As I wrote earlier in my PINKTOBER blog post, what irritates most Cancer Survivors is the annoying/baseless questions that are thrown their way. No thanks, I do not want a constant reminder of what I have gone through …and how insensitive you are.
So I just wanted to go ahead and inform people of some Do’s and Don’t of Talking to a Cancer Survivor.
(This is my personal experience and opinion & not meant to hurt anyone)
- “But you are so young.”
Oh I am sorry, the disease didn’t check my ID.
- “Did you loose all your hair?”
I could possibly DIE… already have self-image issues, and you are concerned about the hair.
- “Why do you cover your head (with wig or scarf) embrace it; it’s okay”
Again… what with the questions regarding Looks man.. already self conscious about it. Do not need you pointing it out (unless you are like really close to me).
- “How was your diet pre-cancer?”
Yes I ate my way into cancer.
- “So you are good now… like what’s next?”
Almost as bad as asking “So when are you planning on dying?”
- “Are you done with your medicine? Are you in remission”
You are never in remission with breast cancer. It can always come back. That’s what I hear at least.
- “Is it because you are married?”
An actual question I was asked multiple times. What does that have to do with anything?
- “This too shall pass”
My oncologist actually said this to me when I was diagnosed. It took ALL of my mom’s teachings and ALL THE will power inside me not to jump across the table and punch the ish* out of her. HOW do you know it will pass? How can you tell I will be fine? Stop pretending you know what effect this will have on my personal life. Because you.do.not.know.
On the other hand, what we would love to hear is:
- “Is there any thing you want to eat; do you want me to cook anything for you?”
Thanks to my lovely friends who cooked me pasta and brought me birthday cake etc.
- “Do you need company to the hospital?”
Yes please… I need jolly company on the trip
- “How do you feel, you wanna talk?”
I may not be comfortable enough with you to talk about my feelings, but I APPRECIATE it truly.Thank you for asking.
- “It is amazing how you have bounced back! You are better than ever!”
- “Here, a PRESENT, for all the things you do around here regardless of your own struggles.”
😀 😀 😀
- “Thank you for going the extra mile to ensure my life is least effected”
Husbands,husbands of Survivors, please note that your wives are working extra hard to make sure your home is run eXactly as it was running pre-cancer era. She wakes up early to send you to work, she makes you delicious meals, she tries to laugh … she dresses up so she can be pretty for you. Appreciate her efforts time to time. A little sugar never hurt anyone.
- “You push too hard, take some rest, I’ll make you coffee”
Again===> 😀 😀 😀
- “It is OK if you are frustrated, I understand.”
This is the one thing that is very difficult for people to understand. Since only the person who has gone through it truly knows the psychological impact. But please do try to understand the frustration and feelings of “Why me?” a survivor is going through. It is not about pity. It is about caring and knowing how the person feels.