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Dumb things people say

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

Most of you have probably experienced that people don't know what to say to you. In their nervousness to say the right thing, they often times say the wrong thing. During these times I think of smart a-- replies in my head. Here are a few of those stupid comment:

"You guys situation makes me and my wife realize how lucky we are."

Answer: well I am certainly happy that our life threatening illness has improved your life.

"I know you have a full plate. My is full too. My wife's aunt died"

Answer: I am not sure your wife's 70 year old aunt qualifies under the "full plate" guidelines.

Anybody else have some others?

AncientTiger's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2011

That I've had: "Now, aren't you sorry you smoked all those years"

What I SHOULD have said: "No, since I had colon cancer and not lung cancer, I'm more sorry that I was a smoke EATER"

Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

People would always say, see what smoking got you, or do you wish you hadnt smoked, My answer to them all was, I got colon cancer, I didnt smoke out of my ARSE....


Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

People would always say, see what smoking got you, or do you wish you hadnt smoked, My answer to them all was, I got colon cancer, I didnt smoke out of my ARSE....


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

1. "I have a friend that beat it! He was stage four last year and thought
he was going to die, and now he's out playing golf again!"

2. "You still got that? I thought you got rid of it?"

3. "My brother's wife's friend said that her friend had that type
of cancer six months ago and they gave her chemo that cured it.
They are always coming out with new cures!"

4. "Did they cancel your insurance when they found out you
were going to die? They cancelled my sister's insurance when
she had cancer. Everything - health, life, even her house insurance!"

5. "My mom died of that, so did my uncle and his best friend.
I wonder if it's contagious?"

6. "Stop eating junk food. That's what causes it."

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

good list john

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

"Has the doctor told you how long you have to live?"

The next time I hear that question, I am thinking of responding "The rest of my life"

Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

I like that one.....


Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

No one knows I have cancer but my close family and best friend. No one but my boss knew I work, even though I worked all through chemo. The only thing I heard was

'Why you?
'This hurts us as much as it hurts you....that was nice.

No one brings it up in my family. They ask how I am feeling these days and that is it. When I had my cancer active, unless I was in the hospital, they never said anything, but they all treated me like I was a diamond in the ruff!

No complaints.

jjaj133's picture
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

i think i would have to say, "yes talk fast, i have 20 minutes."

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2011

I heard that one, too, TrapperDan. I like the response on a tv ad: There's no expiration stamp on the back of my head.

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

Number 2 is my favorite. It also infuriates me most.


merrysmom's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

i spent most of my 20's and 30's in the hospital with a severe seizure disorder. I could not see, walk, or talk most of the time. people would come visit me and say" at least you don't have cancer". can you imagine what they would say to me now? People are really stupid at times.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Someone said to me, "you look better today, last time I saw you you didn't look very well." Well duh.


abrub's picture
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mar 2010

by someone "my 85 year old father just had a recurrence. At least you're young and lucky" to which I replied, "your father has had a full life. I may be dead before I'm 60." Us younger folk get cancer and die from it, too!

The same person also fixated on whether or not I'd lose my hair with chemo. Heck, I was more concerned about my life.

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

My mom lay dying in her bedroom, my dad was in the middle of chemo for breast cancer, and I came to help take care of them both after after my colon resection in the very small gossip-driven town in which they lived. I met the prospective new housekeeper recommended by a family friend.

She walked in the house, and said the following upon initial meeting:

"Hi, my name is _______. I heard you are sick too....so do you have a bag?"

I told her it was none of her damn business and to not ever ask me or anyone else with cancer a question like that again.

You just can't fix stupid!

Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

Mine was " Really? must you be so cranky" mind you I was lying in a hospital bed recovering from surgery! If I could have risen from the bed, someone would have been slapped upside the head!

Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2011

Haven't heard the "you're lucky you got it when you're young" comment yet, but I'm sure it's coming. Kenny just kept getting the "you're the young guy" remark when he was in the hospital. I would love to chat with others in our age group who are going through this.

LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

How do you like these statements from a few of our co-workers:

Co-worker #1 after I told her that Rick had cancer: "Wow, you really know how to pick men!" (I met Rick, who I consider the love of my life, a year after my divorce.)
-- Could this woman have been any more callous??

Co-worker #2 after he saw Rick a few months after HIPEC surgery: "Hey, Rick looks really healthy now that he lost some weight - I guess getting cancer was good for him!"
-- Are you SERIOUS!!

Co-worker #3: "Oh, he only has colon cancer? That's completely curable, I've read the studies." -- Oh, really??

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I know we have to be so "correct" these days, especially at work in this economy, but maybe next time, you will still be able to send over a zinger that lets them know they "messed up" while still retaining your dignity.

I love #3 - Completely curable.....tell that person that's why rectal cancer is the #2 killer of all cancers and is an equal opportunity destroyer for both men and women.

If that does not work, introduce them to the word "recurrece" which we know is stage IV - tell them if they are keeping count, there is no Stage V.


LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Craig, you're absolutely right, I need to work on my zingers - usually I just look at them in stunned silence. Next time, I'll try out one of yours. :-)

Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2011

Yep Sundanceh, I had an oncology nurse say to me, "Well, if your gonna get cancer, colon cancer is the one to get......what-the????


