Tuesday, 15 April 2008
If I was a pig and had a curly tail and it got twisted tighter with every thoughtless thing said to me over the past two years and then the thoughtless things stopped being said. My curly pig’s tail would spin off and shoot me very close to the left hand corner of the big dipper.
Common things people with cancer have heard and should never have to hear again. If I have personally heard it or something like it I will place a * beside it.
*You never know. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. (Then why don’t you?)
*You’ll be fine. (Oh really, that is not what the expert on my cancer says.)
*Think positive. (I’m positive I have cancer and I’m positive that being positive won’t change it.)
*Your chemo is finished, so you’re fine now right? (No.)
*What is your prognosis? (Same as yours, we are both going to die.)
My grandma, sister, aunt, etc. died of that. (So really i'm wasting my time doing chemo, radiation and generally having any hope.)
*My grandma, sister, aunt, etc. beat that by doing such and such. (Okay from now on I will cut up the pickles before I bake them in the pickle pie.)
*If anyone can beat it, you can. (Is that because I can see through your clothes.)
*If it’s not your time, it’s not your time. (But what if it is?)
*Life is not fair. (Thanks for the heads up.)
*Every cloud has a silver lining. (Go fuck yourself.)
*At least you will lose weight. (Who says I want too?)
Lance can do it and so can you. (Only if I wear a yellow bracelet.)
*Don’t worry. (Like that is a possibility.)
*How do you know if your treatment is working? (You will read about me in the paper if it doesn’t.)
*Don’t worry your hair will grow back. (Thanks Albert.)
*You don’t look like you have cancer. (Maybe if I cut my body open and you know what it is you are looking for, maybe then I will look like I have cancer.)
The God things and to me personally these are the most offensive. I wonder if they came from this passage from Romans 6:23. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus."
What is Jesus teaching you in all this? (Angie’s personal nemesis.)
It could be God’s way of teaching you to look closer at your life. (Not my God.)
*God won’t give you more than you can handle. (That is darn decent of him.)
*It's God's Will or its less self-righteous cousin, everything happens for a reason. (I would be really interested to hear what exactly you think the reason is. After hearing that, I would also be really interested in hitting you over the head with a spade.)
Now that we have come to the end of my little rant, I couldn’t leave without stating my all time favorites that should not be said to a person with cancer.
*You will be fine, you have a great attitude. (I had a great attitude when I got cancer or does that sort of thing only work in reverse.)
*If you really want to live you will. (I have many friends who really wanted to live, was their really just not a triple-dipple really.)
*Just never give up when people give up they die. (I don’t think it is when they gave up they died, I think it is when their bodies shut down that they died. Although I should recheck that, after all you probably know better.)
*Keep that positive attitude. (Would you say keep a positive attitude to someone who is floating on the icy water near an iceberg that was just hit by the Titanic?)
I understand that it is very hard to know what is the right thing to say to someone with cancer. I get it. Having said that, I want you to know that if you pretend that it doesn’t exist and therefore you say nothing, that is even worse.
I guess what I want you to get is that many times it isn’t what you say it is your sincerity. Sometimes there just aren’t words. Sometimes there is just compassion.