. She then said "well, you probably got cancer from eating all that grilled food." (yes! And all the bacon!)
      5) And the numerous people who, throughout my treatment said "you don't even look sick." I even had a lady say that to me while we were both getting our chemo. To me, that is not a compliment.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      Oh, I almost forgot this one:
      I was getting an MRI on my kneee and the admitting lady called to get my medical history.
      MRI Lady: Have you had any surgery?
      Me: Yes, many. Right ankle, appendectomy, blah blah blah, and Bilateral Mastectomy with Reconstruction.
      MRI Lady: OH, did you have cancer?
      Me: No ma'am, my large breasts were becoming a hassle so I had them removed.
      MRI Lady: oh, okay. Any other surgeries.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      When I was first diagnosed with advanced kidney caner (14.5 after my nephectomy) someone said "do you think if you went for scans more often they would have caught it sooner" -I was getting CT was 10 years and then switched to sonograms of my healthy kidney. It was caught very early and as remained stable for over 3.5 years.

      About the breast Tats - the day I was scheduled to have mine I told the Radiation Oncology I was really excited about getting my tattoos because Orthodox people general don't get them but that this was a legit medical/life saving procedure that allowed for tats.

      over 4 years ago
    • liznparadise's Avatar
      liznparadise

      I think mine was an email chain prayer request from a "friend" to keep the candle burning for those with cancer. It went on about cancer and how it always comes back blah, blah, blah. Didn't appreciate that prayer since I was hoping and praying that it wouldn't come back!

      over 4 years ago
    • Kelli's Avatar
      Kelli

      Just before going out on leave for bilateral mastecomy surgery, by boss gave me my annual job review. My review went fine until the last comment. She said "you have to watch your sick time...you have been out too much for doctor appointments". I had planned to be out only 6 weeks for surgery, but due to many complications it ended being 4 months. You don't know how many times I sat and cried because i thought she was going to fire me. When I finally got back, she scheduled me for a high amount of weeks of travel...giving the explanation that I was out for such a long time that she and my co-worker had to carry my load. If we did not need my job so much, I woudl have walked. The comments were so cruel and I try not to think about them.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      Oh my, my husband and I are both 30 years into our second marriage. I know God put us both literally on a street corner during a small town 'street dance' 31 years ago. We both remark how perfectly we each answered the others dreams of a faithful husband and loving faithful wife. We do a lot with our children... together we have eight.. all married and through the years have added 17 grandchildren. We were at the highschool graduation party of a granddaughter from 'Tom's side" and, of course she and her present husband were there. They came to our table to sit and 'chat'. They knew I'd been diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian canceer and that I was in chemo, I was wearing a wig, had lost all my hair, etc. etc. Doctor had me on steroids and I was 'swollen' to be kind to myself. I answered their questions, and told them that the last PET CT Scan showed I was cancer free... Their response... WAIT FOR IT.... She looked at me and said... Oh they Told "his name" 's wife that and she died six months later. He smiled and nodded in agreement then said. That's right dear... she got worse and worse then died....... Now what the heck does one say to that.... What I did.???... I'm still alive and doing things 7 years later... at parties with them and our children.... They still make snide remarks and I smile.... I have my husband near and if he could call me beautiful, when I was bald and swollen... I KNOW I'm in the right place.

      over 4 years ago
    • bigladylw79's Avatar
      bigladylw79

      When I was in the hospital after my total hysterectomy a doctor came and seen me to discharge me. I was eating a cookie. He asked me what I was eating and I told him, he replied "isn't that how you got here in the first place". I am obese and I guess he assumed that is what caused my cancer.

      over 4 years ago
    • Jayne's Avatar
      Jayne

      Believe it or not, we had a visiting wound vac nurse who came to the house after one of my husband's liver surgeries who tried to sell us a "potion" that was only available through a distributor (her!) that was shown to cure cancer. If I wasn't so overwhelmed, I would have reported her but never did. I was mighty angry over the whole thing though...talk about nerve!

      over 4 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar
      princess123

      Before I was diagnosed I had a hard time getting the doctor to take me seriously. I realy could not function, I was that sick. I asked the girl setting appointments " you mean no one is going to do anything? I can't continue like this." She said to" check yourself into the sike ward at the hospital".
      After I was diagnosed with state IV and not curable she said" don't you feel better now that you know what the problem is". This is the girl in the doctor's office!
      I also got the comments about wanting to see my bald head. My boyfriend says it didn't bother him. Why should it. It wasn't happening to him.

      over 4 years ago
    • zoomdots' Avatar
      zoomdots

      this is your fault

      over 4 years ago
    • still_fighting's Avatar
      still_fighting

      During my first round of chemo I was so sick and so weak. It just so happened that Wichita was having their annual cancer walk and I wanted to participate even though I was extremely weak I was still alive and still fighting and wanted to show everyone that they could still help with cancer awareness. While I was there with my 'caretakers'...my two young boys and my nephew someone remarked that they didn't know why I was acting all sick and everything obviously I didn't have cancer because I still had all my hair. I was so sick that I only made it half way around the track before I had to get a ride in the cart to finish the walk but frankly I was just too weak. Not everyone loses their hair when they are going through chemo, that doesn't mean they aren't and that doesn't mean they aren't sick or weak from it. I was so upset I just left before the cerimonies finished. My boys were proud that I mustered enough energy to even attempt the walk and so was I, that's all that mattered.

      over 4 years ago
    • zoomdots' Avatar
      zoomdots

      clarify being told "this is your fault"
      i disagree
      comments please!!!
      there are alot of mean spirited persons who come as wolves in sheeps clothing

      over 4 years ago
    • rginoceanside's Avatar
      rginoceanside

      came from my husband.....he said, "well you have new boobs and you could get any guy you want:".
      Should I stay with him?

