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What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Oh Flutte - I'd have been speechless too.

 

Is there a rule that says women stop having sex at age 50?  No-one told me Smiley Wink

 

 

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

This was said to me by a work colleague just before my mx in May (after I had already had lumpectomy, slnb and anc in March):

 

"You'll be fine, its not as though women our age have sex any more so its not as though you need them for anything; and besides I'm flat chested and it doesn't bother me"

 

I was 51 at the time and now 52.

 

What would you say to that?  I simply could not respond to her.

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

I've had the first two comments already, well meaning, but what could I possibly need? Lol
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Oh gosh....this thread did make me chuckle !!!! And to add to the mix.....

"You'll be fine".....
"Let me know if you need anything".....
And I am going into head office next week to see colleagues before my surgery, he phoned me last week...
"Ermmmm just to let you know and warn you that people are feeling very emotional about this so they might be a bit Ermmm well.... Emotional"..... Oh REALLY ?? Well I will come armed with tissues and lots of hugs for them 😄😄😄😄😄
"It can't be a big operation if they send you home so early can it"? (Referring to bilateral mx)
And the most recent one.....
"Did you read that in the Mail, that actress from casualty dies, she was o ly 41..... She had the same as you"

Luckily I do have quite dark humour so I share this with a twinkle in my eye, people do make me laugh!!

But seriously, there is only us guys on here who really know what NOT to say
Xxx
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

I love threads like this.  I find them really interesting (and occasionally funny too).

 

Debs - the weather has a lot to answer for... my mum blamed my post-treatment fatigue on the weather!  I could kind of forgive her for that as she blames lots things on the weather but for a doctor to say that to a patient who is in a lot of pain is so unprofessional.  (Mum's since been through radiotherapy herself and now realises the weather has nothing to do with post-treatment fatigue).

 

Interested in your comments about your GP's words about your diagnosis Katherine62.  I too would have found "horrendous" to be an very insensitive word.  However, I think that had she used the word "lucky" to anyone with a cancer diagnosis this could be misconstrued and potentially upsetting too.  

 

I got heartily sick of people saying "good that they've caught it early".  No medical people said this to me but quite a few friends and family did (with scant knowledge of the details of the diagnosis) - my response was blunt: "they haven't".

 

In fact I found the placatory "Pollyannaisms" far more irritating and upsetting than the (very occasional) harbinger of doom.  I just felt that the Pollyannas were trivialising the situation and failing to recognise the seriousness.  In my view the patronising "cheer up, it could be a lot worse" type of comments are far more about the person saying them than the person in the receiving end.   

 

"You've got to stay positive" was another annoying piece of (usually unsolicited) advice.  Yeah right, can be a bit difficult when you're feeling cr*p.

 

Don't even get me started on the people who suggested homeopathy.  I heard an excellent retort recently which I wish I'd thought of at the time.... "so, if homeopathy works, then I can get drunk more quickly by watering down my wine?".

 

Having said all of the above, even if people say things that are upsetting, they are generally meaning well but are maybe a bit clumsy about expressing how they feel about the situation.  Looking back over the whole experience, I'd rather people said something  (even if it is clumsy) rather than fail to acknowledge the reality by saying nothing.    

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Yip Katherine. Poor girl got herself in a right state till she realised that I was proper laughing out loud, and then she joined me. Don't think she'll ever live that one down :-) x x x
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

However all my fingers tips have turned bright orange because of the pounds of turmeric I'm throwing down my gullet. The pre-op team are going to think I'm on 60 Rothmans a day!

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Weeannie.... that REALLY made me laugh! Black humour indeed.


Bless all you ladies for this thread.  

 

 

jane xxxxxxxxx


@Weeannie1 wrote:
When waiting to see the oncologist for the first time my daughter piped up with "never mind mum, just think of this as the beginning of the end!" . . . . . Laughed so hard I almost fell off my seat!

 

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

These are terrible comments! You would expect better from a female GP! Well,any GP really.
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Oh Debs..

 

That's right, just a touch of the old lumbago I expect. SOME PEOPLE!

Hope you're feeling brighter now

 

xx

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Geez Annie,  that's REALLY at the top of your priority list huh?

