5 things not to say to someone who has cancer.




My friend has cancer.

Cancer, as you know, sucks.

I have watched and listened to things people say as they find out.

The following list is of things people have said.

If you find yourself in their shoes, please do not say the following.

Note that this is an actual list and each item has been said not by one person but by multiple people.

1.  Hey “slick” you had such a nice head of hair! Why did you cut it like that?????

If someone becomes bald overnight, it might be safe to assume something is going on.  Cancer is sadly so prevalent that when a person you have not seen in a long time is hairless, consider the possibility that they may be having chemotherapy.  Use your head before commenting on theirs.

2.  Oh no! My cousin had that kind of cancer and died within six months!

This is the one that I find really hard to take.

As a rule, when you find out that someone has gotten bad news, don’t follow it up with a horror story.

3.  Try ____________________, it’s an absolute miracle cure!

No it isn’t… and that includes: fish oil, reiki, bee pollen, vitamins, chiropractic care and about a dozen other items that have been offered as easy answers.  Certainly cancer can be treated holistically, but there is no easy out, fast track or guaranteed solution.

4.  Is it terminal?

If it is, they will let you know if they choose to.  If it isn’t there is no reason to replant that already planted thought in their head.

5.  Did you _______________________?

Smoke? Lay out in the sun? Eat aspartame? Eat MSG? The question you’re asking is really “Is there a way to blame yourself for this?”

So what should you say?

The truth is you don’t have to say anything.

You could simply listen.

If you want to say something then  “I love you and I hope your treatment goes great!” could be all you need to say.

Jim Trick works one on one as a certified life and professional coach over the phone and Skype, with people all over the world.  If you are ready to schedule your sample session or have any questions just call:  978.994.0431 or email thatlifenow@gmail.com for more information.

5 thoughts on “5 things not to say to someone who has cancer.

  1. This was spot on. I have lung cancer and have heard all of these. I have been in remission for 15 months and still hear these a lot. The one that gets me is, how are you feeling? Cancer is a bummer but you just have to go one day at a time. I have found that a lot of things just aren’t as important as they used to be.

  2. Thanks Jim, this is great advice from someone who knows. There are people who insinuate that the sick person caused the cancer themselves. Whether true or not, it’s definitely not something a sick person needs to hear….they’re already berating themselves and trying to figure out “Why???”. For someone to believe that their miracle vitamin, shake, exercise regimen, diet etc. would have automatically prevented this… is frankly just arrogance. Doing things to lower ones risk is a good thing, but genetics and other things beyond our control are always part of the equation.

  3. So Very Spot On. I Have Sat By With My Eyes Wide Open. Not Knowing How To Give These Comments A Reply.
    I Thank You For Putting These Thoughts And Words Out There.

  4. Hi Jim, thanks for the post. Someone in my family is fighting this battle right now. I call, I listen, I ask how she is feeling because I truly want to know. I think not many people actually ask her how she is feeling. There is so much I don’t know, I like it when she talks freely, about anything really.

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