I was told today that one of my old friends hasn't been in touch with me since October 2012 (when I was first diagnosed) as he didn't know what to say to me.
This has made me think, I kind of understand, I guess, I know I've been in situations where I'm not sure what to say or I've said the wrong thing.
A few weeks ago I was working behind the stall, and a couple walked up, and the lady was a dwarf. At the back of my head, a voice said "Don't say anything about her size", they both purchased, I made polite conversation, they both walked away and I suddenly notice that I said the words "small", "short", and "tiny' all in one unintentional sentence.
I'm trying to see it from others' point of view, how would I feel if I had to meet someone in my situation? I must admit, I'm not sure. But, I can see it may be awkward.
But it did get me thinking, and that's why I've come up with this list.
What to say and what not to say to someone with cancer:
Not sure what to say to those affected by cancer? One solution is, simply avoid them. But stop! Before you decide on avoidance remember this - cancer patients don't attack and bite into the ankle*, they haven't got the energy! So don't be scared, please use the advice below on how to handle a conversation with someone with cancer.
"Hello, how are you?"
People with cancer still have good days and bad, to say "Hello how are you is fine" (unless it's a bad day, and the response may be, "How the hell do you think I am?!")
"First Hayley Cropper, and now you! Why why why?!"
"So, what have you been up to?"
Living with cancer doesn't stop you from living, unless they're not living, and if that's the case, by asking "What have you been up to?", won't cause much offence anyway.
"WOW, you look really shit!"
Cancer can slightly affect your esteem so tread carefully when talking about looks.
"So, any news?"
People with cancer sometimes want to talk about cancer, but then sometimes they don't. Let them lead the conversion.
"Will you stop bloody complaining, you think you feel bad, you're giving me a headache!"
When approaching someone you know with cancer remember that they're still the person you knew before cancer, the situation has changed, they haven't.
*if the cancer patient does bite your ankle, try and look on the bright side, at least they will probably know the quickest way to A&E for you to get a Tetanus. Good Luck!