      over 4 years ago
    • TubThumping's Avatar
      TubThumping

      I had undergone radiation, limb-sparing surgery and chemo. My hair had come back and was about two inches long. She said "Oh yea, he heard you were going through something. Well, at least you luved a ling life." I was 48 at the time and had a 13 year old at home. I know she was referring to her son who had multiple brain surgeries before he was five. But seriously? Do people listen to what comes out of their mouths. I think my husband had to close my mouth, I was flabbergasted to the point I had no rebuttal which is highly unusual for me.

      over 4 years ago
    • darshana's Avatar
      darshana

      I was surprisingly upset when a shopowner in my village started talking to me about "fighting this thing. You're a fighter, aren't you? You're thinking positive aren't you?" Well, I had just had my second chemo, was stark bald and very thin. Was did he think I had been doing for the past two months (one of which was in the hospital with post-surgery complications)? By the way, this was my first trip to town after my hospitalization.

      over 4 years ago
    • susanz's Avatar
      susanz

      My Aetna disability insurance agent Kathy, screamed and yelled at me "I don't believe you have cancer! I think you are faking it, why can't you go back to work!" Sent me into a deep depression for months. This was after insurance second opinion tumor on spine was partially removed, lamenectomy left me in a wheelchair and in the middle of chemotherapy. This after paying faithfully for diability insurance for the last 35 years.

      over 4 years ago
    • susanz's Avatar
      susanz

      My Aetna disability insurance agent Kathy, screamed and yelled at me "I don't believe you have cancer! I think you are faking it, why can't you go back to work!" Sent me into a deep depression for months. This was after insurance second opinion tumor on spine was partially removed, lamenectomy left me in a wheelchair and in the middle of chemotherapy. This after paying faithfully for diability insurance for the last 35 years.

      over 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar
      Clyde

      This is why I haven't told anyone and won't if possible. I'm not sure I would have the presence of mind that many of you have shown to handle the insensitivity of these people. You all show great courage and strength.

      over 4 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar
      mysecondchance

      My very good friend said something to me yesterday that kind of bugged me. I was telling her I had woken up several times the night before because I was hot and perspiring. It is a side effect from the Tamoxifen I am taking for my ovarian cancer recurrence. I said it's not that bad and she said, yeah at least you're alive. Believe me, I am beyond grateful to be alive but I think I still have the right to express my mild discomforts.

      over 4 years ago
    • joyce1979's Avatar
      joyce1979

      When first diagnosed with rectal cancer, I was asked, "Is it contagious?"

      over 4 years ago
    • joyce1979's Avatar
      joyce1979

      After being diagnosed with rectal cancer, I was asked, "Is it contagious?"

      over 4 years ago
    • Diana60's Avatar
      Diana60

      I have lost my mother and sister to lung cancer so I always encourage people to quit. One pointed out to me that I didn't have a right to say anything about his habit because I was the one with cancer and had never tried smoking.

      over 4 years ago
    • Shoeless' Avatar
      Shoeless

      Sometimes people don't think about what they're saying. Sometimes if something surprises or shocks them, they get all nervous and say the first thing that pops into their heads. I always try to keep my mouth shut if I don't know the right thing to say, but I'm not always successful in that endeavor. Then later I'll think about what I said and feel bad, but it can't be unsaid. Some people, on the other hand, are just mean spirited. You have to overlok them. Go on about your business and ignore the idiots. And I am sure God will not punish you for the small ink dot you will receive as part of your treatment. After all, who gave the doctors and scientific researchers the brains to come up with cures for this horrible disease? I get into trouble sometimes for saying things like that, like when my friend's daughter-in-law refused to take her new baby anywhere outside the house for any reason until after his christening, because if anything happened to him, God would not let him into heaven. B U L L . My God would never punish an innocent newborn - if hers would, then she is with the wrong God. You and I may not agree on everything, but we do believe in the same God, and he knows your circumstances, and your heart, better than any insensitive or unthinking mortal. Best of luck in your battle - I will put in a good word for you tonight when I'm talking with our God.

      over 4 years ago
    • Maxine's Avatar
      Maxine

      After fighting my way back to health after two cancer surgeries and a month in rehab (I went in by ambulance and was confined to a wheelchair), I called my Principal that I was ready to return to my job as a third grade teacher. I love my job, and fought my way back to health because of it. My Principal's reply?? "I need someone that I can count on in that classroom. Testing is coming and what if you can't do the job?"
      She couldn't stop me-- I returned to work and did a great job. I only missed the days that I went for chemo (3). I went for radiation everyday after school. I had to prove her wrong. As a result, I think that she was one of the factors that has brought me back to good health. I am a survivor-- and working in a job that I love!!!~!

      over 4 years ago
    • Richardc's Avatar
      Richardc

      During a discussion, someone mentioned another person who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. This "supposedly" intelligent persons said they didn't see what the big deal is. After all, you treat it (the cancer) like a cold and you're over it. I was a little dumbfounded.

      over 4 years ago
    • cancervivor's Avatar
      cancervivor

      My hair was falling out and I had not cut it off yet, it was wierd looking, it had fallen out in the back and was thinning out everywhere else. One guy asked me why I cut my hair like that, when we were standing in line at a store. I told him I didn't cut it that way, the Cancer did.

      over 4 years ago
    • shlynn59's Avatar
      shlynn59

      Mine was when my co-worker told me it had been 5 months get over it, and that her broken ankle was much worse. This still hurts. She later said she was sorry, but it is still at the back of my mind.

      over 4 years ago
    • ScrapbookerKay's Avatar
      ScrapbookerKay

      After having lymphoma, which they claim is caused by chemicals but they haven't proven anythin g. So I decided I wouldn't subject myself to chemicals unnecessarily. When my hair came back in, I didn't color it and there is some gray. My husband and sons are fine with this decision, after all I am a grandma. My sister-in-law said I would "look younger" if I would color my hair. Now what? Look old and try to avoid chemicals.

