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Insensitive comments

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Two comments were made to me this weekend that just about floored me. My folks and I went to my sisters house for dinner on Thanksgiving and this bone headed 18 year old kid she rents a room to told me, as we were leaving to "try not to die too soon." The first earful he got was from me and pretty much the rest of the family gave him both barrels and my oldest nephew was held back from beating the crap out of him because he'd cut his hand pretty bad.

The second, and more unforgivable one, came from my older brother (he who would rather have my motorcycle in his life than me.) He offered to say a prayer to release me from my "mortal coils" so that I could "die in peace." I told him I'd just as soon wait a few decades on that one. He made the comment in front of my dad and it pissed him off pretty bad. This is his third insensitive comment in the past year, so I've decided that I'm not having anything else to do with him

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

thats what they say downunder, keep yuor friends an supporters on the bus.

each day is simply to precious to have its enjoyment tainted by fools or mean spirited folks.

kick off the bus and close the door.

if its been really hurtful or insemsitive then put your foot on the accelerator, get the bus up to 100miles per hour and then kick them off. they may learn there lesson then, by for many being insensitive is a full time occupation.

I would then forive them but keep them off the bus.


Vickilg's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

Good morning, Doc...

This has happened to me on several occassions and it leaves me floored each time that people are really this stupid or just plain insensitive. I have chosen to not socialize with the people that just seem to always say the wrong thing. We have a hard enough time boosting our confidence without people messing with it. Don't be angry, just realize that some people just don't get it or know how to deal with it. That's okay but you don't have to be the one that teaches them either.

Big hug.


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Unfortunately there will always be those who say the wrong thing. The comment made by the youngster can be forgiven as I am certain that he didn't mean to hurt you, he just used the wrong words.

As for the brother, he should know you better and have more care of your feelings. You have mentioned him before and it seems you are right to remove yourself from his orbit. He should recognize your efforts to improve your health and encourage them, especially when you are at low ebb.

Just remember for every insensitive person out there, there are millions who if they knew you they would be cheering you on, just as we do here.

The greatest reward you will have is to get stronger, get healthier and show the naysayers just how wrong they were.


Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

We vote with our feet and our car keys...I know you've made a good decision here.

Hell, I got so mad reading this, I was tempted to jump in the car and help you F your bro up..."mortal coils" is so very condescending...

Your brother obviously understands nothing about cancer...because if he did, he would be aware that many of us live a much longer time than we were told.

You want to piss him off? Tell him you know a guy who's made it 8.6 years...and that your doc tells you that you have at least that much time - and more:)

I recently had a family member say something very insensitive to me after I shared an event with them...I subsequently shut the door back on them....re-evaluated my relationships with them for 51-years...and realized it was false and vacant all along...

I tell you what...you've turned both cheeks nearly twice now...and slapped repeatedly by taking the high road...I think the next time I'd engage immediately - and with extreme prejudice.

I like to get mad - and then get even.

The Lion has been kicking all kind of people's a$$es this year that have decided to mess with me in the wrong way.

Fight back - it does a body good - you'll feel pretty good about it too.

I like that you let it pass you by, Ray...but next time, call him out publically and get your feelings out in the open and on the record. That's what I did and my whole family knew what I did - and why I did it.

And that way, they know...and understand...this is freeing.

And it keeps those pent up, bottled feelings, an outlet that they so desperately need.

When we hold it, it always smolders and then manifests itself into something else...

Rock on!


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

The world is full of idiots and unfortunately, some of them are right in our own families. My SIL asked me if I had made my "bucket list" a couple of weeks after I was diagnosed (I told her that as soon as my 9 inch gut incision healed up, I would be getting right on my goal of becoming a famous stripper). For whatever reason, it just seems like cancer brings out the worst in some people, just like it brings out the best in others. I think that limiting the amount of time you spend with this sibling is perfectly reasonable...you don't need any additional poison in your life beyond the actual stuff you have to endure to get rid of the dang cancer. AA

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

We all need to keep positive around us.

We have left several family members in the past because they are just mean. Luckily they also tell everyone how they go to church every week. I told them they need to crack the book open to get anything out of going to church. Then try to practice the lesson one heard and read.

Keep Positive, keep positive people around you, and forget the others.

Best Always, mike

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1302
Joined: Oct 2010

The first comment from the 18 yo renter, I imagine as that teen combination of "stoopidity" and insolence that they might call humor.
"...try not to die too soon."
My natural reactive thought, and probable response, "You too [kiddo]" : )

The brother sounds to me like possibly unresolved issues, perhaps graspy habits. There is also a lot of ignorance about improved outcomes, I often get expectant condolences if someone finds out about my wife's stage IV that would reflect 1970s or pre 2000 stats.

Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

Yep...I know what you mean. I had a "friend" who asked how I was doing. I was in my second month of chemo so I told her I had colon cancer. She told me she had a friend who died a year after she was diagnosed. I don't think she meant to be insensitive but it was not what I wanted to hear since I was so afraid at the time. I'd rather she had not shared that information about her friend.

