CANCER: THINGS NOT 2 SAY 2 A CANCER PATIENT by CATE MONDON
The Many Rants, Raves, and Rambles of Catherine
Things not 2 say 2 a cancer patient...
Cancer is a touchy subject... And lets be honest, a lot of the time it makes people uncomfortable. People don't know what to say, and with that, a lot of the time say things that come across as insensitive or rude. Here's my list of things that people have said to me that have bothered me (at some point or another) and why.
"You're only 20... You're so young."
Why yes... I'm very well aware of the fact that I'm only 20 years old and have a disease that will slowly kill me. Guess what? Cancer has no age limit. And no, cancer does not only effect young children and old people unlike the ads make it seem.
"If you have cancer, why do you have hair?"
Well folks, probably because having cancer on it's own does not make you lose your hair... Although this question often makes me to tear out what hair I have remaining. Yes, chemo does make the majority of cancer patients lose their hair, BUT it's the chemo that makes the hair fall out, not the cancer. Also, now they have technology that helps prevent hair loss that comes with chemo and has been proven to work marvelously.
"Man, I couldn't do what you're doing."
Um.... Thanks? It's not like I have a choice. I don't get to choose whether or not I have cancer. I either choose to try and fight it or I choose to die. There's no choice. You do it, or you die.
"You're so strong"
Now, I KNOW everyone means this as a compliment. And half the time, I do take it as such. But there are days when I'm alone, breaking down, and the last word in the world I would use to explain myself is as strong. And like the point above, I don't have a choice. I have to show up to my cancer battle each and every day. I have to take my meds, I have to deal with the side effects. Not being strong isn't an option.
"Wait... Since you have ovarian cancer, you'll probably never be able to have kids? That's so sad. Being a mother is the best part of my life."
You're right... I probably won't be able to have my own children but guess what? At least I'll be ALIVE. So if I adopt my children, they'll have a mom. I understand motherhood is this huge deal, but so is being alive to be able to experience it.
"I love you, but hearing about your health issues cause me so much stress which is why I've distanced myself."
I'm sorry that hearing about my problems cause YOU stress... It's not like you have to deal with the effects every single minute of every single day.
"Well at least you have an amazing support system."
This is a yes and a no. A weird thing happens to you when you have cancer. 1: People that were close to you get closer, they become your rock. 2: People that were close to you all of a sudden are distant. They rarely check in with you. You try to stay in contact with them, and they distance themselves from the damage and potential loss. 3: People you barely ever knew or talked to, all of a sudden want to be your best friend in the world and try to get ultra involved in your life. 4: People you barely know all of a sudden use you to get "cancer likes" on social media. They'll never have talked to you before, but now will snap a selfie with you and write a giant paragraph on social media about how they support their cancer friend.
"I read somewhere that meat causes cancer, I bet if you hadn't eaten meat you'd be cancer free"
Shucks, even if that is true... Guess what? That doesn't change the fact that I currently have cancer. So thank you for your weird speculation, but it's not helpful.
"Oh man, you have cancer? My aunt died of cancer."
Man... that's so... nice. As I fight for my life I just love hearing about all the people that you know that have lost in their battle. That really gives me hope.
"Well I saw this episode of greys anatomy where this cancer patient...."
Guess what? This is real freaking life. Not some soap opera where the different parts of this struggle are so skewed and turned around that they're nothing like the real thing.
"So obviously you're doing chemo..."
Actually, there are far more methods of treatment for cancer than chemo. Every persons cancer story is different, meaning that every persons treatment plan is different. There are oral meds, clinical trials, chemo, radiation, and surgeries.
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