      over 4 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar
      debsweb18

      My husband & I were at a party just after I was diagnosed. When my husband told a friend of ours I had cancer, he went on to tell how his dad was diagnosed with cancer at 50 (I was 58) and aged 20 years overnight. Then he went on to tell all about his medical problems (very insignificant compared to cancer). I just stood and stared at him in disbelief. If his wife had heard him talking, I'm sure she would have wacked him across the head.

      over 4 years ago
    • BigCWife's Avatar
      BigCWife

      While right in the midst of chemo, a cousin sent an email that condemned all chemotherapy as poison and said that if my husband continued taking it, that he was just going to die anyway because the chemo would kill him. Needless to say, that cousin is on my "s" list!!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • skyeblue's Avatar
      skyeblue

      For me it is not what they have said, but what they haven't said. My own son, when my daughter contacted him the information I was just diagnosed with cancer and would go under the knife - he did not call us back. "Friends" I told just said "oh," and continued the conversation. I want to be sensitive to the fact that telling someone you have cancer may be too big to comprehend and deal with, but NO ONE when I told them said anything like what I would have wanted to hear: I'm sorry, IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?

      over 4 years ago
    • jad's Avatar
      jad (Best Answer!)

      Terrible comment. I think the rules are relaxed - how else would they bury Jewish Holocaust
      survivors in a cemetary? Talk to your rabbi. Rules can be bent - or seek out a group with a more modern approach.

      over 4 years ago
    • jad's Avatar
      jad

      Terribly insensitive. I think there is enough flexibility for rules to accomodate to the situation.
      How else would Jewish Holocaust survivors be buried? Talk to you Rabbi if this is important to you. Or perhaps seek out a more modern-thinking group.

      over 4 years ago
    • maralyn's Avatar
      maralyn

      a friend asked me, "i hear you need more surgery and that you are going to die?" well, i thought, and then i wrote back,,, "Yes i do need more surgery, and Yes, we ALL will die one day"

      over 4 years ago
    • steph211's Avatar
      steph211

      I worked in retail at the time of treatment and I had a customer tell me she knew exactly what I was going through because her dog also had cancer....

      over 4 years ago
    • ElizaM's Avatar
      ElizaM

      I like your attitude - good for you. My ex friend/housemate, who obviously resented me for my diagnosis and was suddenly full of vengeance and hatred, complained that "it's all about you, isn't it?" To which I said "Yes, and it's about time", having spent all my life taking care of others, including her. I moved out shortly thereafter - not what I needed in the midst of chemo, and couldn't have done it without my son's devoted care and support. Couldn't breathe while I remained there - getting rid of stress is helpful to the healing process so I was determined not to endure more of the same.

      over 4 years ago
    • ElizaM's Avatar
      ElizaM

      As a follow up - I was so shaken by my housemate's reaction and her sudden change of personality I discussed it with my oncologist who was not in the least bit surprised, Although I don't have breast cancer, supposedly a lot of women go through this with a breast cancer diagnosis when their husband's can't handle or fix it. I had no idea that there are so many family members and supposed friends who can just turn their affection into such mean and nasty behavior although I've worked in hospice settings for many years and thought I'd seen it all! These folks who are so insensitive need to take a good l look in the mirror and try to imagine how they would feel if the tables were turned and they were the "victim" of such cruelty.

      over 4 years ago
    • RMR's Avatar
      RMR

      I want to thank all of you who responded to my question. I never imagined I would get so many responses and I really appreciate how you all shared your experiences with me. I hope you found it as helpful and therapeutic to share your experience as I did.

      To set the record straight, I really do not care about the whole "can I be buried in a Jewish Cemetary" issue. I am at peace with that. I was just amazed at how the "insensitivity" of my friend made me feel. After reading all your responses I have come to a few conclusions:
      1. Some people are simply mean. (thankfully not the majority).
      2. I agree with many of you that some people, until they go through something like cancer (and I wish no one would ever have to go through cancer), just don't get it. They do not mean to be insensitive, they just don't know how to react or what the right thing to say is.
      3. I am thankful for those in my life who do "get it" and are always supportive.
      4. I am appreciative of this website and community for the support and insight I have found here.

      Hang in there! Here's to survivorship!

      over 4 years ago
    • MsPeri's Avatar
      MsPeri

      When I hear an insensitive answer or am asked an insensitive question, I try to remember that people very often are trying to show concern, but don't often know how to and don't stop to think how their well-meant words sound to the recipient!

      over 4 years ago
    • BoopEDew's Avatar
      BoopEDew

      I was at work and one of my co workers was having a bad day. She was cursing, upset and I decided not to let her upset me. A few hours later, she read a newspaper article about a local TV Anchor who was killed in a car wreck. Being in the breast cancer community, I know that the TV Anchors wife was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and merely mentioned it. The woman said, "I am so god damned tired of hearing about BREAST CANCER. All you have to do for breast cancer is chop your titties off, take your treatment and SHUT UP!!! She then went on a tangent because her friend had just passed from brain cancer. She was taking it out on me that I had the audacity to live through my cancer journey but that her friend died. I ordinarily have great empathy and compassion but this woman's words were totally venemous.