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

So sorry this happened on Thanksgiving no less. As for the brother, next time you see him tell him you've made a decision to donate your bike to a charity - that will probably knock his socks off. When I first diagnosed and while in treatment, my mother in law and brother in law would make comments -hoping they got it all, etc etc, finally told my husband I would not go back, he in turn told them they had to quit being negative. I hope you have a better Christmas!


Dyanclark's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Apr 2012

Well I always read your posts, I know you have been going thru a lot. We are created with the desire to live and fight for life. You are always so upbuilding, so dont let the bad ones get you dowm. People who make such negative comments are not worth your time. Take care.
My husband is the one with cancer and I never say anything negative to him.

dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

Slammed twice in one week... so sorry.. you really have been dealing with so much lately..
I am sorry you are having such a rough time and people are being inconsiderate. Unfortunately when people make comments like these they are just showing us how snall and unimportant they really are.. remember KARMA... karma sucks and believe they will have their turn at this someday and then the revelations will occurr possibly if they grow at all in character.. but we go on... stay strong my friend. ... Donna

k44454445's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

they are jerks. kick them out of your life! you are a wonderful guy & do not deserve to be treated like that. some people are just stupid but you do not need to be around people like that!!! get your kick *** boots on!

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi doc
My wife and caregiver when I need her specializes in insensitive or non-compassionate remarks. I think most of the time she isn't even aware of it. It just flows out. I'll trade you and believe me you'll regret it. It still bothers me but I think after all the scars from chemo and surgeries what she says... So what? I put up with her as much as she with me. Of course I'm the one that gets sick all the time or as she says "It's just one thing after another with you" In her defense what has happened over the last ten years and three bouts with cancer wasn't what we planned in our retirement years. Guess what Life happens and the other thing too! Take Care Lou

lilacbrroller's picture
Posts: 412
Joined: Jun 2012

Hang in there - you're one of my fighting heroes on this board and am rooting for you every day! Non illigitimati carborundum, which I think means don't let the bastards wear you down.

Karin the lurker

Posts: 157
Joined: Jul 2011

we've got one of those around us, too. A friend of a family who found it necessary to act as the voice of reason ... called me once out of the blue to tell me that he has never known anyone with cancer who has made it - that my mom would most certainly die and it was my job to make the rest of her life easy on her.

I was in so much pain and hurt that I didn't respond to anything he said ... I just listened and after hanging up, without saying anything, I went into a serious depression for a couple of weeks. My husband reminded me though that this dude was a contractor with a high school education - what the heck does he know about my mom's illness and/or prognosis. So I have kept my distance ... and I have tried very hard to keep him away from my mom.

He has called me on several occasions, subsequent to that call ... I have yet to answer and/or return any of his calls.

What irritated me most was that he was doing this under the guise of doing the "christian thing" by getting me to face the truth ... I can't ever accept that Christ or God or any higher power would condone this type of shitty behavior.

Take care of yourself ... and keep away from your brother. Some people, regardless of their relation, are just poison.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

People can be so insensitive to other people's circumstances. Agree with the others on the 18 year old as they are always sticking their feet in their mouth because they still are so immature. Your brother on the other hand, should not get away with such cruel sayings. Remember another post that you had in the past that mentioned something really rotten that he said - think it was about you dying and him getting your bike. Wow I'd sure make sure that you and your bike are NEVER seperated. Don't avoid holidays because he's there but you should have something very clever to spew at him if he says something so insensitive again. I'm not witty that way, but only think about it after the situation has passed. Just remember, we love you :)


Posts: 188
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry to hear this people can be so cruel. Kim

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Good grief....your brother should know better, how insensitive. The kid, I don't know, maybe after spending a dinner with you was being completely sincere, and doesn't want you going anywhere and enjoyed your company, it just came out the wrong way.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 715
Joined: Mar 2012

I was always told if you cannot say something nice.....do not say anything at all. I noticed that as soon as someone knows you have cancer.....wow suddenly they have an opinion about everything. Get all negativity OUT of your life, no matter who it is. We need all our strength to continue the battle and not to waste time with people that do not matter. You have fought very hard to get to where you are today. Do not let anyone rob you of that (brother included). You did not choose who your brother is, but you can choose if he will be in your life. Be good to yourself. Plan to live to be 100 years old!! Your posts are great!

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I tell people I plan on living to be 120 and get shot to death by a jealous husband while shouting "but, she told me she was single and over 18!"

That does sort of negate when I give my age as 188, though.

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

The saying, You can choose your friends and not your family" is so true in my life.
My friends and two neighbors and strength I've gained from all this cancer fight has been my
My mom ended up calling during chemo asking how I was, the kids and cutting the conversation off many times at just this. She does not like my daughter and it is all so hurtful.
I stopped calling her and she called friends, cousins and asked my "X" if I was in hospice.
I just haven't felt the same towards her since that comment.
She and her sister don't "get it" or want to.
I have tried to be supportive of their health problems when they have happened but it doesn't get returned... :-( I do assume that they don't know how to handle some of the things I have gone thru either, but still ????
Thank you for letting me vent!
I am up for another fight now and hope my daughter is more suportive.
The ups and downs of cancer and life that keeps moving along is daunting........ugh
Hugs to you!

