Updated: Apr 15
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I’ve had some really crazy things said to me over the last while regarding my cancer diagnosis. I’m not sure if it’s because people feel awkward and don’t know what to say or that they don’t know any better. So I decided to come up with a list of things for others not to say to warriors battling cancer. Please be more sensitive and mindful when talking to people that are going through such a traumatic time. My intention of this post is to bring awareness. If you don’t know what to say, then just listen and be there for us!!!
“You don’t look sick.”
Thanks, I didn’t realize I was supposed to look a certain way?
"Let me know what I can do to help!”
Please just do something to help me. I’m not the type of person to call you up and ask if you could pick me up some groceries.
“My great Aunt just died recently from cancer.”
Thanks for the heads up. Pretty sure I’m fighting for my life over here and really don’t want to hear about someone else DYING from the disease I was just diagnosed with. Take a hike.
“My cousin’s Uncle used to drink this stuff and it cured his cancer.”
I highly doubt that. Thanks, but no thanks. Let me do my thing over here. I have actual medical doctors helping me out.
“Are you in remission?’
I HATE this one so much. I don’t like giving myself any ‘titles’. I am alive, happy and healthy. Leave it at that.
“Can you still have kids?”
That is a question that no one should ask anyone EVER. Come on people! Even people who haven’t had cancer struggle with fertility. Don’t ask unless someone tells you they want to talk about it.
“Aren’t you happy you’re all done treatment?”
Yes, but navigating life after cancer is extremely difficult. Maybe even worse than the actual treatment. The constant fear never really ends, even though I’m done losing all of my hair, thanks.
“Have you tried drinking celery juice?”
Do you have any actual medical evidence that this is a miracle thing? Didn’t think so.
“Are you going to lose your hair?”
If I want to tell you this, I will. Otherwise, don’t ask.
“Are you wearing a wig?”
Thanks for making me feel even more uncomfortable than I already do. This b*tch is hot, sweaty and itchy, I really don’t need you to bring it up. I am just trying to feel as normal as I can right now and you’re not helping.
“OMG, are you going to die?”
Look, we could get hit by a bus tomorrow. We are all going to die sometime. I am busy trying to stay alive over here, so seriously, get lost.
“Does anyone else in your family have cancer?”
Why do you need to know? Does it make it okay that I was diagnosed?
“Are you really stressed out? I hear stress causes cancer?”
Nope. I definitely did not bring this upon myself, thank you very much.
“Do you eat a lot of red meat?”
“I know there is a cure for cancer. Big Pharma is covering up.”
If this were true, I think Steve Jobs would still be alive.
“Are you all good now?”
I’m good, you?
“But you’re so young to get cancer!”
Cancer does not discriminate. Babies can get cancer :( .
“At least you got a free boob job!”
Are you *(%^*#$ kidding me? I would have NEVER gotten this done just for a different set of boobs. Reconstruction is hell.
“Your new boobs will be perky for life!”
Umm, yeah, I guess they will. Definitely didn’t get cancer for that ‘perk’, but thanks anyway.
Vanessa (and I'm sure many other badass cancer patients too)