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Topic: The dumbest things people have said to you/about you

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts —

Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Nov 24, 2009 10:20AM - edited Mar 17, 2013 12:29PM by Shrek4

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Nov 24, 2009 11:14AM hollyann wrote:

OUCH!.....Yeah, that's pretty mean........I have had people who hear of my illness tell me oh you'll be fine!.....NO!....I won't be.....I iwll always have the shadow of cancer and recurrence hanging over me.......I also have had people tell me I don't LOOK sick so I must not BE sick......Such idiots.......Big SIGH.......Thank God I have learned tolerance.......Otherwise a few people would be missing teeth!....LOL.....

Hugs and Love....Lucy Dx 1-15-07 IDC stage 1b grade 1, 1.6 cm.....Also DCIS grade 3, both in left breast Dx 1/15/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 24, 2009 11:50AM - edited Mar 17, 2013 12:29PM by Shrek4

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Dec 4, 2009 07:08PM sueinfl wrote:

I just had to add to this thread.

I went for a second opinion on my chemo treatment plan because it has so many serious SE's down the road (leukemia, bladder cancer, congestive heart disease- TAC). The second onc was highly recommended and patient's raved about his kindly manner. 

When I mentioned I hoped to be able to exercise enough to actually lose weight on chemo in order to reduce some of the estroge-producing fat I am carrying around, he looked at me, smiled, shook his head kindly and said, "No, no. Don't go changing yourself. Life is too short." 

Dx 9/18/2009 PILC ER/PR+ HER- stage III Lt Br, TAC chemo first,2/4 nodes +, bilat mx w/HIP at NOLA, no rads DX April 2013 Regional recurrence. Surgery, rads followed by letrozole. 2017 Stage IV mets to bones, liver. Surgery 2/24/2014 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/13/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 8/19/2017, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy 8/29/2017 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 9/13/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 9/13/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Dec 4, 2009 10:06PM - edited Dec 4, 2009 10:06PM by barbe1958

I wasn't given chemo or rads or hormones or any treatment but surgery. My surgeon told me to "save the big guns for next time"! Doi! Yell

Dx 12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/17/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Dec 13, 2009 09:53PM bf2009 wrote:

The stupidest thing I have heard so far is from my husband, who says I should feel sorry for him, that he has a wife with breast cancer.

I guess he overwelmed by all the laundry he creates and now has to wash. he also complains he is not eating well..... guess he has gotten so used to home cooked meals, clean clothing and a clean house, he is not going to adjust well to having chores.

I am now commited to taking care of me and my 2 wonderful dogs. He can learn to microwave and get used to frozen food and just learn to deal with it as I'm having a really hard time trying to feel sorry for him, which he wants me to say and tell him.

its just pathetic.

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Dec 14, 2009 08:52AM barbe1958 wrote:

You should just tell him you're sorry he's so ill-equipped for survival!

Dx 12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/17/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Dec 14, 2009 09:33AM bkc wrote:

I've had some pretty crazy things said to me but the most resent occurred last night at my husband's company Christmas party. As we were standing in the serving line a lady in front of me turned and smiled at me and said rather loudly, "SO I GUESS YOU ARE OVER YOUR LITTLE MEDICAL HUMP NOW?" I just looked at her blankly for a moment and before I could think of anything to say my DH put his arm around me leaned close to her and in an equally loud voice said," YEAH, IF WE COULD EVER FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO QUIT ASKING DUMB QUESTIONS WE'D BE DOING OK!  She left in a huff.

I was mortified . Later I apologized to our hosts and learned that this same person had told one of the other ladies who had recently lost a child, "Thank God you have 3 more."

Glad my Husband ran her off before she could have said anything else to anyone.

Dx 2/14/2008, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2009 09:43AM cindoe wrote:

I lost my partner to BC in sept., I was talking to a so called friend about me working alot of overtime, and that It was ok because I could use the money. She said, you might as well, you don't have anything to come home for. Yeah, that sure made me feel good.

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Dec 14, 2009 09:44AM GramE wrote:

Couple of things:   You are so strong.   What does that mean?   Like we/you/I had a choice.

I liked you bald -  and your cute hats and scarves.   you have a lot of hair (now) and I wish mine was as thick and full...   

When I married my husband, he decided I could do his white, oxford cloth shirts and not send them to the laundry (which he had done for years).   I immediately told  him if he married me to do his shirts, then he was out of luck.  

BF, next time he says you should feel sorry for him, tell him he is right.  After all, if he was a bachelor, he would have to do it ALL himself, alone and no one to "bi*ch" to....     I watched this program on PBS about the brain.  The speaker says if  you want a 2 yr old to kiss you, for example,  tell him/her you DO NOT want any kisses and see what happens.   Some people have to be told the opposite to get them to do something.   Try this one -- since it so hard for you (and me) to get laundry and meals done, why don't we hire someone - maybe once a week.   Give him an option, an opportunity to rethink his way of handling things.    

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Dec 14, 2009 10:25AM leaf wrote:

Good grief, cindoe!  What a comment!   I'd sure call that a 'so-called friend'.

