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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

Been back to work about 3 weeks on phased return after my mastectomy. I've had the expander fitted. I think that will be removed in February. I'm suffering really bad from the side effects of the Anastrozole. My joints are killing me. A guy who works in another department stopped me today and asked how I am. I said "yeah fine" as you do! He said "Can I ask you something? "Yes" I said. "I'm not promising I'll give you an answer though". He then said. "Was it real cancer, you had?" It's only now while laying in bed, I can think of all these smart answer I could have, should have used. Damn!!!
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

That's crazy Nimbus...there are some real ideots out there who can't see anything in the world beyond their own importance.
Ps great online name...there's a plaque on a building in London, dedicated to xyz (really must remember that) "namer of clouds". Fantastic!
Seabreeze
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

Smiley Very Happy

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Its a shame you didn't have the car manual nimbus - cos if you did you could have told him where to shove it xxxx lots hugs xxx
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Re: What not to say to a cancer patient. ..join in

In all the months of cancer diagnosis and treatment I never had such a bad moment as the Monday evening following my diagnosis on a Friday. I work in a library. Most customers are absolutely lovely. One of my colleagues was doing her best to help a man.who wanted a car manual for a 10 year old car but on the catalogue we only had one for a later model, and it wasn't present in our branch. She suggested we could get the one he wanted in from elsewhere but he would have to pay for the reservation and it might take several weeks. She suggested he phone up neighbouring council's libraries. She suggested he might be able to get one on the internet. She called me after about 15 minutes in case I could suggest anything further. I spent another 15 minutes trying to help, but the customer refused all suggestions and complained about every aspect of our service and the Council in general.

 

It was then 15 minutes before closing time. I had been working for over 10 hours and I just burst into tears and told him I had nothing else to offer, I apologised that it had been a long day and I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague and two other customers jumped and looked shocked and pretended they weren't listening. 

 

This customer replied "And my friend just died of cancer. Yesterday." Of course I felt dreadful, thinking If he had recently suffered a bereavement no wonder he was getting things out of proportion. So I apologised for being unprofessional, offered my condolence, and said that we were both having a difficult time and how hard it could be to recognise other people's suffering and while we are here we should all try to help each other, and it was good that he had been there for his friend. And that I REALLY needed now to go and sit down... Expecting that he would apologise too and perhaps leave, a sadder and a wiser man...

 

But no! Without a pause or acknowlegment, this customer said it was the same every time he visited the library and he'd asked for this book before and we hadn't had it last time. He then started again to complain about other books we had not got and complained that we had no new books. Well we have a lot of new books, what he wanted was not a new book, it was an old book. At that point I felt that either he or I or both were touching insanity.  All I could do was tell him the conversation was closed and ask him to leave.

 

That was my lowest point. By contrast, the kindness and well-meaningness from everybody since then has helped me so much. People can make so much difference to any experience we go through. People are wonderful and most people know deep down that we are here to help each other!

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Given I haven't been sleeping much I got massive bags under my eyes. Husband goes and says "You'd have to pay extra for those at the airport". Classic 🙂
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Its all such good dark humour! Breast cancer is so much more than a hair do! its also a great wig and a free pass at the emergency ward.  🙂 

 

I got a text from my mother today after meeting my oncologist for the first time.

I was sittin

g at the pool watching my kiddlets play with their friends and she feels the need to send me this gem after I told her chemo would be tough but doable

 

"..poor baby,  I'll do the crying for you-and hope to the heavens you never find yourself in this position with your beautiful girls... "

 

I swear I actually dry retched. I nearly burst into tears on the spot, so uncool at the public baths. 

My girls are 10 and 11. My stomach is still churning an hour later.

Cos I really needed something else to lie awake thinking

 about. 

Seriously what the swear word? !

Hugs ladies, cant medicate for well Meaning but thoughtless

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I love this thread!

 

Some of the stuff on here is so funny, but some of it is truly shocking too  - some people are such morons!

 

One of my male directors told me 'You should consider yourself very lucky to have breast cancer, it is much better than bowel cancer.'!!!!  I kid you not.  Tell that to the 11000 women that die from it every year in the UK you plonker!

 

Other than that clanger, there are the usual well meaning ones, but one of my faves (said by one of my best friends) so she was forgiven was 'I could lose a boob, but I couldn't bear to lose my hair!' - I soon put her straight that you don't worry too much about losing your hair when you are trying to have treatment to save your life.

 

XX

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Someone said to me today that I was the bravest person she knew - wrong thing -

As you all know if you want to live you just have to get on with it, there is no choice - bravery suggests a choice.

 

beryl

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Haha lemons xxx they are not the only fruit ..... Blueberries tomotoes kiwi you name it ..I've had it suggested .. Did buy some bargain cherries today though !!!!
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Pahahaha angelina jolie...if only we could afford her plastic surgeon! 

My mother suggested maybe I didnt eat well enough, had too much sugar, should eat more lemons and exercise more..

