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Funny things people say....

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

It wasn't too long ago I had to go see my insurance agent for my yearly eval to see if we needed to drop insurance, or add more to either house or cars.

When he'd asked me about life insurance, I told him that in no way would I be eligible for life insurance because I was diagnosed with cancer last November. His eyes got wide and he stumbled for something to say. "Well, at least you still have your hair!" was about all that came out of his mouth. For some reason, I really found that funny. His mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out and when he finally found his voice, that's what he said? LOL

In his defense, his Mother-in-law had just died of breast cancer a year before and she was as bald as an egg.

Just thought I'd share. :o)

geotina's picture
Posts: 2120
Joined: Oct 2009

Poor guy, he, like most, really don't know what to say. At least you didn't hear what I did, with a hug, oh my dear, at least George has the "good cancer". I wanted to invite them over for an "Oxi Martini". Then I learned, they are just showing their concern and to take it for the gesture that was intended and say thank you for your concern for us.

Oh, I almost forgot, I was asked, "what is Stage V like". I just said that is the peaceful stage. Hopefully, they figured out what I meant.

Take care - Tina

sfan428's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2010

Yeah, it must just catch some people off guard and envoke an instant foot in mouth reaction. When I was dx'd I had a work function that evening and figured I would go since I had been looking forward to it for some time. Anway, I felt I needed to get it off my chest and told a few people. One guy without hesitation said "well it works for you, you look good, dropped a few pounds huh" I just shook my head and laughed, I can think of at least a handful of preferable weight loss methods that dont include losing a portoin of my digestive system or a bag hanging off my side for several months.

LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Yes, people say the darndest things! When I tell people that Rick lost 40lbs since December due to two operations, chemo, etc., MANY of my co-workers have said to me, "Oh, well he needed to lose some weight anyway." Excuse me??!! Each time I hear this I kind of just stare at them in disbelief. What I really want to say to them is, "Oh yeah, cancer is such a great weight loss program - you should try it!". Silly people...
- Cynthia

imagineit2010's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2010

I haven't posted in a while, I have alot going on, but I had to add to this. I was diagnosed last November and started a health kick in January that radically altered my diet and lifestyle resulting in a 50 lb. weight loss. I work for a very small company and everyone is aware of my situation. A week ago while everyone was enjoying some cake for a co-workers birthday I commented how I haven't had any type of desert in over six months. When my boss asked how much weight I had lost I told him and said I had tried many times over the last couple years but only lost ten or fifteen pounds. He followed with " Well you look great, this might be the best thing that's happened to you."...... Really???? Like Shane, I can think of many preferable methods that wont possibly kill you.... I cut him some slack knowing what he meant but some other people were really upset with him.... Honestly, people just can't relate to being sick without physically looking sick. Oh well, I think it's best they don't know all the pain and sorrow involved with cancer. I wouldn't wish it on anyone....

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

There is a nurse I work with whom isn't very bright and she doesn't think before she opens her mouth. When I was diagnosed back in November, I'd scheduled surgery in early December. When she saw I was off the work calendar in December she wondered why but didn't ask anyone.

I was in her area of the hospital one night looking for something. When she asked why I was off for the whole month of December, I didn't have time to answer her. The door had already closed when I went into a storage room. When I came back out, I was going to explain to her why I off. It was obvious that one of the other nurses who knew of my situation told her. She screamed at me, "You mean you have to cancer to get Christmas off?" I know she didn't mean it the way it sounded, but dang it girl, have a little couth.

abrub's picture
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mar 2010

I originally lost 30 pounds after my diagnosis (bringing me close to an ideal weight), surgeries, and IP chemo and my mother-in-law told me I looked the best I had in years! Yup, I guess I wear cancer well! Not a weight-loss regimen I'd recommend (and not effective, as with systemic chemo and after, my weight soared and I regained all I'd lost plus 20 more.)

Meanwhile, my daughter was in India, and lost a lot of weight with dysentery. (She's fine.)

I don't think our family should write the diet books, our methods stink!

Meanwhile, a friend of mine who was working half-days while going through breast cancer treatment was told by a colleague "Yes, but you're so lucky, you only work every other day!" Beth saw the ridiculousness of what was said, and we'd laugh about how lucky she was to have cancer and only work half time. I was dx'd with my "lucky diet method" 3 months after she died.


(PS - I am now finally losing the weight I'd gained, using a sensible diet. I'm almost down to my pre-cancer weight, and hope to get all the way down to a reasonable weight by next spring. Slowly, slowly, slowly.)

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

Cancer can sure be a conversation stopper. I have had people also avoid talking to me, when they see me in the bar, because they do not know what to say. Or at least that is why I think they are avoiding me LOL.

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

They just don't know what to say.

On another forum, there was a woman that posted saying she avoided a colleague who has colon cancer. She admitted she just didn't know what to say. Well this forum consists of about 40 people. We're like family we've posted there for so long. Well, only about 2 people there knew I had cancer. I just had to reply back to her that "as someone who has colon cancer, just talk to him like you have all your life.

I often know that people are uncomfortable talking to someone that's ill. They just don't know what to say or fear they're gonna put their foot in their mouth. As for me, I don't care. Don't be a coward, because knowing that you care is worth a thousand words."

She wrote me back later: "I wanted to tell you that your note for me a few weeks ago, telling me that I should not be afraid of talking to our colleague (maybe you remember, I met him at a party and avoided him) - that message of yours was quite helpful. For one of these strange coincidences I was driving in town next day, and saw him parked with car troubles and a truck from triple A to help him. He was too busy and of course did not see me, but I parked my car and went to talk to him.

I felt so much better!

Thank YOU!"

I don't know what she said to him, but really, there laughable times when people just have no idea what to say. I'm sure I'd do the same thing -- stutter and move my mouth with nothing to say. Sometimes I'm such a dolt.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

it certainly can be a conversation stopper. I remember going out for lunch with a bunch of different people from work. Many did not know each other since we were from numerous departments. One person started the introductions by saying something like "I'm Pete and I work in sales", then "I'm Mary and I work in marketing" then one guy says "I'm Bob and I work in design and I'm a cancer" being funny by adding his astrological sign. So, not to be outdone, I then say "I'm Phil, I work in page layout and I HAVE cancer". All of a sudden...crickets. Awkward silence just like that. The people who knew me, know me so they saw the humor in it but the others didn't.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

*shakes head* People in general mean well, but they just get overwhelmed sometimes by hearing the word cancer. I've told this before, but I was told by a lady at my grandson's school, "You look good. You've lost so much weight." When I reminded her that I'd been sick, she said, "But you look so much better." Great! Next time I have a class reunion, I'll see if I can arrange another round of cancer, so I can look FAB.


Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for sharing your stories; I have been trying to remember anything that people have said that is offensive - does email count? I do have one friend who wanted to see but needed to fit me into her busy schedule. This was last July when I was on radiation + chemo + was travelling to my treatment centre every day, so I put her off. Then in the fall she asked again how I was doing - I had just found out I was not having surgery because of mets to my liver. I spelled that out in an emai; then responded to a question about what my kids were up to. Her first word was great! (I guess she was responding to how my kids were doing, but it was really weird) - I was telling her surgery had been postponed (which devastated me + the cancer had spread to my liver. I actually had mostly kind, considerate peole to deal with - I am truly lucky.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

My friend, who I hadn't talked to for over a month, called,
and after an hour of listening to him, he asked how things
were going.

I said: "Not too bad, for a guy with cancer"

And he said: "I thought you were over that?"

Haha... idiot.

When anyone asks what type of cancer, I tell them
it's the contagious type.

I'd have made Dale Carnegie proud....

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