When you go through cancer and you lose your hair you become easily recognized as a person unwell. What happens when you still feel poorly but your hair grows back and you are less identifiable as a sick person? People start saying the most ridiculous things. Some are well-meaning for sure, but others just callous.
Here is a list of 10 things never to say to a cancer patient regardless of where they are in their course of treatment and why.
1. You look great, so thin!
The cancer diet is not one anyone would wish happen to anybody. Looking like a skeleton is not a desired look!
2. I just love your hair!
It could be a wig.
3. Looks like you bounced back stronger than ever!
This is usually from a person who has no association with cancer, or doesn’t care about you.
4. It’s been months — certainly you can’t still be feeling unwell?
Cancer treatments can go on for a year and one of the lasting side effects is fatigue.
5. Why are you so tired all the time?
The side effect of fatigue can last longer than the course of treatments.
6. I thought everyone lost weight with cancer?
Many drugs have a side effect of puffiness. Some cancers actually cause you to gain weight because the body is trying to survive by storing fat!
7. Do you smoke? Don’t you exercise? Do you eat processed food?
Many cancers are not caused by lifestyle choices.
8. Is there cancer in your family?
Many cancers are not hereditary. Did I get to choose my genetic makeup?
9. My aunt, uncle, relative, neighbor, etc. had cancer. They are still alive!
This is well meaning as encouragement or a shout to get on with it.
10. God never gives us more than we can handle.
Why would God give me cancer and not some pervert?