How do you deal with coworkers

avisemi Member Posts: 172

Okay guys,

I need some good/funny ideas of how to deal with well meaning coworkers who are just too much. Just today I have had 3 different coworkers tell me:

  1. I heard this story about cancer on the radio. You might want to listen to it.
  2. Are you watching the Ken Burns cancer series on PBS?
  3. Tell me about a mother of 4 who just died of cancer and how sad and emotional the funeral was.

I know they mean well and all but, I just want to ...


  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,029 Member
    They mean well but...

    Yes, they do, but unless they have walked in our shoes, they will not know exactly how we feel. I nodded my head, then thanked them for their advice and went on about my business.

    My Best to You and Everyone Here

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    It all depends ....................

    It can depend on a few things.

    1st If they are trying to be sincere the best is just nod your head and say thanks, and go on your way.

    2nd If you are in a foul, or humorous mood just say, I just read the doctors say it is contagious now. But add just kidding before they run.

    I must admit I did have fun with a few co-workers. I had my larynx remover so I breath through my neck. You can see the filter on my neck and when I talk I have to push it to divert the air. So I bet one of them I could hold my breath longer then they could. I puffed out my cheeks and with my fingers clamped my nose, then watch them turn colors. I am still breathing through my neck. They would say, man you sure can hold your breath. That's when I would tell them, You do know I breath through my neck don't you. They didn't know what to say. Now the best part was the ones that did know I breath through my neck would start laughing. ......Ya, my bad.  LOL

    3rd  They just don't know what to say or how to word it, so it comes off wrong. The thing to remember is they do care, just don't know how to.


  • HobbsDoggy
    HobbsDoggy Member Posts: 276
    Fair to Tell Them Not Now

    I suppose most people who do this mean well.  If they are a very close friend that is one thing and then I go with they mean well and talk to them about how I feel, what I need or don't need from them and try to draw them closer, I need freinds to help with my suffering and fear.

    If they are just co-workers or causal friends I just say I really can't talk about this now and ask that they understand that.  I think it is more than fair to cut them off quickly.  People who say some of those things are totally unthinking and almost borders on cruel.  The, my monther died, etc, is toitally over the top.

    I find that at work I am much better off keeping my cancer a no go topic.  Gentrly but firmly.

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,721 Member
    co-workers and family and friends


    If it is someone I am close to or someone sincere I will engage them and talk.  If not, I try to be polite and direct and tell them “no thanks I am living it”.

    Some people just never learned the adage, if you can’t say something nice you shouldn’t say anything at all.

    I got stung by my sister-in-law who once mentioned how tired I looked (toward the end of rads).  I  told her “radiation will do that to you” and to tell the truth my worst day during treatment I looked better than she did.


  • thennies61
    thennies61 Member Posts: 285
    My biggest thing is people

    My biggest thing is people asking if I'm alright. I do work a 24/7 shift nites which means I work a 12 hr shift from 6:00pm-6:00am and to be honest am pretty whipped by the end.But my doctor has told me that is the worst shift to work because your body is always going up and down with off days and wprking days.I do get fustrated when they mean well but will also ask if I want anything or need anything.Have told the surpervisior I don't want to be treated any different then anyone else.I do have a few people that ask questions about what I went though other I have noticed have avoided me now mainly because my speach isn't the greatest now.Most can understand everything I say some don't and thats the way it is

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,771 Member
    teaching moment...

    I could not tell if you were HPV+ but if so, my take is to use each and every comment from others to educate, encourage, and scare them into making sure they turn around and tell every person they know who has kids to get the HPV vaccination! It will flip every encounter from something dreaded to something welcome.

  • avisemi
    avisemi Member Posts: 172
    Thanks for the ideas.  I'll

    Thanks for the ideas.  I'll try them out and see how it goes.  

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Coworker and friends


    I been cancer free for the last 10 years and still have some of my friends come up to me and say I hear this stuff is great for cancer. I tell them well you better not waste any time getting on it. They just look at me and have nothing more to say. A lot of times they all mean well but sometimes you need to come out and let them know you have it under control.



  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    I've always been pretty much

    an open book about stuff....not where I'm bringing it up myself, but where people I know feel free to ask me about things.  I'm an alcoholic, but have been sober for nigh on 30 years....for years people would ask me questions about themselves or others in their lives, and I was always honest and caring.  When I arrived back at work after cancer, the most often asked question I heard was "how did you know you should check in with a Dr."....what I heard was not curiosity, but fear....I think fear is what keeps people away, it is what makes them ask what seems like dumb questions, is what makes them seem over I forgive it all.  Humorous answers let them lighten up

    I'm still chuckling about Matt's crack about his sister-in-law....LOL.



  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    i don't have anything to add

    i don't have anything to add but you see you got some good answers here.  this group is awesome.  and Matt, you literally made me laugh out loud!!  i just love your sense of humor and it is always there at the right moment!  you are so good for this group, i hope you know that.  avisemi, i do believe they mean well and sometimes just don't know what to say, but that is when they should probably say nothing.  i hope it gets better for you.  hang in there.

    God bless you,


  • TracyLynn72
    TracyLynn72 Member Posts: 839
    that can be annoying...

    I've heard so much of the "gloom and doom" that I get honestly frustrated.  I'm in a strange co-worker situation myself.  They all treat me like I am getting ready to break.  I'm being overlooked for a promotion because they are "worried about my health and stamina".  I've been cancer free for almost 2 years. 


    I honestly understand what you are saying!  I was pretty much to the point with people and would say "well, that's not exactly what I had"  or "no, radiation on the head is a little tougher than anywhere else" and sometimes I just had to let them tell me stories and be patient with them.  


    Matt, that totally cracked me up!  :)

  • pkzmf
    pkzmf Member Posts: 5
    just nod and smile

    i have the same problem people dont think before the speek but they mean well just keep smiling and movew forwaed because today is a new day with many more to come 



    best wishes