When I first started navigating all of this breast cancer stuff, my cousin sent me a very heartfelt yet funny (to me) email. I will not repeat what I found funny, but just imagine your favorite four letter words!
Her main message read like this:
“Do what you need to do to get through this horrible thing and when someone tells you how to do it better just say “Mmm Hmm” and nod your head and then go do what you want anyway.”
The other day I found myself nodding and just saying “mmm hmm” in response to something that someone said to me. They weren’t telling me to do or not do something, but I was just shocked at what they said and needed to take a minute to formulate my response.
Here are a few things you should probably not say to someone facing breast cancer (or any health condition/disease):
- “Oh my wife’s friend died from breast cancer at age 32.” Yup someone actually said that to me the other day! Once I finished my “mmm hmm” moment, my response was something like, “Well, I’m not planning on it!”
- “Oh, that sucks” – in response to me telling someone the news. Duh, I know it sucks. But someone else telling me it sucks, sucks even more!
- “I know how you feel.” Actually, you don’t!
- If you don’t know me well – don’t tell me what to. Honestly, some days I feel like I don’t know what to do and want someone to tell me what to do. But deep down, I know that I need to call all the shots! I have given 2 people free passes to tell me what to do. One person uses her free pass quite frequently (my mom) and the other probably doesn’t even realize he has one (Bri).
I’m sure that throughout this journey, I will continue to be shocked. Hopefully, I can continue to take my cousin’s advice and just smile and say “mmm hmm.”
For the record – none of my family or friends have been guilty of the above. And I hope I didn’t scare anyone off from talking to me!