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Best Worst Cancer Lines

Post the stupidest things people have said to you about your diagnosis! Hopefully we can all find some humor in them in addition to venting.

My fave:
(After ICU stay) "It's not fair you got to take two weeks off of school. My parents never let me have sick days." - ex-friend in high school
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Comments

  • 199 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You have to really have some chops to go head to head with a cancer patient in the "whose life is harder contest".
  • The funny side of Testicular Cancer

    My favorite as a two time testicular cancer survivor is in respect to my boss telling me to stand up for myself: "Tim, you got no balls, *moment of thinking*, sorry".
  • I always like it when people tell me about my melanoma, "well it's a good thing they caught it early" and totally dismiss it. If melanoma is caught and surgically removed at it's earliest stage, in situ, the survival rates are 100%... however mine was stage 3b and while it definitely could have been worse I wouldn't exactly call it early... I guess it's hard for people to grasp that I'm still at high risk for it coming back and me not making it since I'm totally fine now and only had surgery because I elected not to do interferon and there's not much to be done in my current situation. Mostly when people say this though I just smile and say "mmm-hmmm", no reason to ruin what makes them feel better even if it doesn't make me feel any better!
  • most annoying for me is people telling me having cancer/chemo/treatment will make me stronger!!!!

    no it bloody wont... it will make make me very weak and very sick LOL..... anyway i was a pretty strong, independent individual before this happened... grrrr!

    Mish i get fed up with folk thinking yoru cancer was nothing just because you have been lucky enough to survive it.... i get that 'oh your fine now you got the all clear hey'! well im fine for the mo ta
  • My favorite is when people say, "Your so lucky! You don't have to deal with periods anymore." Umm....yeah thanks. Because I did have major surgery, instant and intense menopause, and lost all capability to have kids, but it's cool because I don't have a monthly visitor anymore. Yeah, nice trade. Stupid people.
  • CareyCarey Community Member
    Worst line was when I told someone I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma "Isn't that the good one?"

    Best line came from my Dad, Brother, and cousin. "You're the bravest person I know." My cousin and Dad are combat veterans and my brother is active duty in the Marines.
  • We had a "great" nurse in the hospital one time who said to my husband well at least you have grade II...Grade 3 or 4 brain cancer is way worse!!
  • Oh my gosh! I always got that too. I had ALL and whenever anyone would find out they would be like "Oh wow, well at least you got the good/easy cancer". I would always be like "uh, yeah sure" it's easier to ignore them than to fight them. People are strange.
  • Carey;1228 said:
    Worst line was when I told someone I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma "Isn't that the good one?"

    Best line came from my Dad, Brother, and cousin. "You're the bravest person I know." My cousin and Dad are combat veterans and my brother is active duty in the Marines.

    It is always great when you get compliments from people that have the "credentials" to make those compliments. That is awesome that those fellas told you straight up.
  • Since meeting people in this forum is the only understanding feedback I've gotten, I've had quite a few interesting remarks thrown my way...

    In my circle of friends I get and overwhelming response of "You've lived through worse!"

    After the receptionist took in the paperwork at the genetics oncologist's I got "OMG, you had cancer!" As she ran out the room.

    But the strangest and saddest was from my Mom who told me over the phone "If I knew this when you were concieved, I would have had an abortion."
    But, in her defense, she is an awesome Mom! And probably was in shock from the news. We both watched my Dad die and it probably hit her pretty hard that I had the same cancer that killed him. She's more Mom-like in her responses now.

    In-laws said "You got cancer? My dog has it too"

    And I will end this little rant of weird responses with the one I got from my Doctor who said "Do you want a cigarette?"
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Carey;1228 said:
    Worst line was when I told someone I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma "Isn't that the good one?"

    Yeah, I heard something similar with my first cancer...."Oh, well if you had to get cancer, that is probably the best one to get". Yeah...you have your uterus ripped out of your body at age 25 before you ever had a chance to even think about having kids. Some people's children are just F-ing Stupid! :p
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Melissa Tweed;1250 said:
    Since meeting people in this forum is the only understanding feedback I've gotten, I've had quite a few interesting remarks thrown my way...

    In my circle of friends I get and overwhelming response of "You've lived through worse!"

    After the receptionist took in the paperwork at the genetics oncologist's I got "OMG, you had cancer!" As she ran out the room.

    But the strangest and saddest was from my Mom who told me over the phone "If I knew this when you were concieved, I would have had an abortion."
    But, in her defense, she is an awesome Mom! And probably was in shock from the news. We both watched my Dad die and it probably hit her pretty hard that I had the same cancer that killed him. She's more Mom-like in her responses now.

    In-laws said "You got cancer? My dog has it too"

    And I will end this little rant of weird responses with the one I got from my Doctor who said "Do you want a cigarette?"

