the things people say! :-)

I’m 48, and one week post op from my WLE, and I’ve been resting and reflecting on the things people have said since my diagnosis that have made me laugh, because of the inappropriateness, all kindly meant, but thought we could share to help keep our spirits up!


My top 5


  1.  No one will notice your asymmetry, it’s not like you’re busty (I’m a 36F)

  2. You’ll be all done by Christmas, that’s good isn’t it?

  3. Oh good, you can still have wine (yup that’s my main concern being allowed booze!)

  4. So it’s not the bad one then (nope just the easy-breezy one here)

  5. Any comment starting with “You’re so lucky”. 


mini rant, I know I am lucky that, I don’t need chemo, my husband is amazing, my parents are well & lovely, my family and friends are supportive & fun, we have enough money, i didn’t want children anyway, I’m not working anymore anyway (to travel not for treatment!) & I’m a naturally positive person.  all of those things were true before cancer too… I’m not really luckier now…


& to everyone that just said ‘I’m so sorry to hear that, how do you feel?’ And then listened, I commend you - at least I know what to say next time someone chooses to share their diagnosis with me, thank you xx


Great post ? - and so true, I’ve had number 4 and a reverse number 2 - ‘Oooh dear, that’s the bad one isn’t it?” to the news that I have lymph node involvement…and in a well-meaning letter from an elderly aunt “ What a shame, after you’ve worked so hard all your life ? “” ??..




Thanks for this - on top of finding out yesterday that I am luckier than I thought, but chemo will still be needed, a laugh is great therapy ! 




Meeting an old work colleague who when I said I didn’ t have chemo ‘only’ radiotherapy said ‘ oh you’ve had it easy then’ just because she had had chemo…Really!! Fortunately I have had a very positive outlook all through m6 diagnosis and treatment but if this was said to someone who was really struggling it beggars belief. Still find it unbelievable she said it, heh ho takes all sorts …??


I’m new to the forum and this is my first post.

Lovely ladies, the things you have said struck a cord with me - I feel compelled to laugh with you.

Why is that some ‘friends’ like to give you the benefit of their ‘advice and experience’ (that is 30 plus years out of date)  ? and on a path they themselves have never been on???

Having been through the horrible wait of diagnosis, surgery and rads, I now begin my journey on Letrozole. I’ve been reading the forum for many weeks and found that here is the place that people will understand how I’m feeling and the journey I’m on! It’s helped me through some very tough weeks and although, generally the support from close friends has been wonderful, there is nothing like hearing from those who are in the same position as you.

Thank you for listening to me.

Sending love and hugs to all.


Totally relate to everything said here. Glad to know I’m not the only one who suddenly feels she would possibly like to strangle some dear friends and family on occasions.!!. Good job sense of humour still intact. Hugs and love to you all xx

Totally with you on this one! Some people don’t think before they think. I’ve had mastectomy with implant and additional surgery for various implant complications, followed by a diep last August and about to embark on lippi filling. Just had 2 months off work for fatigue.

  • so I get things about my tummy tuck (aren’t I lucky?!
  • “you look well” yep cancer gets you from the7

Sorry I hit send by accident.

  • cancer gets you from the outside in
  • asking personal questions about my reconstruction, I may not want to share that with everyone.
  • glad you’re better now (on coMapleton of chemo

Riversidedawn how well your comments match my experience last night… My husband and I went out on our first proper full night out since surgery and start of treatment to a party. I had to go to bed in the afternoon to make sure I felt well enough to go… It was good to be told I was looking well but as the night went on and I felt more and more exhausted I wanted to start saying actually I felt like ####. We left at 11.00 which was a bit later than I had planned and we did get a few comments about going so early. There is only so much lime and soda you can drink. I am not drinking any alcohol at the moment ! Have been awake since 4 feeling rough and making numerous trips to the bathroom… side effects of Letrozole. Yes I looked well. It took monumental effort to look that way but if only you could see me now… I think it will be a while till we go out again.

Sorry I hit send by accident.

  • cancer gets you from the outside in
  • asking personal questions about my reconstruction, I may not want to share that with everyone.
  • glad you’re better now (on completion of chemo !

Someone I work with said the other day “At least to look at you you wouldn’t know you’d had anything done” whilst moaning about the wart on her thumb.

Well I am a new girl on these forums.  I can so relate, and maybe help someone else…  at least we can have a little chuckle?.. 


