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Debbie Downers and Negative Nellies...

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 680
Joined: May 2013

Whew..I have encountered some very bitter, negative and downright depressing people lately.  I've been easing back into working half days (with my handy dandy spit bag in hand) and of course have gotten some attention from people who did not know I'd had surgery, treatment or cancer in general.  Here are a few of my "favorite" comments made..

 

* You know that you'll never get your taste buds back.  At all.  

* That is going to leave a HUGE scar.

* A feeding tube?  Those are dangerous.  You could die if you do the feeding wrong.

* Cancer?  Oh gosh, are you sure it was cancer? (that one cracked me up!)

* You probably won't be able to eat real food again.

* You really shouldn't be out around people right now.  If you catch a cold, you'll most likely die.

* You should have had chemo, too.  Radiation doesn't do much. (I thought I'd have to smack her for that one!) 

* Cancer.  Whoa...that's pretty much a death sentence. 

 

Oh my gosh...the list goes on and on.  People just don't know that they don't know.  I'm sure I've made a comment that I feel terrible about later, but goodness...use some kindness and common sense! I've been getting quite used to these kinds of comments being said (to my face!) but thought I'd share with y'all to see if you have experienced the same things. 

 

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 226
Joined: May 2012

Wow is all I can say! Sorry you are dealing with that!

boardwalkgirl
Posts: 263
Joined: Jun 2012

Wow, I thought I had heard some bad ones, but those topped mine. My favorite so far was when I told someone at work that I was going to have to take chemo and radiation, they said "well maybe your will lose some weight". They were certainly right, 40 lbs to be exact. I don't think people think before they speak and as I have said many times, "You just can't fix stupid" lol

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

Tracy,

My goodness! That's awful but almost comical in a way. You could take these people and have a reality TV show. "World's Dumbest Statements, cancer Edition"... hosted by Donald Trump.

The people that spoke/speak with me about my cancer have been cool. The most obvious line for me was "Well, at least you don't have to worry about losing your hair". to which I reply... "And I won't have to trim my nose and ear hair for a while" ;)~  (Never did lose my hair)

My perception of life changed when I had my 1st heart attack and triple bypass surgery. I'm very fortunate to be here. Then my 2nd heart attack and 3 cardiac stents last October (it's a miracle I made it through that one unscathed) while in the midst of trying to figure out what's going on with the swollen glands in my neck. And then, Dx'd with SCC H&N Tx N2b MO Stage IV, 

Cancer just reinforced my philosophy and perception of life. Anymore, I find the downers, negative Nellies, drama kings and queens etc. too bothersome to deal with and I back off and move on. Life is too short to be overly concerned about "things" we have no control over. I've posted this several times here and it's what I base my philosophy on. I try to follow this every day whenever I experience interactions or events in my life that could potentially bring me down.

"Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work that you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live. LOVE and seek out the things that brng your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind"

King Solomon

Positive thoughts and prayers,

"T" 

 

Ron Silver
Posts: 73
Joined: Apr 2013

How about this from my radiologist.  When I described eating a McDonald's big breakfeast and that it is about 1,000 calories but not very healthy, he said "Good, eat all you want, it is not as if you are going to die from heart disease."

 

WTF????   Apparently he was implying that I wasn't going to die from heart disease, that I was going to die from the cancer for which he was treating me!!

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 680
Joined: May 2013

 

get a kick out of these.  I've learned to just smile and say 'oh, really?' haha

 

Love that philosophy T!

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 535
Joined: Feb 2010

After I told an individual that I had cancer they asked me if I was going to die. I told them no I can't die I haven't lived yet, can't die untill you lived. They caught themselves afterwards and appologized for speaking before thinking. I told them they need to get tested for cancer because that was one of my symptoms. Another person asked me with much sarcasm how did you get it from smoking all those years? I said no, blue light special at Kmart. They replied smartass. I hit them with yes the doc gave me a prescription for smartass but the paharmacist ran out of the meds after filling your prescrition.

People mean well at least most of the time. The ones that don't you just have to treat them like telemarketers. Laugh it off and live on.

Life is good

      Jeff

 

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2925
Joined: May 2012

Tracy,

Where do you work “insults are us”.  You must have a disproportionate number of dumb azzez in your area. Putting up with mindless chatter from non-cancer people is just another side effect we must endure.

During treatments one of my sister-in-laws remarked about how tired I looked.  I just said cancer treatments will do that to you.  This is a person who had to have an electric hair (blow) drier when camping in the wilderness.  My burden is cancer my brothers burden is being married to her.

Just be happy that you are better and that you’ve done the best you could to  get rid of this intruder.

Matt

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3685
Joined: Mar 2012

Did all these comments come from different individuals?  My co-workers just welcomed me back...handed out big hugs....some asked questions.....but I could tell they were asking in case something dreadful should happen to them....a "want to know".....

Matt as usual, I got a guffaw out of the crack about your SIL....I'm still smiling.

p

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 585
Joined: Dec 2011

and/or stupid~~~it took me months to finally post about my surgery and the fact that 6 months out, I was NED, the first comment to pop up on my post was " celebrate, have a smoke"

I recently ran into this person at a graduation party, he had put on so much weight since seeing him last...he was telling me about getting hired at the local police department..I looked him up and down and said " celebrate, have a donut" and walked away

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 425
Joined: May 2013

Tracy,

Unfortunately we are always going to have to deal with ignorant and/or misunderstood people.  I hate that people are so willing to give negative comments.  Not that you need to hear any of that right now!  And let me guess, half of those people have probably never had to endure anything close to what you or others on here have?