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 14, 2009 10:39AM del15 wrote:

The stupidest thing I have heard so far is from my husband, who says I should feel sorry for him, that he has a wife with breast cancer.

What an idiot...

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Dec 14, 2009 03:18PM Welga wrote:

like he lost at the lottery, dum dum

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2009 04:01PM KAC wrote:

Have to chime in here.  I actually started writing things down because I couldn't believe what people say.  Yep, had the you're strong, you'll be Ok, you'll get boob job from it.  Here's some more: you'll be fine since they caught it early; do you think it's from the estrogen you've been taking; sugar congests the body and I've noticed that you eat a lot of mints; did you ever smoke; who's your Dr. because I know so and so if you need a 2nd opinion; I was wondering how you could still be working; hang in there; someone else I know was just diagnosed; are you going to have bilat mast. so you don't have to worry about the other breast; have you considered stem cell replacement.

This was all I wrote down a while ago and I'm sure there are others but I just cannot remember them at this moment.  All this was before I had anything done.   I don't know if people are just uncomfortable and say the first thing that pops in their mind or what.  I hope I have more sense than that. 

Dx 8/4/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2009 04:25PM - edited Dec 14, 2009 04:26PM by cookiegal

why do you think you got it?

I hate it when they ask

or "but you were always so healthy"

ok or

"but you look great"

I also hate hearing about someone else who is ok, when they have no info about the persons condition.

If the are stage 1 or node negative, hearing they are fine doesn't make me less scared.

If they have detailed info, it's a different story...ie at a party someone said , my ex-girlfriend had 11 nodes and she is doing well...ok that's fine.

You deserve a cookie!
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Dec 14, 2009 10:51PM desdemona222b wrote:

When I was recovering from my surgery, I walked outside one morning to find the neighbor walking up to me like I had one foot in the grave.  She said, "I know exactly what you're going through.  My mother died of breast cancer.  She was doing okay at first then it spread to her spine and she was in a wheelchair the last five years of her life."  I had been in a pretty good mood until then. 

Dx 11/17/2001, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2009 11:31PM Mai605 wrote:

Like many of you, I could write a book with the stupid comments people have made, Hollyann, I agree with you, most don't nearly p#ss me off as much as, "wow you look so great", cuz naturally then, we can't be feeling like sh#t now can we....hmmmmm????

But today really topped all of them for me.  I had my exchange surgery.  As excited as I've been for this, I've also been a little nervous, it's STILL surgery for God sake!  It's funny how many people I know seem to think of this like a boob job, instead of reconstruction due to BC!  Stupid Person of the Day was a nurse.... as she was trying to find a vein she was blabbing about how busy the hospital is right now... you know so many people trying to have their surgeries before the end of the year, blah, blah, blah, then she smiles and says, "job security I guess".... OMG, I looked at her and said....  "Ummm, you're welcome???"  WTF??  She realized what she said and said, "Oh, yea, I guess not good for you".  

Here's your sign.... (sigh).

Diane Dx 4/8/2009, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2009 11:48PM chainsawz wrote:

I was at a party talking with a large group of people - someone asked a question about my cancer and why I would be in treatment for the rest of my life (stage IV).  Some guy who was successfully treated for prostate cancer 15 years ago piped in and said "I have prostate cancer and it's terminal.  It could hit my bones anytime and kill me."   My eyes welled up and I did my best to hold it together until I got in the car with my partner...then I burst into tears....breast cancer has spread to my lungs and brain....thanks alot a-hole.....

I also had a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction.  A co-worker said "gee, you are halfway to becoming a man" 

The fact that these two people are still sucking air is a testament to my incredible patience :>

Lisa -mets to lungs & brain - clear lymph nodes.....the weakest step toward the top of the hill, toward sunrise, toward hope, is stronger than the fiercest storm. Dx 7/21/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 15, 2009 03:56AM - edited Mar 17, 2013 12:29PM by Shrek4

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Dec 15, 2009 05:06AM joanneasiata wrote:

My favorite is oh my mum( or who ever ) had breast cancer and she died .

Nice, thanks for that!

JoJo SEP 2x lumpectomy -OCT 6x FEC -MARCH 30x RAD - tamox Dx 8/20/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 15, 2009 05:46AM SandyAust wrote:

Mum..or whoever?

My mother died of cancer...I guess I have mentioned it at inappropriate times like tonight when I we left the hospital where my mother-in-law in currently in ICU after surgery for a complete fracture of her neck.  It reminded me of walking out of hospital when my mother died and leavng her behind.  It was hard then and it was hard tonight.

But hey I guess I am insensitive, but grief can be like that.  Nice, thanks for that.

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Dec 15, 2009 06:17AM txstardust wrote:

Mum (or friend, or neighbor) is probably what she meant.  I'm sorry that your mother-in-law was hurt, I'm sure it's an awful experience for your family.

