Top 15 Things NOT to Say to a Cancer Patient

We know that people mean well, but more often than not it becomes open mouth, insert foot. Don't try to think of the "right" thing to say, just try to be normal. In my case, my cancer is about all I can think about and I am more than willing to talk about it and answer any questions... but this isn't true for everyone. If you know someone going through this just be open, we appreciate that! If you have said one of these things below, don't worry, we forgive you! And remember, this list is supposed to be humerous :)

  1. "Other than that, how are things?" [uhm....]
  2. "Oh, my aunt/cousin/grandfather died of that same cancer!" [i was having a good day]
  3. "My (fill in blank here) had (fill in type here) cancer and that was (fill in number) years ago. You'll be fine!" [all cancer is not created equal]
  4. "Just think of all the money you'll save on shampoo!" [yeah it will really help with the $10,000 I just dropped on my chemo bill for the week!]
  5. "You just have to stay positive" [ok, i'm positive i want to give this cancer back]
  6. "You'll be fine" or "So, your fine now... right?" [if fine means i'm not dying, then yes]
  7. "God gives you only what you can handle" [i wish i had known that sooner, i would have worked harder on being a weaker person]
  8. "Every cloud has a silver lining" [oh yeah, well my radiation therapy room is lead lined!]
  9. "Its just a bump in the road" [living with a cancer diagnosis, having multiple surgeries, gaining weight, ingesting radioactive iodine for scans, insomnia, being depressed and anxious, being hypo, going on the LID, being isolated, ingesting really high doses of radioactive iodine for radioablative therapy, lifelong daily replacement TSH, labwork, yearly follow-up labs and scans...its more like a long and winding mountain road!]
  10. "Don't worry" [be happy.. don't worry, be happy now...do dodo dodo dodododo dododo...sorry must be the lack of concentration symptom shining through]
  11. "Lance beat cancer" [uhm do i look like a 40yr old MAN?]
  12. "At least you got a good kind of cancer" [yeah, i was going for prostate cancer but this one is WAY better!]
  13. "You'll be fine, you have a great attitude" or "If anyone can beat it, it's you" [I don't have cancer, I don't have cancer, I don't have cancer...ah the power of positive thinking!]
  14. "Don't worry, your hair will grow back" or "You look good bald!" [Its the newest fashion, let's do your hair next!]
  15. "If there's anything I can do..." [ok so this one isn't really something not to say, just make sure that you really would do anything. Better yet, don't wait for them to ask (most of us are used to taking care of others, not being the ones taken care of) - send flowers, cards, visit, make a meal without being asked because its always welcome!]


  1. I love your response to #12!!!

  2. LOL thanks! That is probably my least favorite comment people have made so i've had a lot of time to think of the comeback! :)

  3. I like #11

    Who knew all you needed was a pair of spandex bike shorts!

  4. ok, so annoymous is me (becky).. I can't get it to post my name...dumb computer

    just wanted to make sure you know I'm not a crazy stalker or something :P


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