Best of luck and postitive thoughts! I myself have had to hear negative comments about my dad's cancer and sometimes it has caused me to feel depressed...then I think, what do these ppl know? They have never had to deal with anything close a day in there life.  And if they have, every situation is different!

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1206
Joined: Dec 2012

What I find far more amazing is your ability to return to work after such substantial treatments and side effects. It only seems like a week or two ago you were about to stop radiation altogether. Given the rather dismal condition you were in I expected you to have side effects from the radiation like everyone else and be feeling pretty poorly and on the mend for some time. Congratulations on your incredible recovery! don

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 680
Joined: May 2013

some doozies, too!  I'm so thankful to be alive, healed and done with rads that I usually laugh most of them off.  I work at a fitness center and with kids, so most of the comments are from the parents (I've known a LOT of them for years!!)  I think that *most* of them mean well, but they come across saying something ridiculous.  I've blogged and posted about my experiences from the first finding of my tumor.  I've been very open about everything and have gotten a lot of support about that.  It's these who claim to be "cancer geniuses" that crack me up.  I'm back at work half days (this is the busiest time of year for me) but have been able to do a lot from home as well.  The one who said "Cancer?  Are you sure?" really had me choking back laughter.  Nah...I just have gone through 6 months of hell for fun! hah!! Tongue Out

Viilik70's picture
Viilik70
Posts: 57
Joined: May 2012

What I say is write your own story! Don't listen to all of those people! I have been proving doctors wrong for a while now. I was told I would lose all of my hair in chemo and I didn't lose a one! The doctors told me that I would always need a trach, don't have one! We are all different and if you stay positive I believe it helps in your recovery. I've been told a lot of things that didn't come true, so hang in there and just trust God and lean on your family and you will do great! 

 

john j

mls351w
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2011

I really do not recall a single stupid comment. All the ccomments I received were positive.

Mark S.

Kelly D's picture
Kelly D
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013

I'm 6 months post and I've heard it all too. Don't pay much attention to it because it's just the emotion of fear coming out of people. I don't think that they mean to say hurtful things, it's just that cancer evokes a visceral reaction deep within people and most don't know how to articulate that. I've cried a few tears at people saying things "when I thought they were my friends!" but the truth is that it's an awkward subject for everyone and some just handle it better than others.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8071
Joined: Sep 2009

How about an intro, or a new topic on you...

Glad you are doing well, and welcome to the forum...

I was STGIII SCC Tonsils HPV+, sixteen weeks, chemo and concurrent rads... Dx January 2009, Tx ended July 2009..., all clean and clear since...

Best,

John

Kelly D's picture
Kelly D
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013

Honestly I tried doing just that but the site prevented me from posting. I kinda understand that but it irritated me that it was just denied rather than being marked for approval by a moderator. I spent a bit of time on it and it was all wasted. I did email the webmaster too but didn't get a reply there either. When you couple that with the obvious problems this forum is having with internal slow speeds on the database it's probably not a place I'll spend much time. I do computer coding as a hobby so I understand what's involved and they really need to address the backend of this site. It looks like there are some issues that need worked on. People won't sit and wait 2-3 minutes each click for the pages to load.
That being said I do like the layout. It's pretty friendly.

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1206
Joined: Dec 2012

Head over to Oral Cancer Foundation. The site is rock solid and very very knowledgable folks. It is well monitored and other aspects of the site are managed by an advisory board of medical professionals. Good stuff, see you there. don

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8071
Joined: Sep 2009

Unfortunately right now and off and on for the last several months, CSN is having some issues...

John

rachel12yrsuv's picture
rachel12yrsuv
Posts: 432
Joined: Feb 2013

Its amazing how people react, good or bad.  when i had neck dissection done a child in line t grocery store asked what happened to my neck and i told her that it ws my Halloween custom i was a Pez Dispensor and she said oh and mom hushed her.  Then i was holding my best friends son who was probably 2 or 3 he reached up and put his hand on my neck and said "what happened to your face Aunt Rachel?"  I said i was sick and had surgery, " he then said very sadly, i miss your old face". Bittersweet!  Hes like 15-16 now.  Then after i had healed some and back to work with the trade t wholesale flooring store that i had been at for years and had many loyal customers, one of them was at the counter and i wasnplauing around makingnlight of it andni said " look Mike (turned my head one way) thin Rachel(turned my head the other way) fat Rachel( difference from neck dissection, and he got very upset and yelled at me " thats not funny Rachel, you had cancer and we almost lost you, dont joke about it, i was scared!"  I was so touched by a grown mans worry for me i just gave him a hug said i was alright and i wiuld never do that in fromtnof him again.  So for the most part everyone was cool!

Rachel

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5738
Joined: Apr 2009

 

I find that people have a hard time is trying to say the right things when they hear you have C, mostly it is out of ignorant of cancer but there intent was good. The first time my Boss walked into my office and seen me on my PEG tube he said you are doing that wrong don’t push it in that fast. I looked at him and said OK doctor Boss come show me how to do it, he walked out of my office. Another person came in and looked the other way as to not see what I was doing while talking to me, I turned to them while putting my food in my tube and answered there questions. Its hard for people who don’t understand what we go through everyday to say the right things, we just have to take it with a smile.

 

Take care

Hondo

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1206
Joined: Dec 2012

we just have to take it with a smile ... and a chuckle. LOL

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