Honestly, I thought I’d pretty much run the gamut of foolish or useless things people when they first hear about a friend or acquaintance’s cancer diagnosis.
I was pretty confident that “You Will Never Go Broke Underestimating the Intelligence of the American Public:” Things People Say To Those With Cancer covered a lot of ground in that arena.
It has recently come to my attention, however, that I was less than fully informed.
In response to the writing I’ve done on that topic, I’ve had the privilege to hear some real humdingers that I missed the first time round.
Enter the world where you can never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the person responding to news of a friend’s cancer diagnosis.
I give top billing to a woman who was asked by her neighbor, “are they going to lop off your boobs?” So tactful.
A woman told a friend and her daughter, and the daughter replied, “yeah, well, my grandma was really sick with vertigo this weekend.” The woman’s own words: “Don’t compare a weekend illness to something that can be so life threatening.” Seems a point well-taken.
Finally, for now (and hopefully for good!), one woman shares this advice: After she lost her hair after her chemo treatment, so many people–too many–asked to see her bald head. She recommends–and she seems to have a point–don’t ask people to see their bald heads. They’re not side-show freaks.
Signing off, in my fight against the useless and harmful. . .