5 Things You Never Say To Someone With Cancer

Call me silly, but I often google things that will help improve my etiquette.

So I figured since the things that I’m finding are helping me, then maybe, just maybe, it can help someone else.

I get tongued tied when someone tells me life-shattering news. I don’t want to say the wrong things, and I don’t want to remain silent either. But most of all, I don’t want to offend anyone. So I sit and strain my brain to come up with something that will show I care. And while I’m doing that, I literally cringe at what I’m hearing everyone else say.

Now it’s a totally different ball game if you are sharing horrifying information with me in person rather than the phone. If I can see you, then I will grab you and hug you. For me a hug is worth so much more than words. There is just something about that human contact that makes you feel so protected. And I wish I could share a hug with the two ladies that are currently battling breast cancer. But since I can’t, I want to make sure that I’m saying the right things and just being silent when needed.

Some of the things that I found on my google search seemed like common sense. However, common sense isn’t very common (pointing at myself), so I will share this valuable information and hope that it helps you as much as it helped me.

5 Things You Never Say To Someone With Cancer

  1. You will be fine… I can feel it
  2. Cheer up
  3. I heard about a new treatment
  4. You’re so strong
  5. Please let me know if there is anything I can do

To Stupid To Make The List

  1. It’s a good thing you already had kids
  2. Everything happens for a reason
  3. Sugar feeds cancer

Please share one or two things or even a list that may come to your mind.

I will continue with this topic tomorrow, so please stay tuned!

You could have chosen any blog to read, but you chose mine, and I’m honored!


31 Replies to “5 Things You Never Say To Someone With Cancer”

    1. OMG!!! That’s a good one. Thank you for adding it. I absolutely cringe when someone says that. It’s like dismissing the persons feelings and sayin mg deal with your “little” problem!!!

      1. You are very welcome 😉 Ha, yes, it certainly does. Sometimes, I think it is meant sincerely but it is one of those trite phrases whose undertones definitely say “Pull yourself together and move on” 🙁

  1. Great post, Bella. I’m the same way when I hear of someone having cancer or someone passing away. I’m so afraid of saying the wrong thing but I’m also scared of staying too quiet. So, like you, I rely on physical touch and I’ve found that taking the person’s hand and holding it always helps, or a hug, holding them. Something to let them know that I care and I’m there for them. Thank you so much for the reminders. Sending lots of love your way! <3

  2. I think it’s important to try your best to be kind and it’s so lovely of you to Google things like that will help you be more polite/appropriate. I think one thing people probably don’t want to hear is fake positivity. I think it’s important to feel the negative emotions as well instead of repressing them.

    1. It rerally does make you feel worse.
      And I try so hard to say the right thing and just stay quiet and listen when I have too.

      Thank you for your words!

  3. As a MET patient, I thank you. I’ve heard every single one of these and more. One common assumption made by those without cancer is this, not all cancer is created equal. There are different stages, different cancers and thus different treatments. So no I can’t help predict the side effects of someone getting chemo for brain cancer when I have breast cancer. But I can offer support. Also no one survives Stage 4 cancer. We Mets know that. So please don’t tell us that “we got this”. That implies we somehow have control over whether we will die or not.
    So what can anyone do? The power of touch; a hug, a hand squeeze. The gift of listening; listen to understand not to respond. And simply be patient with us. We may be angry, push you away, be depressed. Don’t give up on us.
    Thank you for this blog. All of us cancer warriors thank you. 🙏🏻♥️

    1. I thank you a million times for this comment! I wish I could hug you so hard right now.
      I wrote this post because I have several friends that have cancer in different places and I’ve heard some of the strangest comments “pep talks” then they bounce on their marry way. I like to listen and just be present. I can’t offer any wisdom or deliver the perfect words. But I can be present, pray with you, cry with you and be the best Incan at offering support.
      And for you… I’m here❤️

  4. Thanks for this post. Someone recently said “At least you have insurance” in response to my news. It made the “you got this’s” seem touching.

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