When People Say Thoughtless Things To Someone with a Serious Illness

Healthy lifestyle concept. Diet and fitnessI once had a relative who is also a nurse say, “I know someone who has what you have and survived. Let me put you in touch with her.” ¬†While it’s great to have support, everyone’s journey is their own. No two cancer patients go through the same thing. It shocked me to learn there were so many different types of breast cancer. And I have the rarest and deadliest.

Everybody does cancer differently. Each has their own way to deal with it. One of the worst things to hear is that a positive attitude is a MUST. Does that mean that all the millions of people who have died from cancer didn’t live up to someone’s idea of positive thinking?

You just have stay positive. You can beat it!


We need to TRY to stay positive, because it can make us feel better. It doesn’t necessarily cure cancer. Taking a few precious moments to have fun with loved ones can do a world of good. But will it shrink a tumor, or stop metastasis? Sure there are miracles, but I don’t think that’s encouraging. I just want to do the best I can do. I don’t want to feel I’ve allowed myself to die because I didn’t have a good enough attitude. Or I didn’t have enough faith.

MY attitude is just fine. MY faith is fine. And don’t tell I’m not considering the long-haul of a matter. My long-haul could be only weeks. It could be months, if I’m lucky. A year, if I’m really lucky. Years, if I’m really, really, really lucky. I’ve already had three years when 50% get six months.

Saying positive changes the quality of days one has, but not necessarily the number of days one has to live.

Dismissing the seriousness of someone who has a Stage 4 diagnosis is in poor taste. I once had a relative tell me I was acting like a drama queen… She taught me a wonderful lesson: It can’t get much worse than that.

So now if someone says something minor, I might stew about it a little, but I let it go.

Here’s a great blog to learn what NOT to say.¬†http://lisabadams.com/2013/02/27/the-stupid-things-people-say-to-people-with-cancertheir-families/

I have a friend who sends me fairies…via FB…it can be a simple as that.