I am now 2 weeks post surgery, and soon to see oncologist re. chemo regime, and then radiotherapy. Cancer grade 3. HER2+ve. ?


When it all started, I told a couple of colleagues about ‘the lump’, (and why I had to go home early one Friday afternoon to go to GP) they both said ‘oh it’s bound to be nothing, only 10% are anything to be worried about…’

So hello everyone here who has made it into the ‘10% club’! ? 


I have positive (scary!) lymph node involvement, and another lady said to me

“oh I know someone who had ‘that’ and that was 15 years ago”, and she is still here!" 

I asked what she meant, and she said “yes, it was exactly the same - lymph nodes, the lot.” 

Me: “… but what about her lymph nodes?”

friend: " oh I don’t know… something about a biopsy…" ?


i know that people want to offer their knowledge about ‘someone they knew’, or perhaps something they read in the Daily Mail, to reassure us.   It’s so totally different though when you’re the one with the diagnosis, and at least we can talk with each other. 

I can so relate to all your comments!!!
I think that the one that makes me smile is when you’re told “You look so well”! I know its a complement and Im glad I do look well, but of course everything is going on inside my chest and my head and all’s not well in there.
If there is one thing I’m taking away from this experience, its to stop asking people “How are you?”. The reason I say this is because its such a throw away comment. The responce is always “Fine thanks” but who knows what lays behind that responce. My brain can’t come up with a simple answer to the question so I just smile and say Im getting there.
I hope you get what I mean!!!

Lilacmoon. I have lost count of the number of times I have done exactly the same thing over the last couple of weeks. Smile and say I’m getting there. Think this is a better answer than… My boob or actually what’s left feels like its been crushed between two house bricks my underarm is on fire and I’m auditioning for a bit part in the next Smurf movie due to the radioactive dye I’ve had pumped into me.I think that might be a tad to much information xx


On the 7th it will be the anniversary of the day that I went to my GP and said “by the way, I have a lump.”

And looking back, the most remarkable (and unpleasant) things that have been said to me:

  • My mother:  “I suppose if you lose a breast your husband will divorce you.”
  • Woman collecting money door-to-door for Heart disease, after I told her I’d be making my contributions to cancer care, as I’d just had surgery for breast cancer: “Oh, I want that so I can have new boobs.”
  • Best friend shortly after my surgery: “Good news, you’ll be fine.  I know someone at the golf club who had a mastectomy two weeks ago and she’s already playing golf.”



I recently visited my work colleagues during a meeting with my manager about possible return to work. My teammates as a whole were lovely but I had a couple of ‘comments’!! " how come you haven’t lost your hair then? (No chemo). "You are lovely and tanned bet youve been kidding us so you could go abroad again’!! (Whaaaat ???). I have no words!!!

Oh Girls, I know.

We know most of the time, it’s just that people don’t know what to say in such circumstances, or what to do. I think they just feel inadequate. My best friend just said “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling right now, but I’m always here to listen, ANY time”. That was the best thing ANYone could have said amongst a host of similar throw away remarks similar to what you’ve all said. A gem of a friend to be treasured. I’ve said this before, all over this forum - “listening” is “one” of the best gifts ever. Not the only one. I felt another is a big, warm, tight, long hug - no needs for words even.

Much love to you all xxxxxxx 

Oh yes I forgot one…" I won’t hug you in case it’s catching…?

I can so relate to this, I didn’t realise everyone had as thoughtless acquaintances as me…here’s some I can remember 


  1. Just think you will have a nice new blonde hairdo and you will be nice and slim  ( I had no idea my highlighted  hair and weight was an issue at the moment)

2,  I will be there to get you through this every step of the way (said a friend who I now haven’t set eyes on since my diagnosis in March)

3, Just put it to you the back of your mind and forget about it (yes I can do that when every part of my body is a reminder of what I am going through)

  1. Oh you have the easy bit now (as chemo finishes and I wait for a mastectomy)

  2. This is what you need to do / I would do this (say people who have no idea what they would do, as this disease hasn’t knocked on their door)

  3. Your priority now is to fight for survival/your life (thanks for pointing that out so bluntly)

Hi ladies
I’m trying to be tolerant, but if one more person tells me I look better than before I had cancer, I will scream! I’ve lost weight and I have a fabulous wig so I look different but I don’t feel I look better. I don’t know why it bothers me but it really does!
Jacq xx

That made me smile, thank you ?
Jacq x