After my second surgery, after which I had 5 ½ weeks of radiation treatment, I put together a speech:
The 10 Dumb Things People Say to Someone With Cancer -- an upbeat and humorous approach for how to help someone who has recently received the “Big C” diagnosis.
I’ve had a lot of fun giving that speech over the years. Last May I gave it to the Icelandic Cancer Association and was interviewed by virtually all of the media in that small country. It really captured people’s attention and I spoke to a full house.
I end the list of 10 dumb things with this statement:
In reality, none of these sayings are “dumb,” but only an uneducated way for people to reach out and show they care. They want to say something positive and hopeful…and we all know that that is better than saying nothing at all.
After I told people about my diagnosis this time, I started collecting the comments I got. Maybe it’s because it’s been five times for me, but I must say my friends do not say anything “dumb” at all. And all I’m sharing here is some of the e-mails I got. I also got cards in the mail and had people say wonderful things to me personally.
I know you are positive and upbeat as can be expected with the confirmation of the cancer return. A small tumor is indeed good news. I also know you are weary of the surgery, test and round of doctors. Please know that I care for you and love you my dear friend. I will help you in anyway you need during surgery and recovery. I hold you close in my thoughts and prayers. Bobbie
You're really unbelievable, you know. A book from you at some time about keeping on needs to be written. Really, you are an amazing woman and an inspiration to me. Dev
Wow……..but the details are not so bad. No spreading-wonderful! And drug therapy with no side effects? Great, but what is that? You are working on your Iron (Wo)Man status, but every time, you come out okay again. God bless you for taking it on each time with strength and the best possible attitude. Really.
And God bless you in general – this has to be very, very hard in spite of the good prognosis. Whatever I can do to help, please let me know.