Emmy, I LIVE in the naughty corner!
I agree with the "treat as a normal person" thing, particularly when I'm out and about TRYING to be normal. When anyone has done the concerned stuff in conversation I've usually given a brief (yes, I can occasionally do brief!) summary and then said "and how about you, how are YOU doing? How's your husband/wife/kids/dog getting on?" or just discuss whatever work-related thing we were meant to be talking about.
The turning and running away thing happens not just with cancer but with bereavement. A few years ago when my then almost-ex-partner died suddenly, I warned my kids that they might get the "three heads" treatment, where people don't know what to say and look at you as if you have three heads. Yup, I was right, happened all over the place to all of us (I think people when they looked at me were wondering if I'd pushed him over a cliff!) Most unpleasant to be on the receiving end of.
too right! I really appreciate the friends who've come round and chatted about everything and nothing as per usual and broadened out my world again...
"I must be honest I never really thought about how to speak to someone some years ago who had a different cancer so I just carried on as usual"
Ain't that the best way!
I am a person, not a disease with a person attached. I appreciate that folk want to politely ask about my cancer but I want to chat, to gossip.
I'm afraid I wouldn't let someone off that easily if they said the 'best' cancer. I would ask them to explain how it is the best and watch them flounder.
Have to admit to getting the tiniest bit of pleasure now from watching people trying to dig themselves out of a hole when they've said the wrong thing whilst I stay calm and say nothing to help them feel less bad. Ha-ha!
I must be honest I never really thought about how to speak to someone some years ago who had a different cancer so I just carried on as usual as we had a good working relationship where we did take the mickey! I did however ask how things were from time to time as I felt to ignore it would be too rude but gawd help us I hope I am never that lost for words. What a delight choosing testicular hmm definitely pick'n'mix! As for the coffee still tastes nicer in the naughty corner!
Funny how the 'C' word still makes people uncomfortable in the beginning I felt awful saying it out loud but that was because it made it more real when I said it and I hated to upset people but then further down the line now and think hells bells I haven't done anything wrong it's an illness not the bl---y plague! That's why I could not believe the whispering! Well guess we DO have balls just we don't have them on show or we would not be kicking back ........back to the naughty corner where I feel quite good! have a good day ladies xxx p.s CM you can come to my corner for coffee!
You've all cheered me up no-end reading this thread perhaps each treatment centre should employ a 7yr old, children bring such joy to our world. But I have to say as irritating and annoying as they (grown-ups) are, I'd rather they said something crass or even thoughtless, annoying or irritating than nothing at all. I saw a friend the other day and she totally blanked me, actually turned her back and walked (almost ran) the other way!! And rather than speak to me my boss did a u-turn and disappeared into someones office. Most irriatating is the sharp intake of breath and look of horror on there face when they see you coming towards them. Would much rather they said something (even 'sorry') than nothing at all.
It's AMAzING what is said in order to "make us feel better" when in reality it's to make the other person feel better (less uncomfortable)!
oh ninja-i love that-next time someone says that(bin said a lot !!!! )-i will reply-no actually-it's testicular but i haven't got any balls lol. and the pic and mix will be used too-thanx folks
"Breast cancer", not whispering after all why??? She replied with "It's the best kind to get you know!"
Next time someone says that; put them right. The type with the best survival rate is testicular cancer (source: Cancer Research UK).
But to call it, "the best one to get" brings it down to being like choosing breakfast cereals.
Really funny episode when out with my husband, my daughter and two of the grandchildren last week - my daughter met an old friend of hers who was with a new partner, so the friend was introducing us to him, unfortunately she introduced me as my daughter's husband! Ha ha ha! I was not at all offended, but it was obvious the poor girl was wishing the ground would swallow her up....
When I had such a long wait between GP and Breast clinic, then clinic and diagnosis/ operation. The comment I heard several times was "Oh well, if they were worried about it they would have had you right in!"
Not helpful when I was already so aware that I had a much slower service than some of my friends!
People simply don't know what to say. I think an attempt at reassurance can easily come across as trite. Hope I manage to hold that thought when dealing with others!
I was at the hospital last Friday for my reflexology appointment which is actually in a room just alongside the chemo ward sat chatting with my husband when in came a couple he did look poorly and was waiting for his treatment when the wife leaned over to ask in a whisper "So what cancer have you got?" Think my very short hair gave the game away despite hubby having none! So I told her "Breast cancer", not whispering after all why??? She replied with "It's the best kind to get you know!". My poor husband squeezed my hand to stop me but I just could not help it when I told her it's not pick'n'mix you know you don't get to choose and cancer is cancer!!!! You would think with a husband who was obviously quite ill she would have been more understanding! That's me back in the naughty corner but honestly it was so crass! Coffee morning in the naughty corner anyone?