      She continued by saying, "Men don't get breast cancer! They don't have mammograms and they don't have mastectomies!!" She said that her friend just died of brain cancer and that she had somebody die in her arms from lung cancer. About then I lost it with her, said, "AND YET, YOU SMOKE!!!" I got up out of my chair, told her she had no clue what she was talking about and left. I refuse to work with her now.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bellingham's Avatar
      Bellingham

      My Aunt called me and wanted to know how I was. I responded that I had the mastectomy and was undergoing chemo. She told me that chemo was poison. I replied that I hoped so as I wanted the cancer to die. She called me another time and said how terrible it was for her because she had had 2 nieces and a nephew and now she had just her nephew. I replied I was dead yet. She called me a third time and I haven't returned the call. Talking to her is not good for my recovery.

      over 4 years ago
    • Kitsaplakegirl's Avatar
      Kitsaplakegirl

      when I was diagnosed at age 49 with stage3b anal cancer my fathers only response was "thats the cancer Farrah Fawcett died from", yes dad-thanks for your concern. Although we only live 45minutes apart,I didn't see him for almost a year because he doesn't like hospitals or doctors,I so feel for people taking the journey alone,it's a terrible roe to hoe alone. dw

      about 4 years ago
    • BobbiW's Avatar
      BobbiW

      Sadly, the most insensitive thing someone has said to me was from my mom. There have been 2 separate occasions during the past few weeks when she has said, "Well, they've done all they can do." Now, I know at age 88 years-young, she sees things differently and her experiences in life are different than mine, but come on!! I'm in the middle of chemo treatment and plan to beat this ugly "C" stuff, moving forward!! In response, I tried to correct her by saying, "They ARE doing all they can do and I am still living and do not plan to give up." Her response to this, "Yes, they've done all they can do." UGH! Don't need the negativity while I fight this!

      Oh, another occasion just after my diagnosis (and again yesterday) -- my mom pulled me aside and asked "You do have your daughter as a beneficiary, right?" That one stumped me as it appeared she was only concerned with my daughter's right to inheritance after I'm gone rather than the normal distribution to my absolutely wonderful, caring, and supportive husband of 23 years who will insure she gets her share....

      Am I being too critical of her comments?

      about 4 years ago
    • Angel_1's Avatar
      Angel_1

      My spouse told me after my mastectomy surgery-"Now you really look like a freak."

      about 4 years ago
    • keysha's Avatar
      keysha

      When I told my husband he said "Those doctors don't always know what they are talking about - you will be alright"..... I was soooo hurt! I was crying when I told him and wanted comfort. He basically didn't even acknowledge what I said... and proceeded to talk about something else!!!

      I told a very close friend who said "Wow.. Do you know how you got it?" As if it was something I did wrong! After those two, I decided to not tell anyone else. This is hard enough to handle without having to deal with insensitive so called 'loved ones'.

      about 4 years ago
    • spring's Avatar
      spring

      I recently experienced certainly a horrific response to a cancer diagnosis. Sitting in a posh restaurant in NY the other day waiting to meet an elderly couple for dinner, I was feeling nce, happy and comfortable. In they came, he 87 and she 65, both in very good shape and vibrantly happy to see us(my husband and me). Before I could even open my mouth, she yells out, "oh my god, spring, we just saw so and so, and he told us you are nearly dead! He said you look so terrible, we were expecting to see you with a bald head and looking so terrible, but look at you!!! You're fine!!!! " I have ne er been so disgusted in my life. If that weren't enough, later, she HD a coughing fit, I passed her my untouched water, and she made to back away from it, and wouldn't touch it, so obviously fearing contagion that i wanted to samck her right in the head, but of course I didn't. What an idiot, and talk about not having a clue how to behave around a cancer survivor! That experience still hurts me so badly, because so what if i had a bald head, I would still be me.

      about 4 years ago
    • logisticsjoe's Avatar
      logisticsjoe

      This is all relatively new to me because we just found out my wife has cancer, but in trying to discuss it with a co-worker he replies, "oh if it's stage 4, she's F*###d!"
      Nice job genius...take a sensitivity class eh?

      almost 4 years ago
    • relaymama's Avatar
      relaymama

      This is an old question and I have just signed on here, but I do have a story to share about this. It was the worst experience I have had in my cancer journey was when I was first diagnosed and sent to a radiation oncologist. He had a "list of items" he felt it was necessary to tell me. The worst of them was "you are lucky, WHEN this becomes fatal, you'll have at least 1 to 2 years to get your affairs in order". WHAT?!?! I was so new to the cancer community and had no idea what to expect from my diagnosis; that was the last thing I needed to hear. Many more heartless comments about not having any more children, having a geriatric disease (I was 32!), and not agreeing with the treatment plan my oncologist had recommended. Needless to say, I found a second opinion with another cancer center and am still here 11 years later, thriving as a brain cancer SURVIVOR!!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Acw's Avatar
      Acw

      It's amazing how stupid people can be. When I went to my pre-chemo dental appointment, the tech had all kinds X-rays in my mouth and proceeded to tell me her entire family story of all her relatives who died of cancer. I couldn't tell her to cram it because my mouth was full. After all my hair had fallen out, my boyfriend told me he was having trouble being intimate with me because I looked "like a guy." I'm getting depressed just remembering this stuff.

      over 3 years ago
    • chloe0044's Avatar
      chloe0044

      I saw one of my friends a few months ago that I hadn't seen in years. She told me "Chemotherapy must of made you gain a lot of weight". Even though I was overweight before, I am still under my chemo weight. Some people don't have a clue!

      over 3 years ago
    • Wendylee's Avatar
      Wendylee

      I had a well meaning friend give me a book about how horrible chemotherapy is, how it doesn't work and how awful the side affects are the night before my first round.

      over 3 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar
      dealite2007

      Thankfully, I never had any rude, insensitive, or ignorant comments from anyone. My friends were great, family (although states away) very compassionate, co-workers, and my son were and are very supportive.....but then again, all these people know me well enough to know if they say anything slightly off color they'd have to be really quick on their feet because I'd wack them without hesitation : ) even if weak from treatment.

