You don't look like you have cancer.

abita
abita Member Posts: 1,143 Member

I took a car service home from the pet scan. The driver asked why I was there, told him, and he says, you don't look like you have cancer. I get that a lot. In fact, at my pre-surgery vitals a few days before my liver resection, the admin said that to me when we got to the point where we got to why I was there. What do you say when someone says that. This time I said, well, I hope you are right, I will find out Friday.

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Comments

  • Twinzma
    Twinzma Member Posts: 236 Member
    How about...

    " Funny, you don't look stuipd"! Actually there are some websites that lists good comebacks for these remarks. My personal favorite is "Thank goodness you told me this, I must be totally cured" another I am fond of is "If I looked how I felt, I'd scare your children. Humor is the best medicine so go with it! Us on the otherside of this disease only have good intentions, it's not until you are sick that you realize that you really had diareaha of the mouth. 

     

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    I've gotten that a lot. I

    I've gotten that a lot. I just explain that there are a lot of chemo drugs and different drugs have different side-effects on different people.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,643 Member
    Roll on Friday

    and hope that you really don't look like you have Cancer. 

    Tru

  • PamRav
    PamRav Member Posts: 338 Member
    Me too

    i get that all the time too. But personally it makes me happy that I don’t look like I’m sick.  My outside appearance  certainly doesn’t match my inside. 

    My scan last week showed my cancer had chosen to visit my lungs. maybe there’s a little something in my liver and maybe not, that seems to be up for debate.  At any rate in a couple weeks it’s back to chemo I go

    hopefully I won’t look sick for a long long time 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,143 Member
    PamRav said:

    Me too

    i get that all the time too. But personally it makes me happy that I don’t look like I’m sick.  My outside appearance  certainly doesn’t match my inside. 

    My scan last week showed my cancer had chosen to visit my lungs. maybe there’s a little something in my liver and maybe not, that seems to be up for debate.  At any rate in a couple weeks it’s back to chemo I go

    hopefully I won’t look sick for a long long time 

    It looks like we will be on

    It looks like we will be on the ride at the same time. My scan showed 4 spots on liver. Got pet scan today to know how many and where spots are as my oncologist said there may be some too small for the other scans. Seeing for results on Friday which is I guess when I will get my treatment options. And I too like that I look okay. Hoping you and I have an easy, successful ride this time.

  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248
    You don't look like you have cancer

    When I was first diagnosed in 2005, my onc told me that us folks (CRC patients) don't look like they have cancer.  And that some people will comment on that.  The thing is that I don't care.  If you feel the need, just explain that different chemo drugs work differently and that all things considered I might actually be a tiny bit better off than the people who "look like they have cancer".

     

    People who say this mean well, and while they may be invading your personal space a bit, they are correct in that most of us do not look like we have cancer.  (Most people don't associate wearing gloves or Uggs in the grocery store with cancer / chemo.)

     

    My 2 cents.

     

    Betsy

    Stage 4 - diagnosed 5/05

     

  • myAZmountain
    myAZmountain Member Posts: 417 Member
    abita said:

    It looks like we will be on

    It looks like we will be on the ride at the same time. My scan showed 4 spots on liver. Got pet scan today to know how many and where spots are as my oncologist said there may be some too small for the other scans. Seeing for results on Friday which is I guess when I will get my treatment options. And I too like that I look okay. Hoping you and I have an easy, successful ride this time.

    Praying

    That your PET scan is okay !! I am lucky that my spouse works at the hospital and can find out reults the same day--it is agonising to wait!!

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    edited August 2018 #9
    PamRav said:

    Me too

    i get that all the time too. But personally it makes me happy that I don’t look like I’m sick.  My outside appearance  certainly doesn’t match my inside. 

    My scan last week showed my cancer had chosen to visit my lungs. maybe there’s a little something in my liver and maybe not, that seems to be up for debate.  At any rate in a couple weeks it’s back to chemo I go

    hopefully I won’t look sick for a long long time 

    Sorry

    Sorry you didn't get better news.  Hoping that this new treatment will knock it out and you can tolerate it.

