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Public Group active 4 years, 7 months ago ago

A group for survivors. Tell your stories and discuss your plans.

Cancer: the ultimate conversation killer (6 posts)

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 5 months ago:

    A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I had a great conversation at a Pennsylvania Folk Festival (with the tinsmith – who knew they still existed). We spoke of his parents cancer diagnosis and how thankful he was that people still went into the field. Another woman added her experience with her granddaughter’s cancer and how well the little girl was doing. Walking away feeling good, I was assured by my wife that if she had brought up her treatment for active cancer the conversation would have ended completely differently. There would have been an awkward silence followed by scurrying in all directions.

    So what are your experiences? Awkward silence or thankfulness? And if you’re part of the awkward silence crowd any suggestions on how to salvage the conversation?

  • Profile picture of Sharon Dwyer Sharon Dwyer said 6 years, 5 months ago:

    I don’t bring up my cancer in conversation ‘cause I know it makes people very uncomfortable. In the past I’ve been met with awkward silence so I try to steer clear of the topic. Recently, I did mention I had gone for my 3 month follow-up and all went well. I thought that was a safe, positive topic but even that statement caused the person I was speaking with to hurry off. Some of my friends don’t ask how I’m doing and at first it really bothered me. Don’t they even care about me? One friend did admit she doesn’t ask because she’s afraid of what I might tell her. I’ve learned to say as little as possible about my diagnosis even when I’m asked. A simple “everything is going well” covers it and doesn’t send people scurrying off.

  • Profile picture of Jeanne Angalet Jeanne Angalet said 6 years, 5 months ago:

    Interesting to think about, Rick. I talk about cancer quite a bit. If it fits into the conversation, I mention it. If people are talking about gardening, it’s hard to create the right segue…. For me, I think part of the reason I talk about it is to encourage people to have a colonoscopy (I have colon cancer, stage 4, had no symptoms). As a result, I know of quite a few people who HAVE had their screenings done, one friend found her cancer early as a result. Another part of the reason I talk about is really selfish. I kind of like the attention, especially since I’m doing very well. As with many survivors I don’t look ‘ill’ at all. I like to see the look of surprise on people’s faces. I’ve always been outgoing, so maybe that’s part of why I don’t mind discussing cancer.

  • Profile picture of Kayla Dolan Kayla Dolan said 6 years, 4 months ago:

    For me, i have come to realize that not talking about it is a conversation killer. After my diagnosis in June I was a bit taken back and not really sure how to tell those close friends, not sure how to tell those distant relatives, and the fear of the reaction had stopped me from talking about it at all. When the fear subsided and the reality set in, that this is forever, i went to a few friends and they were sympathetic naturally, but it was the conversations afterwards that really opened my eyes. They were afraid to ask the questions, they were afraid of hurting my feelings, and mostly afraid of the answers. After they realized that i’m doing well and i’m talking about it they too felt comfortable and opened up. Now, i don’t hold back. I live everyday and talk to everyone about it to spread awareness. Most people are shocked by how young i am and i think by them having that initial shock they will ask the questions to protect their daughters, wives, and mothers.

  • Profile picture of psweaver psweaver said 6 years, 4 months ago:

    Kayla, What a wonderful attitude. Keep on talking becuase talking does help. Keeping thoughts and feelings inside does not. Things that have helped me are my faith and trust in the Lord. I like to think of the old song of “Let the sunshine in face it with a grin, smilers never loose and frowner never win”!
    Keep on smiling!!!

  • Profile picture of Kayla Dolan Kayla Dolan said 6 years, 4 months ago:

    Thank you!! :)

    There’s no worse feeling than walking on egg shells, right?

    I’ve never heard that song, but Melissa Etheridge’s “I run for life,” is a great song that really helped me!