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Things not to say to someone with cancer

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This topic comes up regularly on patient forums, twitter, Facebook….. in fact everywhere!  Personally, I don’t tend to get too excited about it, although there can be extremes.  Most people (not all) are just stumped to know exactly what to say.  Even as a person with cancer, I sometimes feel awkward when faced with someone I just found out has a serious illness. It’s really difficult to know what to say, knowing how they might react and it’s particularly difficult if you don’t really know the person, for example on social media, you could be talking to someone who you have never met, you don’t know anything about them; and they may not even speak English as a first language (those who have tried google/twitter or Facebook translator, will know it’s not perfect!).

I’ve dabbled in this arena before with my blogs “I look well but you should see my insides” and “You must be doing OK, you’ve not had chemotherapy”.

This video was produced by BBC and shared by my friends in Macmillan Cancer Supportand it’s getting a huge amount of comments and opinions.  Someone suggested it should have been entitled “Things to say to someone with cancer” and there’s something in that I guess – although I suspect it’s just as difficult!

Personally, I think there’s no right or wrong answer. However I know a lot of you guys will enjoy the video




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  1. Sue Collins says:

    Hi Ronnie. I’m freaked out at the moment! It s thought I have NET mets I my eye!!! Ever heard of it. By the way I live in Canberra Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronny Allan says:

      Sorry to hear that Sue. I have had at least one person contact me around 1-2 years ago. It is an unusual place but I can see case studies of it online. Firstly impression of the case studies is that it is treatable. Do you have a NET experienced doctor? Just out of curiosity, where is your primary and other metastasis?


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