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

I had same experience with my GP (that's right - the rib expert) - she was also horrified that I have opted for mastectomy and went on about " but your clothes won't hang correctly" - I was flabbergasted!!!!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Oh my GP, normally very good, phoned up when she got the biopsy results and said 'sorry to hear your horrendous news'

gee THANKS.

How about a little bit of 'that's a bit of a bugger but good, they've caught it easrly, you're lucky, they'll sort it out for you' etc etc.

 

 

xx

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I really need to add this....while already really poorly in hospital due to chemo i also began getting agonising bed gripping ,cant stand or move back pain .The doctor was called and asked me did i think it was a change in the weather? Please keep in mind i usually have a high pain thresh hold ! (It turned out to be a bad reaction to the cell booster jab by the way ;-)
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Fantastic ladies,thanks for those comments. Someone also told me to eat lots of beetroot and id be cured...lol...the recommendations of what we should eat to make all our problems go away is sometimes on the verge of insulting. .I know people who eat every good food going and no junk and still sadly get cancer!  

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Its a rib ! That is fall down funny!

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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

...... my friend knows this great homeopathic remedy...maybe you could call her... 

(Er no thanks I'm going defcon 1 on this puppy we'll plant flowers on its ashes! )

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"Its a rib!" annie - i think your takes the biscuit so far!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

My GP said 'yes, there is definitely something there' then followed it up with 'survival rates are very good these days'. I thought 'uh oh girl you are in trouble here....!' Too right.
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

GP to whom I'd gone with small breast lump initially - she was checking around more widely for other lumps- looking very concerned - "oooh dear .... Oh no ..... Oh ....it's a rib"
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We all deserve medals for getting through this stuff and emerging with some humour intact! What a year!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Me - "I'm someone who likes to know everything up front, which other leaflets would be helpful, radio?" (leaflet handed to me by b care nurse... "lympademia?" (Leaflet handed to me by b care nurse)
"exercises post op?" (Ditto)
"chemo?"
B care nurse - reassuring tone..."oh no - you may not need chemo"
Say goodbye, start walking down corridor
B care nurse - "oh I forgot to tell you something REALLY important, can you come back a moment"
Me - return, sat down back in room -
breast care nurse says "if u do need chemo you may become infertile so might want to think about having your eggs frozen"
Think to myself...worth me being given that leaflet then???
She was retiring....
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

ha ha your making me laugh ladies.....the one I keep hearing is "well, whatsaname was back at work the week after surgery and she worked all the way through chemo" urrrm.... must be wonderwomen!

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Hahaha - talk about meaning weĺl and it all just coming out wrong! Bless!
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Oh and my lovely sister had a glass of wine or two and then told me I was lucky that I had been diagnosed with cancer because I was getting treated for it. She, on the other hand could have it anywhere in her body, and she wasn't getting any treatment at all. Life is soooo unjust!!!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

One of my bosses said "hope you are well"...um, apart from the radio burns to my nip, being v lopsided, contemplating x, y, z....yes, absolutely fine! If you asked him how he'd rate his communication skills I'm sure it'd be 15/10!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

When I declined a slice of toast with my soup saying I didn't want to put on more weight my husband said 'enjoy it while you can'!
I think he meant before I went in for surgery but maybe not :-)
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Well my boss did tell me I had to be patient at work because HE had never been through the cancer experience before. Poor soul!! . . . . Not!!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Send a card...which says, "don't worry, just do what the doctors say. Why not make the most of the time to do things you really enjoy doing, like painting, reading a book.... "
Am I having my toncils out?
Pretty much the only communication throughout my journey from someone in my family...who doesn't live that far away! Feel tempted to text saying hey, how are you, still alive, or shouldn't you be asking me that! Pah and piffle paffle!
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Lol least you laughed weeannie ;-)...sounds like me and my family...but what about those comments that really bite?
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

When waiting to see the oncologist for the first time my daughter piped up with "never mind mum, just think of this as the beginning of the end!" . . . . . Laughed so hard I almost fell off my seat!
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"I know someone who has what you have,go talk to them for encouragement ,they are ok 1yr on......or i know someone who had what you have.....they died !!!!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Which breast is it? Let me guess.....

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What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Let me know if there is anything i can do? ( no find something you can do and just do it,we wont ask for anything)