      over 3 years ago
    • spring's Avatar
      spring

      Coincidentally, the most ridiculous thing just happened to me again last sat night at a restaurant, while out with an elderly friend. Right in front of my 22 year old son, and everyone else, she said,"So, how are you?. ' When I said fine, she said,You mean you still have it, but it is quiet, like sleeping??" I said, "No, I'd don't have it if my Dr says I don-t, until he says I do, and maybe he ne er will." My son was totally thrown off, as was I for two days after. My son looked at my husband and me as if to say,"What aren't you telling me?", when I actually don't have it, not today, anyway. We don-t talk about the dreaded recurrance in front of the kids, when it causes them so much stress, and maybe for nothing. We will take it on if we have to, for the kids, when needed. My kids are awfully bright, they know the scoop. As a matter of fct, I recently told them that I plan to end my life in the hospital, not hospice, when i am really old, and they both accepted it. That's one thing I want to be very clear about. No hospice for me, I feel that it places a great burden on the kids, and for me, that is not the way i want things. I am well aware that many, many people feel otherwise, and that is their thing. For me, I prefer the concept of palliative care to be done in a hospital setting, with the control out of the hands of my children, who would have that respnsability in a hospice setting. Although I am only 51, and in perfect shape, I have thought about hispice a great deal, having seen my mother die in hospice from a brain tumor.

      over 3 years ago
    • Srose's Avatar
      Srose

      I have breast cancer and am 38. Some women said to me "why didn't you get mammograms." I am under 40. Another hurtful comment is from my brother in law. I have been with my husband 22 years and my brother in law told my husband that he had a problem with me. That he doesn't like me. Very hurtful and non supportive, especially knowing I have cancer. My husbands sister hasn't called or talked to us since she found out about my cancer. Very hurtful.

      over 3 years ago
    • Wendylee's Avatar
      Wendylee

      I was in my bed on my back recovering from the shock of diagnosis and a double mastectomy all within 10 days, when my friend texted me from a suite in Vegas asking if it would be okay for her to just vent because she was so stressed out about her upcoming divorce and move and just needed somebody to be strong for her.

      over 3 years ago
    • Wendylee's Avatar
      Wendylee

      Also, my dear husband (who really has been wonderful by the way) had a stick foot in mouth moment when his literal brain translated through his mouth.

      I was at my first oncology appointment two weeks after my mastectomy and I said "Well at least I've finally lost those last ten pounds from pregnancy." and without even thinking he blurted out,

      "That's because you don't have boobs any more."

      over 3 years ago
    • KateCanHelp's Avatar
      KateCanHelp

      "What's up with the hat". --- seriously. Someone asked me that.

      But on a funny side.... my dad sent me $50 and said to get a good haircut. I told him I was bald and he said he knew, but it was for when it came back. He wasn't senile but probably on his way there.

      over 3 years ago
    • sjjohnson1's Avatar
      sjjohnson1

      Oh, how many stories did I hear about so and so who had cancer and died. People do not engage their brain before they engage their mouth. But, mostly, I found people to be very supportive and helpful.

      over 3 years ago
    • Wendysue's Avatar
      Wendysue

      I asked for prayers on my care pages and my aunt wrote back that cancer was the devil and talking about that if I was a better person this wouldn't happen. I didn't have the energy to comment back to her. Thankfully my sister let her know that she was wrong. Weird thing this same aunt had bc herself. So I guess she is also an evil person. Ha!

      over 3 years ago
    • fluteplayer's Avatar
      fluteplayer

      my so called cancer dr. telling me I had a year to live as I was stage 4 breast that spread to my bones and lung.now two years later still stage 4 but with a new dr and very much alive but in alot of pain.I blame my first dr. as she told me 12 years ago I was stage 1 and never gave me a scan till it spread all throu me. Found out by my next dr. I was always stage 3 and she should have cared

      over 3 years ago
    • musicmomjv's Avatar
      musicmomjv

      Boy that sure was insensitive. By the way how did the tattooing go? That will be my next procedure.

      over 3 years ago
    • Aliveandwell's Avatar
      Aliveandwell

      Wow that was insensitive! I always hated when people told me God doesn't give you more than you can handle. As if God gave me cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • KimG's Avatar
      KimG

      My own mother said to me the day after I had surgery, Well if you're just going to lay around and take drugs we're leaving! I almost threw up at the dinner table the night before(didn't get home from the hospital until 10:30pm the day of surgery, so this is really a day and a half)she also said "get your own XXX cup of coffee"after I had sent my then 11 year old son to ask for a cup of coffee for me. I had also wanted my husband to come to the hospital not them,I needed them for my son, but they had to run the show and treat me in a condescending way. I am just now getting around to writing emails again. Don't know if I want to ever see them again. kimg

      over 3 years ago
    • AmyWedow's Avatar
      AmyWedow

      Two months after my second breast cancer diagnosis, my neighbor told me she won't get cancer because she does what her doctor tells her to do.

      over 3 years ago
    • LynnT's Avatar
      LynnT

      During my chemo my wonderful co-workers would bring me food knowing that I didn't have the energy to shop for or fix a meal. My boss said to me; "I wish I would get sick so someone would cook for me." Really??? I wanted to tell her that I would gladly trade my cancer for her non-cancer, but decided to take the high road.

      over 3 years ago
    • Aliveandwell's Avatar
      Aliveandwell

      That God only gives you what you can handle. As if, a higher power decided I was tough so he would just torture me for a while.

      over 3 years ago
    • ld_105's Avatar
      ld_105

      Six months after my BC diagnosis people are still telling me cancer stories. Recently I told a friend that my cancer tumor markers had spiked and she said her husband's doctor cried when he gave him his DX. What? This type of sharing is not helpful when waiting for test results.

      over 3 years ago
    • Courtanner's Avatar
      Courtanner

      I have been called "Sir"!

      over 3 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      My daughter got married in July. One goal was to have hair for the occasion, and I kept hearing my mom say that I had to have a wig for the wedding. My hair was short, but it looked really good. After the wedding, my mom said that I must have looked horrible without hair. Like I had a choice in the matter. But I proved her wrong, I had hair, and enjoyed the wedding as Mother of the Bride!

      over 3 years ago
    • Tikkab's Avatar
      Tikkab

      The surgeon telling me that I would be deformed for life.

