Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grump-master Laura

OK, so I had a whole post in mind about a really freaking cool experience I had last night at the Krishna Das kirtan concert with mah yoga friends....BUT...something happened today that has moved me instead to post a little cancer-PSA. Please forgive me for this little foray into negativity...this just bugged me enough to share. (I really will post about Krishan Das, pretty-pretty-promise, 'cause, you know, you care). Now, on to my grump-fest.

Laura's recommendations for what NOT to say to a cancer patient:

1. "My aunt/mom/friend/cousin/neighbor/someone I barely know DIED from cancer! It was really horrible...(insert horrifying story here)".  (I am not a violent person, but this one makes me want to do violent things).
2. "Well, you look good." (really? thanks? what should I look like? what does bone pain, nausea, migraine-like headaches and depression look like? this? oh, cool. I guess I'm alright then.)**sometimes this is a pretty awesome thing to say, just not after you ask how I feel and I say something resembling 'shitty'**
3. "(person's name here)'s cancer was way worse than yours." (yes, someone really said that to me. twice.)
4. "You're too young for cancer." (I always was an overachiever?)
5. "I can't catch it, right?" (um, no. you can't catch my DNA. though I have been tempted to scream YES!! and make 'boogie boogie boogie' noises while chasing the person away)
6. "Well, oh well, you (I) can't do anything about it, can you (I)." (I guess I'll just curl up and die then.)

Whew.  I understand and appreciate how hard it can be to be the person on the other side of the 'I have cancer' conversation. It's not easy and I've been there, long before I was a patient myself. Some of those things came out of my stupid mouth (mostly #2). For any feelings I hurt,  I am sorry (so, so sorry). But please, pause and think before you start flapping your jaws to someone, not just cancer patients, but anyone going through a rough time. Words sting and the impressions you make with your words last.

Thanks for putting up with my griping. Back to love and light:)


  1. Hey it's Liz Canan...I just finished reading everything you've posted so far.

    First, let me say that number 5 in this most recent entry made me laugh out loud. :)

    Second, I love your hair brown. I had seen the facebook pictures but it's nice to know the story behind it. I can't believe to begin to express how impressed I am with you for going through all this. Yes, I know it's what you need to do to live, but you're handling it (as far as I can see) with grace and, well, yogi-ness (if that's even a word).

    Seriously though, I really really hope everything works out. I'll keep on reading your blog and I'll be praying. Good luck!


  2. Wow! Some people are very insensitive, others are just plain stupid. You should start brainstorming a whole bunch of insane responses and come backs for when people say stupid things to you. I'm gonna work on some for you:)


  3. I'm sorry for the times I've committed #2, though I think you know this: I always intend it as a separate compliment. You ARE just BEAUTIFUL, we can't be expected to pretend you're awful to look at... ;)

    Miss you. Thanks for the updates. And by the way, you have my support in responding like so to #5. I actually hope I'm there to see it in action.

  4. Thank you Liz, Sue and J. :) This is the first time I've posted a personal thank you, but it was necessary:) J, DON'T APOLOGIZE!!! (and thank you for the compliment:)) If #5 ever happens, I will be sure to video tape it and share for all to enjoy!

  5. Your friend from "A Mom Writing" gave me your blog address.

    I had non hogdkins lymphoma 7 years ago when I was 21.

    Brace yourself, my comment may be long.

    #1. A-fucking-men. (sorry, I curse). SO many times people would tell me that they knew someone who had cancer and died. Who had MY cancer and died. Umm, thank you asshat? I'm not dying and neither are you. You are allowed to punch these people, its in the cancer rule book.

    #2. Yes, you can tell me I look good if you are serious. If you are telling me I look good for being bald & projectile vomitting all the time? Let me show you to the door.

    #3. Really? Was their cancer worse? Last time I checked, this wasn't a race that any of us are trying to win. And even if it was, please don't minimize my (well, your) experience.

    #4. Yeah, I think I'm too young too... could you please relay that to the cells that are multiplying like crazy in my lymphnodes? k, thanks.

    #5. No, but I might catch your stupidity, so you should leave now.

    #6. No you can't. But you can bring me trashy magazines, and good movies & books, and pictures of Gerard Butler naked... that would help things big time.

    In all seriousness, though. It's a tough battle and your outlook seems amazing. I know I'm a complete stranger, but I've been there and it can suck and if you ever want to talk I'm totally available!