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Barb, I really get that...

Frankly, I'm just about fed up with all of the "Outs" we give people in our lives...we give them the easy excuse, "They just don't know how to handle things..."


They are over 21 and have some kind of a mass sitting between both ear drums...that makes them qualified...and if they are not qualified...then get qualified.

Or say good-bye...

I've found now that I have neither the Time nor the Patience to mess with people that are part of the problem - and not a part of the solution.

I vote with my feet and my car keys...I get mad...and then I get even...until I don't care anymore...and then I just let them go. Who needs those headaches with the limited amount of breath that a cancer patient carries with them.

And I sooooooooooooooooooo hate it when the try to "End Around You" and go behind your back to get the gossip information and cut you out of the equation...there is really nothing that galls me more and makes me see intense red, than that.

If you want to know me, talk to me...don't go behind my back to another person...I'll cut you off at the quick - real quick.

There is just no excuse, period...to make excuses for other folks bad behavior only ENABLES the perpetrator.

They skate...they skate from all of it...they hurt us...we say nothing...it goes unchecked...bitterness, anger and resentment take up residence in our hearts...and we end up on the losing end.....NOT the person who caused us the pain.

I call everybody out now...publically if I can...I shatter the myths and perceptions that they hide behind.

I've got all of my family on my sides shut out again...this time for good...I've had 8-years to confirm what a hypocrisy it has all been...and it makes me feel used and worthless...like I'm not a good enough person to have an open and honest relationship with.

That's one of the reasons I came to the board - and the biggest reason why I stay....Open and Honest communication between people!

I'm tired of lies...I'm tired of the subterfuge...I'm tired of the mis-direction...I'm tired of fakery.

Life is an Echo - we generally get back what we give...

And if others keep taking...stop giving...and stop sharing...that's what I did.

Guess what? My life is still a clusterF even without those additional burdens, masquerading as people that care about you, dragging me down and making me feel less about myself.

"Thanks for letting me vent too!"

~The Lion's Roar

Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

Craig, you've read my mind. I was going to say the exact same thing....word for word. No joke.
Right on about ENABLING folks!!!!!!!!!!

My poor SIL "can't deal" with pitching in with any light care-giving for even aging parents. In fact, I heard another person from the community say that about her, and I thought......geeez......she's pulled one over on EVERYONE.
I told the person....."well she just needs to suck it up, it's hard on EACH and everyone of us to see a loved one declining in health".
We don't retreat into our selfish little "me" world. We do the RIGHT thing. What does she think we are on this earth to do???????????

Just another vent on "family", too.

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

What is wrong with some of these idiot family members???
My mom came in for my second surgery and she and her sister complained about how they
didn't like hospitals, they were dirty....then my mom complained how she didn't like to walk kitty corner to the hotel at night...now that I think off it she didn't even come when a Dr. Was there. One day she just
kept reading the paper over and over until I yelled, "Cant you even speak to me?" I am not making this up.
Of course she cant deal with me having cancer nor be supportive of her only two grandkids.
Craig, I am with you about how we make excuses for cowards who can't even try to understand an illness or are clueless?
There's the reoccuring I'm busy, too.....I could go on and on.
I felt badly about refusing her empty phone calls but thru counseling I realized what I allowed her to do to this to me. ENABLING!!
Like any of us need this crap when dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of cancer.
Hear a roar from the a Chicago suburb!!!!
Thank you for letting me share this ugly part of my life :-( relatives!!!

Helen321's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

Hey Doc, My neighbor told me that "I should be greatful that I get any time at all because any of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow." Yes but the chance of getting hit by a bus is slim and I definitely do have cancer. Of course, his odds of getting hit would go up greatly if we were both standing at the curb and a bus went by=) I haven't talked to him since.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: Jan 2013

I think allot of people that have lived with health just don't get how hard it is. The fears, the stress and then the side effects.  Some are just plain scared to say anything, and others say too much.  

My worst was when I was first diagnosed, a chap from church, his first words were "Well, you know thats the second highest cancer to die of?" I was gobsmacked! I politely told him 'Yes, I was quite aware of that fact'.  He's a lovely man, just some people don't know how to handle us. 

Don't dwell on these people and their words. Look at all the support you are getting and the beauties around you.  Leave the bad behind, work on getting well. 

I LOVE your avatar. 

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

As far as the "chap from church" goes, I would have enjoying asking him "Do you know what hurts really badly?" then I would have kicked him in his nuts!

just saying...

Ruthmomto4's picture
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2013

When my husband was home about one day from his surgery before we even knew what stage he was yet his brother came over and told him about this friend that had colon cancer. He started to go on and on about how sick he was, and how hard it was then when I asked how he was he said oh he died. I couldn't believe it I wanted to choke him and my poor husband was so scared. 

People are just stupid either sometimes or all of time, and I am sorry that they have upset you. 

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 715
Joined: Mar 2012

There is no cure for dumb idiots.  Just rise above it.

Do not put yourself in the company of those people anymore.  Aviod as best you can.

I have eliminated some "people" from my life that were toxic before cancer and toxic after cancer.

You are a better, stronger person!

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