      My brother accusing me of lying about having cancer to get attention! Shut him up when I flashed him my chest.

      My mother stating that I should have died, not my father.

      My boss putting me on a skeliton staff during the holidays to make up for lost time while I was undergoing chemo.

      One when having coffee with friends, my girlfriend was complaining of not feeling well and then silenced the whole group by stating that, "at least she didn't have cancer". I actually laughed because it's true and we all say it without thinking.

      over 3 years ago
    • Sheeza's Avatar
      Sheeza

      Asking my husband "Is there really anything wrong with Sherry?"

      over 3 years ago
    • Sheeza's Avatar
      Sheeza

      Not said but done my daughter never came to see me or called to see how I was while I was in treatment:(

      over 3 years ago
    • overheated's Avatar
      overheated

      I'm so sorry she was so insensitive. Part of having chemo is chemo brain. So I can't remember much of what people said.

      over 3 years ago
    • Bamagirl's Avatar
      Bamagirl

      Hugs to ALL! I seriously can not keep reading all of these. It is and has been unbelievable to read and hear for myself what people insensitively say. I am with those that hate the "I know this person who died" comments. Seriously, it is like when you are a woman is pregnant and everyone has to tell her miscarriage stories. People amaze me! The good side...now we have a little more knowledge and understanding of how to treat others.

      about 3 years ago
    • DoItAgainNancy's Avatar
      DoItAgainNancy

      I'm just starting my second cancer voyage, but the first time, 20 years ago, I had just gotten up the courage to stop wearing my wig to my large Boston office. I'd gone through treatment very privately. That morning, the company CEO walks by my office and came right back to do a double take. He said, "Why did you cut your hair so short? I don't like it." Later that day he apologized after his secretary told him my story.

      about 3 years ago
    • smalltiger's Avatar
      smalltiger

      Calling me a hypochondriac because they didn't understand what lymphedema is. Or yesterday when my Mary Kay director telling me over the phone, when I told her I was too busy to do something, "Oh I guess I didn't think about you being busy." What does she think I do all day eat bon bons??

      about 3 years ago
    • Gilded's Avatar
      Gilded

      A friend of mine ( who actually ended up being supportive and great) had some trouble with sensitivity in the beginning. When I was first diagnosed with cancer she said, "I know just how you feel. I had a herpes diagnosis last year". Yeah....not the same.

      about 3 years ago
    • CASSIEME1's Avatar
      CASSIEME1

      this one may have topped the cherry on the banana split. my sister who is a rn and well am i, tells me a couple of days age "you know that all cancer comes back can be 10 or 20 years later".my response was that that is not a true statement eith the advances in treatment. my surgeon, oncologist, radiologist oncologist told me the the course of treatment i have a 1% chance of recurrence. i had a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection, chemo, radiation. family members can be so insensitive.

      about 3 years ago
    • Fireball7729's Avatar
      Fireball7729

      I have had several:
      A few weeks after I was diagnosed and acquaintance felt compelled to tell me about a woman she knew who had traveled in India and studied yoga for a year "and when she got back she found out she had cancer and she was DEAD within a week!!" Uhhhhhh . . .thanks for sharing

      Often I heard, "Well, you don't LOOK like you have cancer!" That felt very much like they were saying I was lying.

      A "friend" who said, "Don't you feel guilty pulling it over on people and having them bring you dinnners??" Ummm, no, I was going through XXX and in bed 19 hours a day.

      And then there was my fabulous almost-ex-husband who took it upon himself to tell my neighbors I was lying and the cancer wasn't "that bad" and I was just trying to get attention. Right, of course, stage 2 bilateral breast cancer with multiple tumors the largest of which was 10 cm really isn't "that bad". Actually no cancer is "that bad" right?

      about 3 years ago
    • Fireball7729's Avatar
      Fireball7729

      I forgot this one: People who have no experience whatsoever with cancer but feel obliged to tell you what THEY would do if they had it, which goes like this . . ."What? You had radiation? You take chemo drugs?? Well, if I had cancer I would NEVER do that, it's so bad for your body, haven't you read anything about those drugs?? . . . . etc, etc"

      about 3 years ago
    • LisaB717's Avatar
      LisaB717

      "Please let your husband know that when you go into a coma, I want him to put your phone to your ear & call me so I can say goodbye to you on your deathbed, even if you can't hear me" ---said by a well-meaning friend when I told her the cancer had spread to my bones. Also in the same conversation, "After you die, will you look down on me & come for a visit in spirit form?"

      about 3 years ago
    • Bamagirl's Avatar
      Bamagirl

      After being yelled at by a stranger at a gas station over nothing, tell her just to have a nice day...she proceeds to yell at me...so I finally said, look I'm going through enough with out you being rude. Just leave. Her response...Don't use that as an excuse. I tild her she was amazingly rude and began to pump my gas. She continued. I got in my car and cried for 40 minutes. She was rude cancer or not, but her comment was so insensative. What did I do to tick her off? I bought bc ribbons inside before I bought gas...a gas station that was NOT backed up. Little but hit me hard.

      about 3 years ago
    • Bamagirl's Avatar
      Bamagirl

      Lisa: Wow girl you keep fighting! That was incredibly insensative. Hugs!

      about 3 years ago
    • Bamagirl's Avatar
      Bamagirl

      Fireball: I've heard that too! Seriously ignorant to say to a cancer patient! Hugs!

      about 3 years ago
    • Chrissybdyiit's Avatar
      Chrissybdyiit

      I work in a hospital and have been trying to juggle chemo and work (not easy)
      A nurse that works in the same area as me came up from behind me and in front of about 5 people ripped my turban off and said if I have to wear something on my head I obviously am trying to hide something.... She was very embarrassed when I told her I had breast cancer.
      I should have reported her but the look on her face and the embarrassment she caused herself was enough punishment ...