Hmmm I'm an extremely busy self employed gardener, with a mega lemon tree, who cooks all the meals and if I follow her thought(less) train of thought then our whole family is in the gun.

 

As a woman on another page said, pretty sure if lemons worked without chemo and surgery her insurance company would be sending her fruit baskets instead of paying millions out for treatment...

 

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

Want to add another to this - "any reference whatsoever to Angela Jolie !!!" - I'm having double mx and seem to be getting this all the time x
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Pahahaha! Rosemaryanne..laughing 😉 xx lopsided...surgery didnt kill me but removing the sticking plasters might!  Lol

 

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Sandie! How are you? Gutted we haven't texted each other, maybe we should have swopped numbers. That would have made it much easier! Hope you're not feeling too fragile, drop me an update when you're ready. much love, Rose xx

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My dear friend emailed me and asked me how I got on with the oncoLOLigist and then sent me the complete Breaking Bad boxed set.

I love her for it!

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How about 'pace yourself with the housework '!!!
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Holy wow , you couldnt make this stuff up. Bee thats so appalling.  

As for the exercise.....

And making people cry..

 

O. 

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Oh Bee that is awful, so tactless. I suspect a lot of people would have burst into tears...when you think about these things afterwards it really isn't funny is it?
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When i went for my sentinel node biopsy results. I asked, "how long will it take for this blue stain to go? Its been three weeks already" The consultant, doing a downward hand gesture, replied. "Ooh, it could be months, but it doesn't matter, because it will be coming off soon!!"  It did make me laugh in a funny sort of way, but i don't know if that was because i was embarrassed, or just my nerves kicking in at the thought of a mastectomy.

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Been diagnosed for less than one week and only about ten people know - I have had four different "my friend/sister//mother insert random person.had that ( but they have no details of what 'that' is for me) and they are fine ...." But today someone came up to me with a printed bit off google which they had personally highlighted in yellow " women who do 3.5 hours exercise a week have a better chance of cancer survival " !!!! Seriously ! I didn't know what to say - put the paper I the work recycling bin.... You couldn't write it...
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pre-op on Thursday, surgery scheduled for 22nd Dec unless a cancellation pops up. Signed myself off work now, cos I'm fed up of making people cry!!!
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Still waiting for dates of op but even now it's the ones who look at the boobs -!!!!!!!!!!

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Tactless receptionists.... hmmm, don't get me started Smiley Frustrated

 

Sorry, but if I'm asked what a GP/nurse appointment is for I don't give an answer, especially if I'm standing in reception at the time where everyone can hear.  The receptionist does not need to know.

 

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Omgoodness facepalm!  

Xx

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Hi all

 

Last Friday I rang to make an appointment to see my GP's practice nurse and the receptionist wanted to know what it was for.  When I told her I needed to have my dressing removed after a bi lateral MX she said 'Oh god, you've got a long, hard road ahead of you' Smiley Surprised

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Lol, was funny rose, people are sweet but slightly oblvious. im sure my face was Huh?!

Text me baby 😉 

Seriously xxxx  

(Actually now I Really want to know xxx) I shall check the forums . 

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Well, for heaven's sake, you MUST make sure you text her immediately!!!How selfish would it be to keep the poor woman in ignorance!!!

Seriously though, some people are just stupid. I'm sure she wanted you to feel she cares, but really...

Hope it all goes well for you. I should find out tomorrow what they will be doing and when. Want me to text you?! Rose xx

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So yesterday I was talking to a woman I know,  quite casually, from scrapbooking, (who invited me to a christmas party on saturday which i had to decline) and she said

.., text me when youre out of surgery on saturday morning....so I know you got through it...

 

Um wot! ?

1. Thanks for implying I might die...(which I didnt say).

2. I think I wont be texting anyone I'll be recovering from major surgery. (Which I did say )

She was quite insistant I Must text her immediately or she wouldnt be able to concentrate all day. 

 

Yep, 

 

 

 

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Oooo yummy!  Bee stung, sun kissed, honey lips! Sounds delicious anyway,  wine tastes bad now but Whiskey I can do! might have to rush off to the supermarket for honey.  Xx

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Maggie,
How about Spiced Bee for a name!?
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A very dear friend listened to me having a real RANT, tears, snotty nose, the full works. She had been warned months earlier that I didn't want sympathy or advice, just listening ears. She looked a bit nonplussed, and said - as she poured the whisky - well, do you feel better now you've got that off your chest!!!! Cue hysterical laughter, more tears and more whisky. And guess what I DID feel better......bless her!

Grumpy

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Cocktails - oh yes Smiley Happy Pretty unbrellas - oh yes Smiley Happy

In fact, does anyone know of any cocktails involving Manuka honey?? I have just bought a jar of the stuff and cocktails seem a fab way of incorporating it into the diet Smiley Very Happy

Let me start: Honey, whisky, ginger ale and lemon juice - suggestions for a title??

