What you should NEVER say, do or send to a cancer patient – Part 1
Hello lovelies! I am so sorry I have been MIA. So much has happened and I would have to give you the details in another blog. Something happened this past month that gave me the need to post this blog. Sit back, read and be informed.
No one wants to hear they have been diagnosed with any form of cancer. More than likely, you will meet or hear of a cancer patient in your lifetime. There are some things that are a NO-NO. Coming out of my experience, I heard, saw and read a lot. People mean well but at the end of the day, the well meaning is more harm than good. So, I have compiled some of these DO NOTs for your reading pleasure.
1. “You do not look like a cancer patient at all”. Um, what is a cancer patient supposed to look like? 30 years ago, the standard regimen of cancer treatment took a toll on the body, but it is not so today. With the proper diet and rest, a lot of cancer patients are living their lives like nothing is happening. The last thing a cancer patient wants to be stressed about is their body image or look. Don’t do it.
2. “Let me know what you need/Let me know how I can help”. As well meaning as this is, its is too vague. If you could travel into the mind of anyone dealing with cancer, it is a convoluted maze. There are high days and low days, the fear and anxiety that comes with dealing with this boogeyman of a disease can be crippling. You job as a well-meaning individual is to take initiative. They will need help with grocery shopping, house cleaning, childcare, transportation to treatment. Whatever you can do, just do. Don’t wait till you are asked once you know. They also need to laugh. If you have comedy videos, a movie evening will go a long way with some ice-cream! (Yes, ice-cream!).
3. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine/It is well”. What is well about cancer? This is something serious that has the potential to be terminal. It is important to respect the patient’s fear but also nurture faith and hope in the process. Tell the person you will be praying or that you are sending good thoughts.
4. “I know/heard of a pastor/specialist that can cure cancer”. Cancer patients are in a race for time. Don’t make it worse by setting false expectations. I remember a quote when I was hospitalized as a 10-year-old in my pediatrician’s office: “We care, God heals”. Medical practitioners recognize that they don’t have all the answers. Tread carefully on solutions and suggestions. Someone had the ‘graciousness’ to refer me to T.B Joshua (I chuckle)This brings me to number 5.
5. Sending a cancer patient posts/social media messages/Whatsapp texts about cancer cure hoaxes. I cannot count the number of times I got a text about how lemon rinds cure cancer. Seriously?!! Even if I wanted to grate the rind and drink, how will I get rid of the pesticides and coloring used in food preservation? Some of these organic labels are also suspect too. The one that really infuriated was one about Vitamin K. The meanie who created the presentation had the nerve to reference a book about cancer which I had read (hard and audio copy), stating that they author was involved in a study about the efficacy of Vitamin K. Lies, lies, more lies!
There you have it loved ones. These are my top 5. Watch this space for the next 5.