      almost 3 years ago
    • chutzpah's Avatar
      chutzpah

      I have stage IV breast cancer, been dealing with it for the past 2 years. Was at the Doctors for the chemo talk, going to start my first infusions of chemo. I am very upset about it and plan to have a port installed, most likely will have the port for the rest of my life. I'm sitting there crying and my husband says it's not all about me that there are other people in this world.I was ready to deck him

      almost 3 years ago
    • JanineR's Avatar
      JanineR

      I work in a large healthcare company in a large city. My first day back after bi lateral lumpectomy, boss takes me into his office to tell me what 'they' decided to do with me. Gave me 3 weeks to accomplish a task that would take at least 6 wks, and said 'You cannot let any of your treatments get in the way'. What?! We were still waiting to hear if I would be having chemo or radiation starting in 4 weeks.
      With all the stress and panic I was feeling I couldn't reach this goal so was told that I was no longer able to work in this department. I would have to apply and interview for another position! At the urging of my radiation nurse I am not on short term disability from that crappy place.

      almost 3 years ago
    • debmarsan's Avatar
      debmarsan

      Actually, the most insensitive thing that anyone has ever said was said by an M.D. Radiology Oncologist at a check up at the start of my radiology treatment. She said that my surgeon had done a good job on my lumpectomy. With my lumpectomy my left nipple was completely sliced off and then the skin was brought together and sewed up. In my way of thinking it is never a good job to have to cut around or cut off a piece of the breast. It is a failure of medical science that they have to amputate a part of the breast to cure the sickness. It will be a "good job" when this sickness can be cured completely by medicine or completely prevented from ever happening to another human being.
      I did not realize at the time that this comment disturbed me. I had been in denial about my disturbance of it, and it has taken almost a year to figure out that it really bothered me a great deal. It is really sickening to me to think that a woman has to have a surgical incision anywhere near her breast. I realized this after another patient pulled her shirt open and showed me her long incision two inches above her right breast which was very long and horrible extending from her breast bone to her right shoulder joint.

      over 2 years ago
    • newme2014's Avatar
      newme2014

      "You're lucky - because my friend Kathy's cancer is so much worse than yours." I was Stage 1 (aggressive though - a 9 on the 0-9 scale) and the friend was Stage 3. Same surgery, same chemo, same hair loss and all the indignities. But hers was so much worse. That came from my best friend. People just don't know what to say.

      over 2 years ago
    • SmokeyLovedMe's Avatar
      SmokeyLovedMe

      this came from my own son. "sux getting old, huh mom?" And he's 30!

      over 2 years ago
    • SmokeyLovedMe's Avatar
      SmokeyLovedMe

      Gilded, I had a similar experience with my twin sister. Shortly after I was diagnosed with BC I was depressed (I live alone) and not saying much on the phone when she called me. She said "you're thinking about it aren't you?" I said "Yes. I am I NOT suppose to ?!" Her reply "I know it's hard". Me "And you know this how?!" Her "from watching mom "(our mom died 2 weeks after they found 10 masses in her 5 years ago) Me: "You watched mom, so did I. But you had no idea WHAT mom was feeling or thinking!"

      over 2 years ago
    • jujuga's Avatar
      jujuga

      God also said if the eye offends you pluck it out. The cancer offended you and you took it off. She offends you. So I'd tell her both and walk away. Really that is what all of us are doing. A scar can be considered a tattoo....so If you fall and get a scar if you belive that does that mean you go to he'll....no. absolutely no! I'm sorry all of you had those issues. I've personally had very little support. My sister was going to visit and told me she wasn't coming because she didn't want her kids to watch me die. My biggest problem is I didn't have chemo so my hair didn't fall and for some reason I've gained weight not lost. So I get the you look good you should be able to do ________. You fill in the blank. Forget that woman and get on with your life. God trusts you enough to overcome.

      over 2 years ago
    • knuthbucky's Avatar
      knuthbucky

      I got it twice-
      First one: I lost my husband and then 6 months later I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. I was a week into it and totally lost but still working full time. My niece came over and was crying, saying grandma (my mother) told all the family I was "milking it". I think I talked to her once before my first appointment, and that was to tell my parents. She later tried taking her statement back, but unfortunately when the words are said, they are said.
      Second one: I found out a year into the cancer that the chemo put me in heart failure. I was devastated. I was at work and went into a private office to call my father. His reply was "well, we all die somehow". I was speechless.
      You never forget how people were and what they said during a time where your main focus is to just breathe and pray to God he gives you another day. I use to sit back, and still do, and watch the amazing gift of life being taken for granted everyday. The funniest was when people would call me and complain about their relationship, when I just lost my husband of 10 months and fighting for my own life.
      I chuckle over these things now because if I let myself think of it too much, I would become angered and my heart would feel like it was breaking. But I made a decision to not let it affect me and to move forward with as much positive energy that I can muster. I sometimes think people want to see you break, it gives them more control and makes their own lives so much better.
      Be strong-I know those arent easy words to follow by at times. But just keep pushing through. There is something to be said for positive energy around you in a time of healing.

      over 2 years ago
    • SmokeyLovedMe's Avatar
      SmokeyLovedMe

      Although I think I got off easy compared to a lot of you people, I feel alone. My cancer was diagnosed June 2nd of this year in my right breast. They did a mastectomy and got it all (they said). I don't have to do chemo or radiation. Just an estrogen blocker for years to come. Anyhow, when talking to my twin sister after surgery, she was bent out of shape because HER daughter was staying with me for the week after surgery (she was totally worthless). Her words were "I feel left out". I would have gladly traded places with her, but every day my scar reminds me of what I had to go through alone. She is my only family that lives close to me, yet the the only time I saw her since surgery was when her daughter was with me. Otherwise I wouldn't see her. I still haven't seen her since then. So yeah, I feel totally alone now

      over 2 years ago
    • DebraC's Avatar
      DebraC

      My sister n law told me BC was not big deal, just a pain in the a..!! Then never called me once during surgery or radiation. My oldest son said ok, you'll be fine then his wife proceeded to let me know it wasn't very nice of me to call them in the morning when they were hung over from her sisters wedding ! I told her that I waited until after the wedding so it wouldn't ruin the wedding for anyone, and her reply was it wouldn't have ruined the wedding! She never texted me or called me either. I'll never forget it!