Well, lets put it to the test then. Anyone for a coffee morning? Starting this week, continuing for the rest of your life. Chemo which strips you of everything that makes you human, never mind female, radiotherapy that basically cooks you, and then the constant fear of recurrence, hormone crap, the 'us' no longer being 'us that we knew before'. Family life different for ever. Oh yes, I see the queue for this coffee morning has suddenly diminished.
Really the things people say indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J.
Ahhhh...so that's why we all have been through hell with diagnosis, surgery, loss of sanity, hair and all the cr@p that goes with chemo.....to go to a free coffee morning!.....is it me?.....
at the post office the other day we were discussing the fact that I would be having chemo, and one of the ladies piped up "oh, it's not that bad, all you do is sit in a room of women and chat"!!. I was going to reply but decided against it, after all I need to use the post office and I thought they might have banned me for bad language.
I got really annoyed yesterday. My OH's best mate was talking about someone he works with who has been diagnosed with bone cancer, he's 27 and has been given 2 years to live.
I said to him "god that's awful the poor bloke" and he says "I know it is isn't it, it's not a little thing like your breast thing, he's going to die"
I said "Oh, it's a little thing is it? I could still have it come back and it is CANCER"
Good grief. Well his OH looked really embarrased. When they'd gone I fumed at my OH about "oh just a little thing like breast cancer then, so no chemo, no rads, no 5 years of f*cked hormones, no fertility, just a little thing"
My OH said he cringed when his mate said that, but said he didn't mean it like that, that's he's a bit of a knob when it comes to tact.
Well no sh*t.
Hi all. If I get anyone trying to sell me anything on my doorstep or want to convert me I just tell them I am the babysitter and must go to change a nappy!If I get a cold call I say that I live in rented accomodation.strangely no one is interested anymore. Not sure my 3 teens are too happy about the nappy excuse though! Love to you all.x
Some people on here may be cold-callers for uPVC barge boards and soffits, but that won't let it stop me saying how annoying it is when they won't take no for an answer...
Evangelical religious believers or salesman for plaggy gutters; insistent sales people who are abrasive in their refusal to take 'no' for an answer are simply too much to bear when one is ill and feeling horrid.
They can be a pain can't they. Even telling them I'm a minister of another variety, that yes I read the Bible etc etc doesn't work in getting rid of them. Most of the ones I meet are lovely, earnest people but I must admit I'm a coward and I hide if I see them approaching!
I realise there may be some people on this site who are Jehovah Witnesses and I don't want to offend or disrepsect them, so I've removed my more flippant remarks.
It was really weird becuase I heard the doorbell ring and didn't answer. Usually I always answer the door. It was like I had a sixth sense and then I looked out the window and saw them. As I'm now prepared for their return, and feeling so much stronger emotionally I will tell them to leave me alone, next time they call!
How about the Jehovah Witnesses that won't leave me alone. They were pleasant enough but kept calling round to see how I was. As I was having chemo (and then rads) I asked them to please stop coming round as I was too ill. Even when I staggered to the door one day, feeling sick, white as a sheet, face gaunt, turban on my bald head and asked them to stop calling round they tried to keep me talking at the door in the freezing cold. And no they didn't stop. My neighbour then tore them off a strip and told them not to call round anymore. That worked, well it did for a year and a half. Couldn't believe it when I saw them approaching my front door again last week.....
The other day someone said to me "your hair looks really great now, don't grow it any longer... you look so much younger than before... so much more trendy..."
I know they meant well but actually having reached the age I am with very long hair before all this stuff was for a reason - I liked it long.
I'm sure I do look more "with it" now, and I suspect my hair now looks as if I'd spent more on it than in the previous twenty years but even so...
I opted not to punch his lights out, but it will be ME who decides if or when to get my (still very short, and now very wavy) locks trimmed.
Oh, and there's the sweet old lady at church who says "God has given you curly hair, it's a miracle"... er no, it's called damaged follicles actually! But I love her dearly so I let her off.
The other day my MIL (who has been great) sat in my living room as i sat curled up in the sofa with a blanket and announce how tired she was... I decided not to point out that i had only slept for abot 3 hours that night. Buts its ok cos shes now on a nice holiday!. Seriously though I know she knows that I'm not sleeping well et.c but at that time I was too tired to care that she was!