    OMG! Wow! I think I would have told the dog to poop in you In-laws shoes!

    Yeah, you are probably right about your mom...probably just the shock of it all. I watched my dad die of colon cancer when he was only 46, definitely not fun. It pisses me off when people say stupid things but in this case I think it is easier to forgive loved ones who are really good who have the best intentions and just go into shock mode and blurt things out that they don't really mean in their initial response. Glad to hear you mom is is just mom in her responses now.

    As for your doctor....wow...just wow. There are no more words!
  • Erica Reyes;1233 said:
    Oh my gosh! I always got that too. I had ALL and whenever anyone would find out they would be like "Oh wow, well at least you got the good/easy cancer". I would always be like "uh, yeah sure" it's easier to ignore them than to fight them. People are strange.

    Yeah, it's only one of the most intense treatments to have. Just because the success rate is high doesn't mean it doesn't suck donkey balls.

    One of the lines I always received was "Wow, your head isn't shaped funny at all!" after I lost my hair numerous times from chemo.
  • Yeah, my dad used the "easy cancer"/"easy 'chemo'" (RAI) line a lot right after I had thyroid surgery and was getting RAI treatment. He's a doctor and I knew he was just trying to make me feel better, mostly about the time it would take to finish. It SHOULD have been easier (physically at least) than other treatments, had I not gotten every weird side effect in the book.

    My mom's worst line: When I was a baby, my mom got mad at one of my doctors for not telling her about a medical mistake. He told her she needed to get a psychiatric consult.

    Oh, best line lately... I was working this summer for a doctor and got interrupted by emergency brain surgery - yay? She ended up visiting me in the ICU right after surgery and was really helpful/understanding (read: we compared medical stories all summer after that!). So as I was leaving at the end of the summer to go study abroad my boss told me "Don't do anything stupid, like get another tumor or something." LOL thanks... obviously I knew it was intended as a joke; from someone else it could be worst line winner.
  • worst cancer line for me

    I told an acquaintance that I was about to start chemo; he said he had it worse - he was about to have a colonoscopy. I told him I would rather stick a camera up my ass every day for a year than go through chemotherapy.
  • deltadawn;1270 said:
    I told an acquaintance that I was about to start chemo; he said he had it worse - he was about to have a colonoscopy. I told him I would rather stick a camera up my ass every day for a year than go through chemotherapy.

    Ahh I can so relate to that one. Life sucks if you don't have cancer.

    For thyroid RAI treatment/scans you have to go on a special iodine-free diet. It pretty much sucks. The only stuff you can eat is either abominably fake (look, I love fake food, but it's the really gross stuff) or organic food, which is not bad, but beyond plain fruits/vegetables you really have to search it out to find anything you can eat. So, while I was on the diet one of the only things I could eat were Moon Pies. I tried to eat one off the diet and thought they were gross. My mom always sends them to me as a joke. Last year, no matter how many times I explained this to my roommate (whose MOM HAD THE SAME CANCER AS ME), she will bring it up as some fun "bonding time" my mom and I had together, like "oh isn't that something you used to eat with your mom?" It was so annoying. No, that is not the point. I found out the hard way that she is in general one of those people who can't deal with anything more serious than allergies, so she just pretends it doesn't exist, and this seems to be a case of that. My life is not at your disposal to edit to suit your own comfort level.
  • CareyCarey Community Member
    deltadawn;1270 said:
    I told an acquaintance that I was about to start chemo; he said he had it worse - he was about to have a colonoscopy. I told him I would rather stick a camera up my ass every day for a year than go through chemotherapy.

    Deltadawn - It's 50/50 for me. The colonoscopy prep drink tastes like Bigfoot diarrhea.

    TimBuckland - It never ceases to amaze me what people classify as a real problem or their ability to make up a problem.
  • Magical Thinking does not help.

    Yeh. Everybody's got problems. It's not a contest.
    What I don't get is why so many people seem to think that minimizing the pain and fear of it will make it easier to bear. Don't insult my intelligence, please. Don't ever insult my intelligence, please, especially when you are trying to help me get through a scary illness. At every stage (tentative diagnosis, biopsy, staging, treatment planning) everyone kept telling me,
    " It's OK! It's not cancer, you won't need chemo, your hair won't fall out and you won't die!"

    Nothing bad will happen! Except something bad already did happen - I got cancer!

    I felt so lonely when they talked to me this way. I have cancer. That means I'm not allowed to talk about death? How about baldness? May I talk about that?

    They were trying to help me, they loved me, they were scared - I know, I know and I appreciate it. I really do. I'm venting here.