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Me to Co-Worker:
"I've got stage IV cancer with only a 7% chance at making it 5 years."

His response back to me:
"These allergies are whippin' my a$$."


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Well, I hope you gave him the appropriate amount of sympathy for that! Which would be maybe a knuckle sandwich!


Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2011

Going through this experience has taught me what TO say. One friend said, "I hope you know how much you are loved. You are valuable to me." I want to be like that.

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

Me too.

Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2011

I am continually surprised when people ask, "Why are you still having chemo?", when they find I have had 24 and am continuing on with no known end. I would think that I still have cancer would occur to them without me having to say it. Do they think I am doing it for the novel experience?!?

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Was told that "Well, at least George has the good cancer". Are you kidding me, didn't know there was a good and bad cancer. As someone said, you can't fix stupid.

Take care all - Tina

Friendinpenn's picture
Posts: 70
Joined: Oct 2010

At a sportsmen club I belong to a friend asked me how I was doing now...I said "Fine" and that my cancer report was good...a guy down the way said "Not for long"..."Once that cancer gets in you it will kill you"....

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

I can't even think of a response for that one. Lisa

Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

me either, I think I would have punched him or something..


daBeachBum's picture
Posts: 164
Joined: Apr 2011

Man Law would have held you entirely blameless for activating that SOB's dental plan...

Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2006

Almost 3 weeks ago I brought my husband home from the hospital and are with Hospice at home, its like I unplugged my phone. One girlfriend finally called and says I did not want to call you becuase I did not know what to say...duh just be a friend and say hello we do not have some type of contagious disease. I feel sometimes like a lepur..

Here is a total act of kindness,I looked outside yesterday afternoon, we have a large piece of property and there was a strange man mowing my lawn. I thought to myself he must be driving up the road and forgot about it. Later in the day a strange man was walking up my driveway with my recycle bins. He commented that he mowed my lawn, gave me some movies to watch and had a large bag of grapes he just picked. I had never seen this man before and the ATT repair man told him about us, he lived up the road from us, I am totally taken back by the kind jesture that a stranger did for us. When I can not even get a friend to call.

Do something today for someone, no matter how small it may be,just a act of kindness. It will lift your heart, just as the gentlemen yesterday lifted mine.


Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

I'm in. Why don't you post this in it's own thread so that we can report on exactly what it was we did. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own problems, we forget to focus on others.

Vickilg's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

I loved what your neighbor did for you.

Friends just don't realize what they say sometimes.

1. All she was concerned about was getting me a wig even though I told her many, many times I wasn't going to lose my hair and to be honest was the least of my concerns. She meant well but...

2. I have a stoma and everytime I would leave the house finally having a good day from chemo she would say oh you are so lucky loose shirts are in style now so you don't see the bag. I finally told her that she wrecked my confidence every time because I was not thinking of the bag that help saved my life but that if that was all she saw when she looked at me that we couldn't be friends. She felt horrible and we are still buddies today.

3. The worse... you look tired. Said with concern but yeah I already know I am tired and look like it.

Again they mean well and I love my friends. They are dealing with this too in their own way. Its not easy to have a friend go through something like this. If they are true friends you can be a bit direct with them so that the friendship doesn't crash... if it does then its okay you have more important things going on.

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

I held true to my word about doing something for someone. I have the best secretary in the world. During all this illness, I have missed quite a few days and she has been "holding up the fort" without complaint. On top of this she has had to listen to all my trials and tribulations. Today I wrote her parents to tell them what a great daughter they raised and how valuable she was to both me and our organization. I think it will make both their day and hers because rarely do parents get a nice letter about their adult children. Lisa PS You were right. It did feel good to think of someone other than myself.

pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

Former co-worker: "Wow, you look really good, like a model"

I was a ghastly 90 lb cancery anorexic bag of death that could barley walk and she admired how skinny I got!

I really really hated the various plays on "positive attitude" - like that's all it takes to beat ANY disease. UURGGHGHGHGHG

Kimo Sabe's picture
Kimo Sabe
Posts: 64
Joined: Aug 2011

One I heard: "see what happens when you don't get your routine colonoscopy". I didn't bother to explain that my stage IIIB cancer was discovered this May between my August, 2008 and scheduled August 2011 colonoscopy.

I must also confess that before I had cancer I was pretty clueless. While I don't think I ever said anything outrageous, I know I thought some things that I'm glad I never expressed. I think until you're in the boat with other cancer folks, you don't know.

I would reiterate a couple of things that were said above. On the positive side, the outpouring of community support has been amazing. Several people have brought food, and people have helped with my yard and many other tasks. I feel very warm and positive about this support. One man drove 7 miles on a little Suzuki to bring me a soup he made because he heard I was having a hard time eating and was losing weight.
I have received many cards of support, but one very special one was similar to above. The people said simply that they were sorry and they cared about me and they wanted me to know a lot of people loved me.

ninetoes's picture
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a co-worker say " I wish I had cancer so I could be off work ". I just looked at him and walked away.

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

You showed great restraint. Lisa

Kimo Sabe's picture
Kimo Sabe
Posts: 64
Joined: Aug 2011

I need to remember to sign my name.

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