Hurtful things friends say

Hi , just wanted to ask if anyone had ever experienced very close friends who may mean well but say things that hurt even though they may not mean to .
my one friend who is a lovely friend has hurt me unknowingly with the comments she has made when I’ve been talking things through with her .

i had to have mastectomy on my right breast and my lymph nodes removed from under my arm 

when I told her 

Her  reply was her friend had the exact same ! 
Good  job I’ve only got small boobs , imagine if they were bigger ! 
We are older now ( I’m 57 ) so it’s not like your younger ! 
No one will notice ! They won’t be able to tell ( when out and about and in work e.c.t ) 

Referred  to the fact I’m possibly going to have to have radiotherapy and chemo , her advice was you have just got to get this little bit of treatment out the way .
I wasn’t allowed anyone to come in with me on day of operation or after due this virus , which obviously added to an already stressful situation which her rely to that was , her mum not allowed out or visitors ( her mum 80 ) but whilst I fully understand this it’s not the same when your going through this . 
told me to look at Kyle and other people .

wouldn’t want to fall out with her .and maybe I’m being over sensitive but I’m really hurt by her dismissive comments , as nice as she is she wants for nothing and won’t even be seen with her roots showing . Rant over I am sorry just felt I needed to put this on here to see if anyone else had experienced similar . 
thanks for reading xx

Hi. Sorry to say but this is really common.  People who haven’t been through cancer themselves often don’t understand what it is like and end up saying things that can be hurtful. What I would say without knowing your friend is that they are probably just trying to say something to be helpful and support you. Often people don’t know what to say and a few of us have experienced friends ‘ghosting’ us after a diagnosis - where they feel so awkward they just drop off the radar and avoid us. So at least your friend is trying. I think we do end up having to develop a bit of a thick skin to deal with other people’s comments. Your surgery has happened very recently and so it’s all really raw for you at the moment plus with the virus things are very weird and different right now. Just try and reach out for support from people who you do find helpful right now and rely on them. X


unfortunately it is very common and as Pawsome has said quite likely because your friend doesn’t know what else to say. It’s hard because what you really need is someone to listen and understand. Having a mastectomy is a huge thing what ever age you are and her comments belittle what you’ve been through. 

I had a mastectomy, my recon couldn’t be completed and a reduction on my good side which was very difficult but made worse by the reduction being smaller than I was expecting. I felt like I’d lost everything and a few weeks later whilst trying to open up and tell my good friend, I was told welcome to my world I’ve never had very much. That really hurt. It made everything I was feeling and thinking seem trivial and that I was making too much of it. It was very early on and I really didn’t comprehend what I was going through. 

My friend is still my friend, in lots of ways she’s been fantastic and I think she’s learned along the way how hard this is although I’ve never mentioned how that comment made me feel. 

Youll soon discover who you can talk to and who you can’t. As pawsome said some friends disappear completely and others you don’t know that well suddenly step up and you find the support from someone you least expected it from. I have an amazing friend who completely understands and why even a year on things are still very difficult. 

If it’s really hurt you you could try to tell her how you’re feeling and that it upset you or just let it go and mark it up to thoughtlessness. 

Its early days and emotions are pretty high right now so I hope you’re ok and you recover quickly. Take good care of yourself, that’s the most important thing xx 

On hearing of my diagnosis a few years ago (I was 45) one of my then closest friends said “at least you don’t have children”.  I was completely taken aback, gave her an opportunity to explain (thinking maybe she meant it would be even harder emotionally because you’ll be worrying about them too).  Nope, following a further conversation instigated by her husband (who subsequently called me to apologise and express deep shame in his wife) she clarified that she meant better I, who do not have children, have it than someone who does because if things go wrong I’m less of a loss. Good to know.  

People do and say absolutely dumb stuff. Another friend of mine (one I am still friends with though) said “we all have to die of something” when I was saying I was a bit frightened - she did at least realise how colossally crass that was but I think she panicked!

About the one thing this disease is good for is spring cleaning your contact lists! 

Not sure why, but the one that pisses me off the most is a cheery ‘You’ll be ok!’ Closely followed by anything referring to how strong I am, what a survivor and similar absolute bollocks.

Feel better for a bit of a whine, thanks 


I was in a similar situation. My ‘best’ friend lives about 20 miles away, we’ve been friends since we met at secondary school when 11, we’re now nearly 50. I don’t speak to her very often and since we got older, married, kids etc we don’t see much of each other but it was always the same, when we did get together it was like we’d never been apart.

I hadn’t heard from her for a while and when I was diagnosed my husband text her to let her know I’d been for tests but didn’t tell her that I had breast cancer. He did get a reply saying she hoped everything was ok, but she didn’t contact me. My son was in the pub one night and happened to see her brother and he asked how I was, my son thought he’d just say ‘she’s fine’ but decided to tell him everything and it was her brother that told her in the end. She sent me some flowers and I spoke to her a few days later, on the phone for over an hour, it was like we’d never been apart

When I found out my operation (mastectomy) was on 20th January I contacted her to let her know and said I thought it would be good to meet before my op, she agreed and said she had a meeting in the town I live in the following week and she’d let me know if she was able to meet. That was the last I heard from her.

I find it all a bit strange, I understand she has her own problems (she was having physio for a bad back) but I just don’t get it. My husband & son are quite pissed off about it and my son has actually threatened to go to her house and ask her what she’s playing at but I’ve said not too, I have more important things to focus on and if she can’t be bothered why should I.

Sorry for the long tale, I keep thinking I’m not really bothered but I think about quite often