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What not to say

Posts: 125
Joined: May 2012

Note to the World: If someone tells you they have colorectal cancer DO NOT SAY "oh, my mother died after battling that for years. It was awful."

Talk about ruining my entire day...


Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

About 6 months ago there was a thread here titled (something like).....Dumb things people say.
I'm sure there is a book or 2 written on it.
People do say the darndest things.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Instead of just saying "my sympathies are with you" or "best of luck"....

...that part of the brain sees the conversation go from something they have to match - because they don't know what else to say, so if we compare stories, you will feel better.


One of my uncles committed suicide right before we were married...he was like my big brother...he was my fun uncle...and I loved him...him and my sister I had unconditional love for.

So, I tell my boss I'm down there with my family...and he asks when I'm coming back....and I see when I get there....he says, "We'll just have to get by." And I said, "I know you will."

When I got back, he told me that he had a hard weekend too - his "refrigerator" had gone out.

I looked at him with a blank stare and went back to work.

Alot of times we don't' need to say anything at all...sometimes just being quiet and giving an acknowledging look or smile can help to ease one and let them know you are empathetic.

I'm sorry your day was ruined....let me give you a hug to get you going the other way again...I give good Texas bear hugs...that's the rumor anyway:)



PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I'd love to say something back like "And you know what? It's hereditary so I'd watch out if I were you!"
(so many) people are idiots...

PS: the server is   V E R Y    S L O W   today...
only hit once

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

What a great response Phil.

jjaj133's picture
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

love your answer

Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 2009

Love it! Probably going to use it sooner or later...

druidshadow's picture
Posts: 85
Joined: Feb 2012

i love your response!

Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

Isn't it amazing how dumb people can be? Perhaps you should have just laughed, and ruined her day. My experience matched yours up to the point of resection. Now, 2 yrs later, am NED, I made it when 78, being much younger, you will too. Just have faith, and don't worry.
Unfortunately easier said than done. As Michelangelo siad: "every block of marble contains a ststue, all you have to do is take away the excess." LOL

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

When I first got my dx I told a friend and he asked "so when are you going to die?" After a second or two I popped back with "as many times as I've had to save your life, probably a few years after you." (he's a diabetic and had a couple of crashes and I had to get a candy bar into him right away.)

Who ever said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" never had cancer.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

"Who ever said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" never had cancer."
Amen to that!

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

The Egyptians used to die of gum infections. It doesn't mean that you will die of crc. Some people do, but there are others who don't. Some people die in car crashes, while others don't. Don't put yourself in a category.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, people. They don't understand that sometimes just a pat on the hand or a hug would do. Stupid comments not required! Sorry you had to hear that.


Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012

I was getting a beg of fluid yesterday at oncologist office feeling like total crap and some lady asked what kind of cancer I had and she said how awful that what my brother died from. What do you say????

peterz54's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

I don't get upset when my co-workers ask about my wife (who is the one with mCRC), and say weird things like that. of course it would be different if it was said to my wife, and I haven't heard anyone do that yet.

The one I get the most at work is "I'll pray for her." I know they mean well, and I thank them and let it go, but it really makes no sense to me, at all.

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

People say the stupidest things....one of THE stupidest is telling you how much worse it can be before you suffer and die.
Yeah, right...................!
Two things I learned to halt that crap in its tracks is to either immediately speak up and say "I don't want to hear that. I doesn't help and makes me feel bad" or to give them the Blue Glare---which is what my husband calls it when I don't say I word but give him my most evil look.
(Funny, but my girls--who are 7---have now perfected that look as well. Hee!)

dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

It is always the elephant in the room..

I like to make them feel worse so I don't..
I remind them that tommorrow they could get hit by a bus..
When they tell me it was a family member.. I remind them to get checked as most it genetic.
When they tell me they are praying.. I say thanks I am too for you...
Some I just stare at them -- that usually lets them know they said something stupid and then they won't even look at you the rest of the day..
I have been heard to tell them "gee that was nice--- thanks for making me feel worse" when you say this you can be sure this idiot won't say another thing to you... YEA!!!

A shame we can't idiotproof the world..

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

What gets me is when people complain about having a cold or some other minor ailment when they know darn well what I have been going through. I said until you have had chemo or most of your liver cut dont complain to me about how sick you are or how you sprained your ankle.

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