Hi. Told my daughters hair dresser (obviously I don't need one at the moment!!) that cancer now in my lungs. She smiled nd said 'well you will have to give up your 20 a day habit now'!!! I've never had a single smoke in my life!! I explained it is breast cancer in my lungs but she said 'oh well, the chemo worked last time' AAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Sadie Xx Xx
ElK, depending on mood, I have been known to respond to that one with seven letters. Three of them are F, and there are two vowels. Followed by an exclamation mark.
I agree that to be continually told to stay positive is v annoying - the trouble is that some studies have shown that there is a basis for it being true!
As always, there are other views that say it is bunkum!
Take your pick! (depending of course on how positive you feel at the time!)
Does 'nothing' count.
Got email from somebody who was quite close friend but we now live in different countries. Her son died a few years back and I did my best to be a friend through that. We drifted apart but she still sends a very occasional holy chain email that I just ignore. The latest email though was to tell me about her first grandchild. Great news I said, hope you and yours are all doing well I say, and while I'm on, I've got BC - doing fine really, had all the surgery and treatment, but still....
Email I got back was about grandchild with photos. Not a thing about me having BC. Still a bit gobsmacked. Two weeks later, still nothing. Maybe she didn't read that bit.
Don't think I'll send a christmas card this year.
Doesn't come under the category of well-meaning either.
so what bit of "I've got cancer and there are other things more important to me right now" did the guy on my doorstep trying to sell me sky tv not understand? Even when I told him I had cancer, he said "well you'll really appreciate having satellite tv and being able to watch all those channels"... No Sale!!
It *really* annoys me when people say "think positive" - oh right, because if I think positively then I won't get any side effects then. Because that's how a body works. Riiiiiiight, OK.
That's like saying "well stick your fingers in your ears and go LA LA LA LA I can't hear you".
Is this something irritating people say because they dont know what to say so just instead of saying "Oh I hope you'll be oK" they blurt out the verbal diahorrea that is "be positive" or "oh you're so negative".
Have you seen the link Dancing Girl provided in another thread? It's a brilliant cartoon answering 'But you're cured now, right?' and explaning the uncertainty we have to live with. I sent the link to my OH, and he said he hadn't really understood before, but the cartoon made it clearer.
So here's the link:
Had it for two weeks now, rang through to the unit last friday, so they squeezed me in today, which was good...so got another round of antibiotics and the 3 point checks to have on Monday (dreading taking youngest for that) she knows all the nurses from the when they came to see me on the wards, so isnt shy about coming forward. Takes it all in her stride, and makes a lot of people smile, but for the unit being what it is..everyone knows why you're there, so it always seems a bit tense in there, which is a fair one. As soon as she came out with the 'boobs in jars' comment, you could just see every person in the room picturing it..and then struggling with straight faces at various other 7 year old comments that she was coming out with, seemed to make the room a lot lighter if that makes sense. It was the my wobbly tooth comment that really had everyone struggling lol
buttons, thanks for that, yourb girl made me laugh out loud!
Hope your tests go well and you dpn't feel too rough over the weekend xx
well, been back to hospital for another checkup (massive infection at the mo, they think theres some other bits n bobs going on, so next round of tests on monday)..anyway, put on fb cos i couldnt be bothered sending out txts etc (lazyfingeritis) just put on...is back at hospital tomorrow for an MOT due to cellulitis etc
fair amount of mates..good luck chick, thinking of you..which was nice....one female...oh, are you still having issues, i thought you were finished with all that.....aaaaand shut down laptop, dont bite, dont bite, dont bite...
still youngest daughter amused everyone on the bc unit this afternoon (full family outing as its over an hour away), shes only 7 but on the ball and announces in the not very subtle 7 year old voice...muuuuum, do you come here a lot...yes...oh, you come here every year dont you...yes...hmmm, is your old boob here..no its not..is it in a jar, in a cupboard, can i see it?...no its not in a jar in a cupboard, so you wont be able to see it...oh, thats a shame, i think they should have a cupboard with them all in jars so you can say hello to it...erm erm, ok...well can i come in with you..no you cant, you can stay here with daddy...awwwww i want to show your nurse my wobbly tooth as thats faaaar more important than your sore booby, and she knows eeeeeevvvvverything....needless to say there were vast amounts of struggles in the room to keep a straight face, so hopefully my monster made a few ladies smile today, certainly made me chuckle
SGL - We all get cross don't worry about it.
The amount of people (inc my OH) have told me how tired they are.... oh right, so you've just been through surgery, chemo with a whole heap of SEs, still recovering, got rads to do, 5 years of tamoxifen and a reconstruction... oh and 5 years of worrying if I'm "cured".
You can't help but feel annoyed at people, it's normal.
