A lot of blogs post a weekly “Wordless Wednesday” post which usually features a picture or two and very minimal text. I just used this title because its Wednesday and sometimes, I do find myself completely “wordless” (better word speechless).
I remember talking with co-workers a few months ago about none other than Cancer! It seems that it is all around us and far too often a topic of conversation. One of my coworker’s daughters had a friend who had received a grim cancer diagnosis and my boss asked if I had any thoughts or ideas on what to say or do given my experience with cancer. Well, the only thing I could come up with was – “I can tell you what NOT to say.”
Thank god I have a sense of humor and am a fairly compassionate person. I do know that people often mean well, but sometimes they say the most absurd things when they hear I have/had cancer. I recently read this post on another breast cancer survivor’s blog. I can honestly say that I have had all of those things said to me.
By far, the best comment I ever received was related to #3 on Laura’s blog. I was diagnosed at age 30. I told a few of the old/older men that are part of the morning crew and work out at the YMCA. One of them said to me: “My wife had a friend who died from breast cancer at age 32.” Really?
I would also like to add something to Laura’s list…I absolutely love it when people ask me: “So how do you know you’re cancer free?” First off, there’s so much meaning to the words cancer free, remission and no evidence of disease that I could fill another blog post. But, back to the main question…My aunt who had breast cancer told me what her response was and I have adopted her smart (yet possibly rude) remark. So, my default response when asked how I know if I’m cancer free: “I see a doctor every 3 months. So, how do you know that you’re cancer free?”
I didn’t mean for this post to seem mean. As I said before, I have a sense of humor and I know that others honestly mean well. But sometimes other people’s well-meant comments often leave me wordless.