sometimes people have good intentions....but

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Postby Fishy » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:05 am

sometimes people's insensitivity and pettiness never ceases to amaze me.i use to work with these two women who were always on diets. one of them would always say stuff like, well you don't have to worry about weight , you have a perfect body, maybe i should try chemo.she has also called me a "skinny little bitch" a few times.i would just hold my tongue because she was such a horrible person, if i started telling her off, i don't know if i'd be able to stop. how anyone could be jealous of someone whose has been fighting cancer for four years while working 40-45 hours a week is beyond my comprehension.and just because you look good doesn't mean you feel good.everytime someone says,"well you look just great" --i want to say , "well too bad i feel like shit". it always seems like what they are really saying is -well you look great, so you couldn't possibly feel that bad. luckily, i have a lot a really nice people around me, so i usually don't let people like that get to me.
Jenny Fish

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Postby Magnolia » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:32 pm

I remember before I was diagnosed, sometimes when I heard someone had cancer, I would say, "Oh, I know someone who had that." But then I would stop. I wanted the person to know I had some knowledge of their situation, but I knew it was their turn to talk, or not, depending on their need. It wasn't about me. If the person picked up the conversation, I might share a little more, but I let them take the lead. My many years as an oncology nurse helped me learn what people may or may not want from others, but I'm not always right. Most people just don't know what to say. I find they're just so happy to find someone who may understand THEIR pain, they forget that that stranger may be in too much pain themselves to be supportive. Now that I have cancer myself, I find myself switching into nurse mode all too often to take care of others or to educate strangers. It isn't fair, but, unfortunately, it may be the only way people can get the gentle experience they need to become more sensitive.

I'm also an adoptive mom. I do the same thing when people ask questions about my daughter who is not of my race. I answer honestly, gently, and non-judgementally. People don't grow when they're made to feel bad. I find having "pre-recorded" answers helps. A positive encounter with me may make a difference for someone else down the road, and who knows, that questioner may be in my shoes someday. I'm sure there have been many times I've been the one saying the wrong thing, and many situations I haven't learned from yet.


Postby mca » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:08 am

I'm always amazed at how insensitive some people can be sometimes, even my own family members. I guess they didn't mean it when they said the wrong things, but it still sounded harsh and it hurt. Like the other day I was trying to figure out why I have colon cancer at such a young age (34) and I thought it may be genetic, like most oncologists suggested. But a family member (who shall remain nameless) said that I did it to myself because I studied too hard (I was a straight A student from primary school to graduate school) and worked too hard, put too much stress on myself, blah blah blah. HELLO!!! since when did trying my best at everything I do become a bad thing????? I did not ask to have cancer and why is my own family saying this to me????I mean WHERE is the sympathy? They were so proud of all my achievements before and NOW these are all bad and caused my cancer???
I know that my family love me and are probably scared to death and don't know what to do and what to say. That's why they said the wrong thing but it still hurts. I cried myself to sleep that night and is still upset at this point. Anyways, I'm so glad to have all of you to share my thoughts. I'm sorry that I sound so negative here. I'm just a little hurt and angry right now. I'll get over it soon.

Thanks for reading.


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Postby Ron50 » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:11 am

G'day Channie,
Don't worry mate just get straight "AAAAAAAA's" in survival.Forget the rest ,do it for you,Cheers Ron.

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Postby Magnolia » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:51 pm

Someone in my family read me the riot act for not getting screened at 50 instead of 51. As a healthcare professional, I should have known better. THAT was just what I needed to hear. My doctor told me to just stop talking to anyone who brings me down. I did.

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Postby cynnycal » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:00 pm

^^ ouch...

yea, check THIS one out (i thought this was good..)

so my primary physician (who i hadn't really seen for that long, i'd just gotten referred to her a couple years ago) comes into my hospital room when i was hospitalized for my port-a-cath implant and first round of chemo.
so i'm sitting up there hooked to an IV, mad at the world. and she comes in my room (after i haven't seen her for at least a year and a half) and starts lookin at my chart and says "you know...i have in my records that i recommended you get a colonoscopy in '04"
YEA RIGHT!!! you really think i'd just 'forget' about that? you never told me that...maybe you wrote it in there, but you damn sure never told me to do that. at ALL.
And what the hell kinda slap in the face is that?!? why are you gonna come in my room and tell me you referred me to get the test two years prior? what the hell good is that gonna do me NOW as i'm hooked to the IV?