    Kim

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    edited August 2018 #10
    Terrible

    It's terrible that people say that but while going through it myself I'd get the same thing and felt like crap.  Someone actually said to me once that "Wow you look a lot better than you did a couple month's ago."  Why would anyone say that anyway.  Do we all have to look bad.  It's frustrating, that's for sure.

    Kim

  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member

    Terrible

    It's terrible that people say that but while going through it myself I'd get the same thing and felt like crap.  Someone actually said to me once that "Wow you look a lot better than you did a couple month's ago."  Why would anyone say that anyway.  Do we all have to look bad.  It's frustrating, that's for sure.

    Kim

    And I was told that it was obvious that chemo wasn't working

    because I didn't lose my hair!  Some of the brilliant comments we get.....

     

    Alice

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,643 Member
    The opposite

    I went off to church once, when I really should have stayed home.  

    I ended up having to leave; and later, our Bishop came to me and said 'I thought you were about to die, you looked awful'. HA! 

    Say it like it is, Bishop. 

    Yeah, there were times when I literally looked like I was on death's door.  Of course, at those times, we don't go out, do we; so people see us on our good days, and we either look normal or a bit beat up. 

    I did lose my hair and looked like Gollum - until I shaved it off - then I looked like I had Cancer. I aslo went a bit yellow. Not jaundice yellow, but what I called Chemo yellow. That didn't look good. 

    To be honest, i wanted to look sick, so that people would not make silly comments. Now that I am NED, and people find out I am Stage IV, I am happy to tell them that Cancer can be beat, even if it isn't forever. 

    Tru

     

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,143 Member
    Trubrit said:

    The opposite

    I went off to church once, when I really should have stayed home.  

    I ended up having to leave; and later, our Bishop came to me and said 'I thought you were about to die, you looked awful'. HA! 

    Say it like it is, Bishop. 

    Yeah, there were times when I literally looked like I was on death's door.  Of course, at those times, we don't go out, do we; so people see us on our good days, and we either look normal or a bit beat up. 

    I did lose my hair and looked like Gollum - until I shaved it off - then I looked like I had Cancer. I aslo went a bit yellow. Not jaundice yellow, but what I called Chemo yellow. That didn't look good. 

    To be honest, i wanted to look sick, so that people would not make silly comments. Now that I am NED, and people find out I am Stage IV, I am happy to tell them that Cancer can be beat, even if it isn't forever. 

    Tru

     

    That is really all I want. To

    That is really all I want. To beat it. And live a long happy healthy life. Getting a recurrence right after finishing chemo is such a let down. I was so optimistic before.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,643 Member
    abita said:

    That is really all I want. To

    That is really all I want. To beat it. And live a long happy healthy life. Getting a recurrence right after finishing chemo is such a let down. I was so optimistic before.

    Roll with it

    I had one clear scan after my treatment, and then my next scan, liver met.  I remember the feeling; like someone had punched me hard in the gut. Of course I thought that was it, I was definitely going to die. But then the fighting spirit came back, and thats what you need to do. Roll with the pain of hearing the bad news, but always let that fighting spirit rise up and move you forward. 

    You CAN be optomistic again; just allow yourself a little time to hurt from this most recent news. 

    Tru

  • zx10guy
    zx10guy Member Posts: 273
    I'll probably get the wrath

    I'll probably get the wrath of the posters here.  But I don't see a problem in some of the commments.  It may come off as insensitive but I think many times when you're in the thick of things, you might be a tad more sensitive to comments no matter how benign.  The wording may be bad but the person could just mean you're looking good despite having one of the worst diseases one can get.

    I've had people say to me I looked good when I was going through treatment.  I took it as they were trying to say something nice to start the conversation.  What else would you have them say?  Having someone ask you how are you is such a loaded question I'd rather not have anyone ask that as a starter.

    Something else to consider is how people's image of cancer patients have been shaped.  Movies and TV has conditioned people to think cancer patients immediately shrink into skin and bones, have skin problems, lose their hair, can barely move about, and are constantly dragging an IV station with them.  I think we have to cut most people some slack as there is no malice behind their comments.