I've had several people tell me that same thing, about someone they know who had breast cancer and had a long, painful death.  Then there are those who are clueless about BC and say, so once you're done with chemo you're cured, right?  Um, no, this is going to be hanging over my head forever!  Then there are the people with all the great advice, like the lady at a restaurant I ate at the other day who saw me with my scarf on, came over and asked what kind of cancer I had, and asked if I was changing my eating habits - that I should be eating more vegetables.  What?

Dx 8/10/2009, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 15, 2009 06:28AM SandyAust wrote:

I appreciate that "someone they know stories" are annoying.  I am here because I have had breast cancer and so has my mum.  People have said some very dumb and hurtful things to me too.  I get it. 

However the "mum or whoever" comment really offended me, especially tonight.  A mother is an immediate family member not just 'someone I know".  It HURTS.

The loss of a parent is extremely painful.  People mention it because certain things in life bring up the painful memories.  They are not trying to be hurtful.  They are hurting themselves and it is the grief talking.  I think those people deserve to be given some slack.  I know I didn't take those stories as being "about me" or being insensitive to me.  I realised that my situation raised those memories and I let it slide.

I appreciate some people may not agree with me or understand where I am coming from.  However this is how I feel tonight so I am expressing it here in the interest of broader understanding.

Take care,

Sandy

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Dec 15, 2009 07:17AM Sailorgirl wrote:

Some one sent me an email with a link to a health newsletter that said things like:

"Nearly everything we've been told about breast cancer by the medical establishment is a lie."

"Most breast cancer centers have a financial incentive to recruit patients by "finding" evidence of breast cancer."

"Many of the largest breast cancer non-profits are little more than Big Pharma front groups operating a massive patient recruitment scam."

Dx 3/17/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 15, 2009 02:39PM - edited Dec 15, 2009 02:41PM by leaf

That's not only dumb and obviously hurtful, it seems nuts to me.

What do you think this kind of fallacy comes from?  Since breast cancer, like any other cancer, is normally diagnosed by a pathologist, do these people think all the pathologists are in ca-houts (spelling) with Big Pharma?  I remember in the book that Jerri Nielsen wrote (who got breast cancer when she was over-wintering in Antarctica), her husband  (who was also a doctor if I remember right) who abused the family, claimed she was making up her diagnosis of breast cancer.  (She had to biopsy her breast herself, and they transmitted her slide images to the states, as no transportation was possible at  that time in the Antarctic winter.)

Do  they think that  breast cancer patients are making up their diagnosis and are just looking for sympathy or something?  And they choose breast cancer because it would be more likely to be emotionally charged because sexually related (unlike, say, leukemia)?

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 15, 2009 04:59PM - edited Dec 16, 2009 01:38PM by PNWgal

Thank you all for sharing. I got such a laugh today out of these posts.  I had equally stupid things said to me but the most painful came from my best friend of 45 years who, when I shared I was afraid I had cancer (this after my mom and sister had been diagnosed the previous 2 years, and I had a suspicious mass on MRI), and she told me that "I didn't know that", no concern, no worry, sympathy, and then she bought my BF a Christmas gift and nothing for me.  We haven't talked for almost 3 years now. 

I have been looking for a support group and I have to say reading these posts is very helpful.  BTW, my BF was wonderful to me throughout, even though he is a self-confessed 'boob' man.  Funny, I always thought my legs were my best quality (I'm tall, 5'11") and never thought my boobs were all that, now they are gone and I have implants, but I'd give anything to have them back and not have cancer.

Dx 3/16/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-
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Dec 16, 2009 05:00PM bf2009 wrote:

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me had nothing to do with my current problem of cancer but back in my 20's, when a girl who was a friend in high school, a single mother of 3 kids, all from different fathers who turned jesus freak... told me that I was nothing but a drug addict.

I found that strange as I didn't do drugs. I guess she was just trying to hurt me. I did not mention to her, her situation and choices... what it made her look like, lol

but I should have.

I just got the hell away from her.

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Dec 17, 2009 11:14AM zoegr wrote:

I was told the dumbest thing today by a friend (because my surgery is a little bit delayed)

She told me:

I don't understand why you are so calm, haven't you understand how serious your illness is?

(So, what should i do? Go and operate myself?)

Dx 11/23/2009, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 3, 2/13 nodes, ER-, HER2+
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Dec 17, 2009 11:32AM barbe1958 wrote:

I had a manager from work come up to me at our lunch Christmas party last year just 4 days before my double mast. She said "We all can't believe how well you're taking this!" I told her I have a very strong God holding me up. SHE started to cry and left!

Dx 12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/17/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Dec 18, 2009 09:56AM GramE wrote:

A big, gentle HUG for everyone.   I recall the saying: "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me."   HA, wrong, NOT....   

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Dec 18, 2009 11:39AM desdemona222b wrote:

SandyAust -

I don't think I understand why you would find it offensive that others find it offensive when people tell them their mother died of breast cancer?  I mean, I understand bringing it up on occasion, but surely you don't see it as a necessity to tell someone who has breast cancer that your mother died of it do you?  It's a terribly disheartening thing to hear when you're trying to get on with your life.

Dx 11/17/2001, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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