Mx

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Hi maggie59 I shaved my head a few years ago for the lukemia foundation.  Its not so bad, but the back of your neck gets chilly.. You will be lovely.  Xxxx my hair was nearly waist length.i absolutely know th6st its not the same as chemo and involuntary loss.  Its  Ironic that 2 years later Im potentially facing chemo too.

 

In fact if I had a dollar for every who s said 'at least you have a nice shaped head ' we could all go out for cocktails with pretty umbrellas .

Xx

 

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This is more what not to do...
Why is it that a huge proportion of the links people share on Facebook seem to be BC related!
I know that it is a good cause but right now I am trying to forget and feel very sensitive about it.
Yet another bald headed lady popped up this morning - that will be me in a few weeks!
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My surgeon when discussing menopausal symptoms
"What contraceptive are you using!"

Really? With one pert but scared boob, post op and chemo fatigue, insomnia, sickness, constipation together with work and two kids, what does she think ?????

Good luck to those who still feel up it it !!
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I'm really careful what I say now having read this!!! I've had friends and relations with cancer before and not been as supportive as I should have been but at least these people are still talking to us - how many friends have dropped away because they don't know what to say?

I'm working from home a couple of hours a dsy, keeping in touch with the boss re treatment. Chemo on Friday means off sick y Monday/Tuesday with nausea and fatigue. When I spoke to him last Thursday he asked "have you had that thingy yet" referring to chemo ! But there's a man ego steadied clear of anti natal classes and has four kids!

Chin up ladies!!!!
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Hahaha! Thanks for the giggle ladies.

How about this one from my ex boss when told of my diagnosis from a 3rd party 'oh I feel really uncomfortable about this' 😳
So uncomfortable she's not even got in touch with me. I'm not uncomfortable at all, cording, burns etc.
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I mentioned riversidedawns comment below re ironing board, making bread etc to my bloke and he responded..."well at least I don't need to worry that I'll say that!"
(I rarely iron or make bread!)
He has come out with some lines such as "I feel very stressed at the moment, I feel stressed when I'm with you"....don't think this came out quite as intended plus in fairness his sister passed away of cancer just as my bc journey began...and now one of his parents is fading...
Boy this world can hurl challenges at us!
Dreaming of Seabreezes....maybe I should relocate!
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"Chin up"( more than once). What does that even mean?! Oh, and everyone knows someone who had cancer and is fine now. I'm happy for them, but they aren't me. Third is "I'm sure you'll be fine." On what evidence are they so certain?

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Hilarious! And I noticed that you're up early to get all that ironing done!!!!!
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Just thought of some from my husband:

Shall I leave the ironing board out for you?
Are you making bread today?
What colour washing are you putting on?

Where did I go wrong? LOL
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Ladies, this is the best thread ever! Well done, I've not laughed so much in ages.
Love the homeopathy and weather comments.
What about " we all have lopsided boobs anyway".
Can anyone beat the rose quartz crystal angel my auntie sent me to keep close during treatment?? How ca. That cure me and if crystals are so great why does uncle still have a bad back!
Keep smiling - lucky they caught it early etc xx
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I guess we all get "how are you?"... I regret how often I used to greet people that way, expecting a positive answer. Now I often just say "how nice to see you".

 

On my first radiotherapy day, I asked a volunteer for directions to the restaurant. It was her first day as a volunte er. We recognised each other as work colleagues from about 20 years before. She said "How amazing to meet here after all those years. I'm so pleased to see you.". Yes... but I wish I wasn't here.

A bit later she said, "is that your Dad?".  Um... no, that's my husband.

 

We just have to appreciate people's goodwill and kind intentions.

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I'm not the patient, my mum is. However people keep saying things such 'my aunt had cancer 5 years ago and she's still here'. Frustrating as each case is so different with lymph node involvement, hormone receptors, tumour size, etc so is not comparable without the facts and even then not 100% comparable.
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Yeah and i had a friend who knew what i was going through because they felt the same being diagnosed with Diabetes! 😉
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Oooo and a classic,  lucky they found it, you should buy a lottery ticket. !

Errr... 

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Ive had a bit of those too... you probably didnt need to hear that. ?.. hmmm possibly not..yah think?  then thry smile and pat your arm and tell you its totally treatable.  

 

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I've had 2 good friends launch into their experience of supporting friends who had died with breast cancer. One if who said you probably don't want to hear this but told me anyway.
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Good grief.no sex after 50! Well why go on! Unbelievable ! 

I got told boobs get in the way just yesterday by a woman who then told me all about her ovarisn surgery in huge detail. excruitiating detail..kinda tottered out of her office ...

Apparently its all about choosing new boobs and pretty sweaters. Yah.  Wot?! 

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"Boobs only get in the way" lol twice I've heard that little gem when telling friends about my forthcoming mastectomy x well I would rather mine sat on my knees (they have gone south) than not there thank you! X