  • Tunadog
    Tunadog Member Posts: 235
    People always tell me that I look great...

    I try and keep the conversation light..

    I had a friend of my wife call from out of state. After talking for a bit she said I sound great (she hasn’t seen me).

    Jokingly I remind her that I have rectal cancer, not throat cancer.

    When people tell me how good I look, I take it as a compliment 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,143 Member
    edited August 2018 #17
    zx10guy said:

    I'll probably get the wrath

    I'll probably get the wrath of the posters here.  But I don't see a problem in some of the commments.  It may come off as insensitive but I think many times when you're in the thick of things, you might be a tad more sensitive to comments no matter how benign.  The wording may be bad but the person could just mean you're looking good despite having one of the worst diseases one can get.

    I've had people say to me I looked good when I was going through treatment.  I took it as they were trying to say something nice to start the conversation.  What else would you have them say?  Having someone ask you how are you is such a loaded question I'd rather not have anyone ask that as a starter.

    Something else to consider is how people's image of cancer patients have been shaped.  Movies and TV has conditioned people to think cancer patients immediately shrink into skin and bones, have skin problems, lose their hair, can barely move about, and are constantly dragging an IV station with them.  I think we have to cut most people some slack as there is no malice behind their comments.

    I agree with all of that. I

    I agree with all of that. I just think it is interesting because it even happens when I feel my worst

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,143 Member
    Trubrit said:

    Roll with it

    I had one clear scan after my treatment, and then my next scan, liver met.  I remember the feeling; like someone had punched me hard in the gut. Of course I thought that was it, I was definitely going to die. But then the fighting spirit came back, and thats what you need to do. Roll with the pain of hearing the bad news, but always let that fighting spirit rise up and move you forward. 

    You CAN be optomistic again; just allow yourself a little time to hurt from this most recent news. 

    Tru

    Thank you. That is exactly

    Thank you. That is exactly what happened. I was in 3 of the stages of grief, felt sucker punched, finally got all cried out. I started to feel better, except horrible nighmares, and then McCain passing from a cancer battle just put me in a deep depression again because it made me think of when I go. Funny, after my scan, I felt better, but I think I just always get a temporary up from leaving the hospital. When I got that horrible news, all my worry about my hair, the weight I gained during chemo, all that disappeared.

  • lizard44
    lizard44 Member Posts: 409
    I agree with Tunadog and zx10guy

    I don't mind people saying I look good or don't look like I have cancer. I take it as a compliment. And I think, too, that  people are  sometimes  surprised and relieved to discover that a person can actually look normal and get out and do things even with such a diagnosis. It's way better than being told you look like death wamed over- which I've never been told, but have felt like at times  this past week. But as Tru says, when that happens,  I don't go outWink 

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    abrub said:

    And I was told that it was obvious that chemo wasn't working

    because I didn't lose my hair!  Some of the brilliant comments we get.....

     

    Alice

    Exactly

    That was another comment that my hair didn't look that bad.  People, sometimes they just don't know what to say and when they do you just sliently want to "slap them."  LOL

    Kim

  • LeoJ
    LeoJ Member Posts: 13
    edited September 2018 #21

    To be blunt, compassion (not empathy, that is different) is in short supply and that can shock us, especially because everyone, all humans, are unique in the animal world for understanding our own mortality and should be sensitive to the suffering that is part of life, our daily existence.

    I was surprised but on reflection should not have been, when the more self-absorbed of my near relatives shrugged off the post-surgery effects of my sub-total colectomy, some effects to be life changing but many of the worst lasting many months.  They imagined that the 'chop' changed everything, that I was renewed (like a car out of the panel shop) and if I wasn't out there with a full social life and heading off on world travel to celebrate my good fortune, I really must be a 'glass half-full type'.  

    But those reactions are encountered throughout life and are common.  For example, what about the insensitive and often victim-blaming (and wrong!) assumptions about parents and grandparents who suffer the alienation of children, esp adult children? That is why we moderate what we tell individuals and also, why we seek the understanding, experience, advice and solace of linking with fellow sufferers and carers on forums like this.