      about 2 years ago
    • sheliblue118's Avatar
      sheliblue118

      For me, the most insensitive comments have been after folks learned I finished all my treatment and had my final implants - people think now you're "all finished" with cancer and it's too much to try to explain that cancer, although the tumor (s) may be gone, will always be a part of our lives forever. The changes that cancer has brought to my life and all of my loved ones has been so enormous and all-consuming that it could never be "all finished".

      about 2 years ago
    • sheliblue118's Avatar
      sheliblue118

      I do have to add, however, that I have been very blessed to have a lot of support both from my family and friends as well as co-workers. The majority of them were super supportive, so I was very lucky to have all of their support. I didn't "get it" before BC either, so I guess I can't fault them too much - it is such a HUGE thing to wrap our heads around.

      about 2 years ago
    • Evenstar's Avatar
      Evenstar

      I think the most frustrating thing for me is dealing with the fatigue that comes with treatment and my family stating if I would just get up and do something I would feel better. They have no clue what I am going through and I don't have the energy or desire to enlighten them. I just tell them that cancer treatment is tough and they can be supportive or leave me alone. I told my mom she should be thankful that she has not had to walk a mile in my shoes and to leave her judgmental attitude at the door. I think I may have insulted her, but it got my point across.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Evenstar's Avatar
      Evenstar

      For the most part, I chalk up other peoples insensitivity to ignorance. After reading everyone's experiences here, I realize that we are all unique and what is hurtful to some, may not affect others so deeply. I do my best to remain positive and be thankful for everyday I am alive. I have realized through this journey just how blessed I am to have so many loving and supportive friends. Those who support me I keep close and cherish, and those who bring me down, I separate myself from. My boss started a "Love for Paula" campaign and I received cards and flowers and gifts throughout treatment with such kind words and encouragement that I was overwhelmed by their support and generosity. It was a shining light in an otherwise dark and difficult time.

      almost 2 years ago
    • tuckercat2's Avatar
      tuckercat2

      Mine was when I told my best friend, by sis, about the pain and problems I was dealing with, after listening she then told me about someone who has to deal with numerous health problems but she is out and about playing with her grandchildren like nothing is wrong. I was floored. I only was telling her because I wanted some support. Guess who I don't tell about anything in my life now.

      8 months ago
    • TeacherTracy's Avatar
      TeacherTracy

      I have been told so many times, "Oh, you have breast cancer? My mother (sister, friend cousin) died from that.

      7 months ago
    • tuckercat2's Avatar
      tuckercat2

      hugs!!!! to all who have dealt with mean spirited people, to all who have dealt with ignorance, to all of us who are still fighting to find some kind of normal! Hang in there even if you have to tie a knot in the bottom of that rope!

      7 months ago
    • MartaRice's Avatar
      MartaRice

      I am here to testify of the goodness of God in my life through the help of a herbal doctor Uwadia Amenifo. Brothers and sisters, I suffered from so many kind of disease in my childhood, and my parents managed to survive me from them, then at the age of 40 I was cancerous. I was diagnosed of the lung cancer and my parents were already old, but tried their best to save my life, I was placed on medications by the doctor although I was advised to go on surgery, but no money to finance it because it was expensive.so I continued to take drugs administered by my doctor I was taken Erlotinib (Tarceva and others), Afatinib (Gilotrif), Gefitinib (Iressa), Bevacizumab (Avastin), Crizotinib (Xalkori) and Ceritinib (Zykadia). It helped me for some time but my system begin to almost get ruptured surprisingly a friend to my doctor open his tab phone and show to my doctor amazing information about a herbal doctor who hails from Africa, and my doctor showed me many testimonies about this herbalist, and told me lets contact him, and see if he can have herbal remedy to my lung cancer problem. He immediately put a call across to him, he responded but told my doctor to email him so that he can understand fully what he is talking about. So he emailed him on my behalf explained all to him, and he promised to cure me with his herbal remedy. Although he said some words to my doctor that was troubleful he said ‘the healing process is science’ and this power will transcend through the herbal remedy he is to prepare and send to me. So my consent was sort for the herbal doctor to proceed with preparing the herbal remedy for me. I immediately gave an express consent and he swung to action. He prepared the herbal mixture and ship it to me. I use it as he prescribed, and behold just like a magic I begin to respond positively to the herbal remedy, and to cut the long story short, today I am cured of my lung cancer, I am no longer cancerous and I am very healthy and sound I have fully resume my normal activities. So please, I want you all here to help me say a big thank you to doctor Uwadia Amenifo for using his herbal mixture to cure me of my lung cancer. In case you want to talk or meet with Doctor Uwadia Amenifo, his contact details are as follows. Cell phone number is[phone number redacted]15874), his email is ([email redacted]), and his Facebook id is (Uwadia Amenifo). He is God sent to mankind.

      6 months ago
    • akwendi's Avatar
      akwendi

      Unfortunately, people say the most insensitive things. The worst thing someone said to me is, "You've been wearing some really cute hats, but they make you look like a cancer patient". If I had been a quick enough thinker, I would have said, "Well, thank you." Instead I was in shock and just walked away. Wear it like a badge of courage and don't let it get you down!

      16 days 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 invasive (infiltrating) ductal carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma page.