BUT that was not then a month or so later, i'm going in for my last IV treatment. I'm walking into the private room with my friend (oooh...doesn't THAT sound erotic...heheheheh.) and i see a familiar face in the corner of the room getting her IV hooked up by the nurse. I did a double take and then kinda mumble "Dr. Brotine?"
heh...yes, the very same primary doc was in there for HER chemo treatment.
now, i didn't stop to really talk to her, i just kinda said hi and that it was my last treatment, and i'm feeling good, etc. so i don't know the circumstances behind her being there, nor how long she's been going...but what kinda chip does she have on her shoulder to tell me something like that when she's going through it herself?

aaaaaarrrghhhh...anyway. yes. people are something else sometimes.

it's okay, the amount of good supportive loving encouraging helpful amazing people in my life infinitely outnumber the unpleasant ones.

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Postby Magnolia » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:06 am

Yes, the supportive people do far outnumber the others. And the others often DO mean well. I've been very pleasantly surprised by the number of people I didn't know all that well who have stepped up to help. When I had my surgery, my husband and daughter got the flu. Several neighbors and parents from my daughter's school came over with food and ran errands and such while I was in the hospital. I just couldn't believe how supportive and helpful they all were.

BTW, I DID know better than to delay my colonoscopy. But the 50 year thing is just a guideline, not a hard rule. I was not fully insured at the time, we were paying out of pocket for my husband's surgery, and I was busy taking care of an invalid relative. As I had no new symptoms and minimal risk factors, it seemed reasonable to put it off until insurance kicked in. Seemed like a good idea at the time. We never really know what we're doing, do we?


Postby Guest » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:46 pm

It is as simple as this when you meet someone and they find out you have cancer and then they start to tell you a story of someone they know who had cancer stop them immediately in their tracks and say is the person alive? If they say yes then say good continue. If they say no say see ya! Worked for me.... people can be !@#$%^&! ETL

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Postby johnmeissner » Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:29 am

So far, I've been lucky. Just having been diagnosed a month ago, not many people know I have colon cancer. The ones who do know have been very sympathetic. I just hope that when someone "goes nuts" on me and ignores the incessant blaring of their insensitiveity meter, that I'll have the grace and strength to deal with it like you all have.

Thank you for being so inspiring!

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New to this topic :-)

Postby Fitzgeraldmom » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:27 am

Hello everyone,
I am a new joiner to your topic and it broke my heart to hear all of your stories of all the inconsiderate people in your life... While it is a difficult situation for anyone to be in, ignorance and stupidity should not be the first things to come out of your mouth! At times of great shock it is almost as though peoples brains stop working and they think with their asses!
I know you all have NO idea who I am but I just wanted to apologize for the stupid, ignorant, rude human race. While I know I did not make them all, I still am shocked and amazed at how rude some people can be! You often wonder if they could hear themselves talk, would they be embarrassed?! I was born with a birth defect and the looks and comments I receive on a daily basis are ridiculous. I have learned to live with it, just as you all have learned to live with the stupidity that comes out of peoples mouths in regards to what you all are going thru....
Anyway, try to keep a stiff upper lip and you know what, a little flying off them handle is neccessary every now and then. If not for anything else than to make you feel just a little bit better!
And to the person who's family blamed the straight A's you got, that is not only stupid, it is just plain absurd! Be proud for your grades! You worked hard for them and you should be VERY proud!
God Bless you all, I will continue my prayers for you all...
Kellie in CT

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Postby bluemarlinchef24 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:32 pm

I know what you mean!

I find that when I share a personal experience or feeling with some people their response is to tell me one of their own experiences as to compare it to mine. I get the feeling that they always need to tell me how much more they suffered as if it is a contest.

An example I recently had with someone was when I was telling a
co-worker about how much pain I was in (lower back) and that I was thinking about going to the ER. That's how bad it was. Instead of expressing any kind of help he just proceeded to tell me how much pain he was in a few days ago. I'm sure he was not lying but his pain was not even comparable to mine. He just had a headache.
That kind of thing gets to me.
It's not a contest!



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Postby cynnycal » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:48 pm

yea, have you ever had the "My cancer is better/worse than your cancer" contest?
like talking to someone and feeling that you guys have to one up each other in terms of how bad your side effects were, or how great you were in treatment and how little you experienced?

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Postby Magnolia » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:34 am

You know I think there's a natural inclination to compare notes on our experiences. That's why a lot of us are on this board. That's what surrort groups are for.Sometimes it DOES come across as one-up-manship, though. "I'm suffering more that you are." or "I'm doing better than you are." It shouldn't be about that. What starts out as "Ain't it awful!" comraderie turns into "I can whine louder than you." People sometimes forget the person they're talking to has problems too. And it's not just when it comes to cancer either.

My sister has a friend who just went into hospice care for lung cancer. She's not really a close friend of mine, but I know her through my sister. She and I have decided we don't think it's a good idea for me to visit her. Neither of us feels strong enough to be supportive of the other. We just send good wishes by way of my sister. It seems to be working. We'll see if it continues to work. I hope so.

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