They don't understand it all and say things and not think.
I've said to people that all cancers arent the same, like many illnesses. You get people who have asthma who manage fine with an inhaler, then you get people who can't walk across the room without getting really out of breath and can't work as a result. It's so varied and individual.
I replied to her about it being a while before any corners are turned for me. Her reply was yes same for me, I am not far behind you in the crap situation! She does not have a life threatening illness, she is not about to start chemo, herceptin and rads along with the Tamoxifen for five years!! Am I right to feel so cross!!
I'm fed up of hearing "Oh you've done chemo so you're on the mend then?" or "Is that it now?" or "So you're cured then?"
Arggggghhhhhh, No, I have rads to do, then 5 years of Tamoxifen, then after a year some form of a reconstruction....
That's not IT yet, I wish. The worst part is over yes, but it's not ALL over.
And those with kids telling me that if I can't have a child then "at least you'll have a life". Well if having kids is such a BANE then why do people have more than one, surely it can't all be misery and martyrdom? Oh and perhaps I'll "Have a life" but if it comes back then it may not be much of a life!
Am getting fed up with so many comments about my hair - it is growing back and does look good - but everyone assumes that means I'm getting better - it doesn't; it just that the current chemo is not causing my hair to fall out again. Others do like the simplistic don't they - but then I'd have probably only thought the same in the past too when I knew next to nothing about different chemos etc. But I do love my new hair so just leave the conversation hanging at that point......
The comments really do come out don't they! the worst I heard was when my grandads got cancer and ppl said ee well he's a kanny age and well he's had a good life!!!!
HJV, what a damn cheek, what she only has so much support to give, and once its gone its gone.
Well, I just had something annoying sent to me today via email.
A friend, who I supported through various things, her mum dying of BC, her hubby running off with her friend etc. etc. But when mum was diagnosed, she was too busy to even text. When I was diagnosed, much the same.
Anyway my daughter works with her, so I text to ask for daughters email as didn't have her work one. I got sent the email and asked "So how are you". I text back and told her about my treatment and she totally blanked the cancer bit, only acknowleding the bit about our childrens exam results today. She then, had the bloody audacity to write "we are lucky they have passed, lets hope this is a turning point for all of us this year" hmmmm excuse me, what the f*** does she need a turning point for. How dare she say that to me, when I have months and months of treatment and even then, no guarantees it will come back.
I am quite cross today!
my friend sent me a private message on facebook saying that sorry she hadn't been in touch but she's got another friend who's 'fighting' cancer at the mo & she's been busy helping her! She then went on to say stay strong & exercise as that's meant to be the new cure. People do mean well but they get it so wrong, my other friend gave me the usual thing about a mutual friend having had it & she's ok. Yes i said, but hers was a mastectomy only ( & i don't mean that lightly) & nothing else. I have to have ops,chemo,rads,lymph node clearance. Yes we have cancer but that's the only thing we have in common, each type is different with different treatments & survival rates. That soon shut her up,lol. x
I think you're right SGL, half the time when you're in a chemo fog, you can't think of retorts in time or can't be bothered. When that fog clears, you either bite your tongue or let rip.
My niece posted some cobblers on Facebook about changing your status in honor (she's American) of those who have fought cancer and lost, those who have fought cancer and won, and those who are still fighting. I replied 'dislike this status. Talking about fighting suggests those who didn't survive didn't fight hard enough but I have seen too many people who did everything they could and still died'. On reflection, definitely a tad harsh as she is only 11 but then maybe it'll stop her posting any old tosh in future.
Note to self: try to be nicer aunty :0)
Good on you for holding your Tongue Jayne, don't think I would have been able too!
Is it just me or do you put up with all the stupid remarks and plattitudes grinning like a Cheshire car for months as you are too shocked to say anything for fear of offending, but then you just get to a stage when you think enough is enough and start telling people some home truths! Lol or maybe in my case its due to the tamoxifen making me very emotional and stroppy!! X
My cousin, (who I love dearly, honestly!)said to me through the week, 'yes, I suppose the aches and pains you have might just be due to your age (50 in Feb) and nothing to do with the chemo you just finished in Feb,rads you finished in Apri, Herceptin and Letrozole you are still on'.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I just felt, 'you really don't get it do you??). I just, smiled, raged internally and then let it go. It is that old thing, walk a mile in someones shoes to understand their life, their pain. J.
Sadly, most of the things said are annoying!! Its pretty rare that someone says something ecouraging!
Angie, thats a hideous thing to say, I am not surprised you are agnry, I would be livid. I hope you get back to your job soon, what a cheeky mare!