People say the stupidest things when you have cancer

Have people said the stupidest things to you since you’ve been diagnosed with cancer?

Oh my goodness, I’ve heard it all.

Instead of words of comfort and reassurance when I told people I had cancer I was sometimes greeted with things like ‘Oh my uncle died of that!’

Really? Thanks a bunch!

Or, if I shared how tough things were I’d get the old platitude, ‘ Don’t worry, God won’t give you more than you can handle’ or the old chestnut ‘God uses all things” It drove me bonkers.

But my personal favorite was when someone was adamant that their Mom’s friend healed herself with seaweed and turmeric and I really should try it!

I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of comments like these, no matter what stage you’re at in your cancer journey. And if I’m right, I’m so so sorry.

The truth is, as my mum used to say, most of us have foot in mouth disease and we all have a tendency to put our foot in it when we’re embarrassed, not sure what to say, or awkwardly trying to help.

Yet if those things are said to us when we’ve got cancer, it comes at a time when we’re already carrying plenty of hurt, thank you very much, and the last thing we need is more.

We’re already wrestling with doubt and fear and the last thing we need is to be nervous of what people are about to blurt out or have the hurt of their unthinking words piled on top. When someone says ‘oh don’t worry I am sure God’s got it!’, it cuts deep in our already struggling soul. It hurts and it is terribly hard to just shrug the words off…

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What if we could just carry on, not letting them rattle, hurt or annoy us?

What if there was a way to rise above the careless comments and walk in a place of peace…where things people said didn’t impact us.

Like I said, the truth is, they so often do rattle us, for years.

I still remember the pain from the Doctor who looked my mum in the eyes and without a smile or even a smile of compassion, coldly told her there’d be no Christmas turkey for her that year. It was mid Oct.

If we aren’t careful the pain digs deep and lingers.

I want to let you know, friend, that it doesn’t have to be that way.

People will say hurtful things…that, I’m afraid, we can do nothing about (and if we are honest we will continue saying a few hurtful things along the way ourselves).

But how we respond to them can change.

We can be free to walk through our cancer in peace and joy.

We cannot control what people say to us or how deep it cuts, but we can control how we react.

The more I heard these careless and hurtful things the more I realized that yes, they came from a place of nervous awkwardness, but they also came from a place of misunderstanding. And what I came to see, and the truth that stood out for me most was:

People will often misunderstand you but there is one who never will….

People say the stupidest things when you have cancer. People will often misunderstand you but there is one who never will....CLICK TO TWEET

cancer diagnosis

Join me on today’s podcast as I dive into how we can deal with the things people say and be free to journey through our cancer without the hurt and frustration of their comments weighing us down and holding us back.

Click here to listen!

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