    Now, when people tell me that they or someone they care about is getting a biopsy or has cancer already, I tell them what I always wanted hear - That's terrible! That's terrifying! How are you doing? What do you want to know?
  • "You got cancer? My dog has it too"
    I told my parents to never ever ever mention Dogs With Cancer to me, ever again.
  • This thread reminded me of two things:

    I was chatting with one of my friends and some of her friends and I mentioned my cancer, which is something I almost never do. My friend quickly whispered me and said "Don't talk about cancer, so-and-so's dog has it!"

    One of the worst things was the night I was diagnosed. I was crying in the hospital room with my then boyfriend and a doctor came in and said "Don't worry, it looks like you have ALL, the GOOD leukemia." At the time it was actually very reassuring until the next day when my oncologist told me I had ALL and AML. >.>
  • My fiance's dad's girlfriend saw me after I had been on chemo and experimenting with different anti-seizure meds for my brain cancer for a while and the first thing she said to me was, "Oh! You don't look that bad! ......You look pretty much the same- (then a quick) you look good!" Lol. What could I say? I guess it was complement
  • The dog lines - those are terrible!! I don't think I've ever been told that. My mom does joke about how her dog and I both have rare diseases (her dog had "Sheltie Eye" while I was at college) because I'm not a huge fan of the dog... you know, now I should like the dog because we have that in common. But I know she is joking :p
  • My office was visited recently by some AFLAC reps trying to sell various life insurance packages. My turn to go in, I say right off the bat that I'm not sure they'd be able to offer me any help because I had cancer. The female rep quickly agreed with me but encouraged me to contact The Neptune Society asap because the sooner you start planning, the lower the rates! P.S. The Neptune Society provides cremation services. BLAH on her!
  • amandabcs;1362 said:
    My office was visited recently by some AFLAC reps trying to sell various life insurance packages. My turn to go in, I say right off the bat that I'm not sure they'd be able to offer me any help because I had cancer. The female rep quickly agreed with me but encouraged me to contact The Neptune Society asap because the sooner you start planning, the lower the rates! P.S. The Neptune Society provides cremation services. BLAH on her!
    Wow. That's all.

    Yeah I got some of the same lines, "you have the good cancer" "well, at least you have a good shaped head ..." The "you're an inspiration" or "the bravest person I know" stuff is a little much and how the heck do you respond to that? I always get flustered and embarrassed.
  • Hilly Hill;1224 said:
    My favorite is when people say, "Your so lucky! You don't have to deal with periods anymore." .

    I got that from a receptionist when I tried to make an appointment for a follow-up CT scan. She realized her faux pas and then said "Um, I guess."


    I also get this from friends and strangers alike: "I think of how hard it was to (fill in the blank) and how difficult (fill in the blank) was, but then I look at you and all you went through." It usually comes across pitying. So basically - yeah, thanks, my life sucks and makes yours look so much better. Glad I could be of service.
  • Emily Gomez Olsen;1532 said:

    I also get this from friends and strangers alike: "I think of how hard it was to (fill in the blank) and how difficult (fill in the blank) was, but then I look at you and all you went through." It usually comes across pitying. So basically - yeah, thanks, my life sucks and makes yours look so much better. Glad I could be of service.
    I LOVE the pity! It does try to come off as sympathy, but it is pity. I am glad my cancer can make you have a better day.
  • OMG - you guys are totally RIGHT = when did it become MY job to make everyone not affected with cancer feel better???

    WHY am i so LUCKY to have cancer?

    And i am sick of the "this will make you a better person' bullshite" - I was a damn good person BEFORE this effing cancer showed up!

    "My life is not at your disposal to edit to suit your own comfort level". = I am sooo putting this up on my fridge!
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    I'm also tired of the religious folks I know who tell me, well if you start praying to god blah blah blah. Basically insinuating I brought both of my cancers on myself because I'm not a god fearing person.

    Some of the other ones that I have heard numerous times and still gets on my nerves....
    That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
    There is a lesson in all of this.
    Everything happens for a reason.
    Wow, you still have your hair, you look great.
    Well you didn't want kids anyway, right? (this one is high on the list of what has pissed me off)

    Oh any of course my favorite is (I am sure everyone else has heard this one at least once!): Oh you have cancer, I had a (fill in the blank - cousin, uncle, grandmother and etc) who died of cancer.
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Skat22nbnc;1550 said:
    And i am sick of the "this will make you a better person' bullshite" - I was a damn good person BEFORE this effing cancer showed up!

    Amen sista!
  • Almost always it's the same response when I tell someone (for whatever reason) that I had cancer.
    -Either the quick response, "oh, but your ok now right!?" almost as if I'm contagious.
    -I HATE this one: Suddenly it makes sense for them to tell you about someone they knew or heard of that had your type of cancer...but died from it.

    Thanks.