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How do deal with insensitive comments about cancer

(17 Posts)
cathcat Tue 04-Aug-09 14:21:30

My dad died of cancer less than a year ago.
I met up with a friend last week who started telling me that cancer is
(1) caused because we all eat too much meat and processed food hmm (even though she smokes which I think is far more harmful)
(2) that cancer is a physical and mental battle ~ I feel like she is saying my dad somehow failed that test
(3) she told me of someone (from the bloody telly) who refused treatment and relied on her faith and was cured and wasn't that amazing?!!!

I feel so angry that she could say those things to me. Btw she also said a lot of weird and wacky stuff about other things. So do I tell her she was out of line or do I ignore it. Deep down I think she crossed a line.
I am going out but will be back later.

nigglewiggle Tue 04-Aug-09 14:26:25

she has been deeply insensitive and stupid. How close a friend is she? I would be inclined to avoid her in the future and save yourself the stress of tackling her.

AstronomyDomine Tue 04-Aug-09 14:31:12

what niggle said

Iklboo Tue 04-Aug-09 14:31:33

Aprt from saying 'were you born a fuckwit or did you take evening classes' I think I'd politely ask her not to talk about things she has no knowledge or experience of

posieparkerinChina Tue 04-Aug-09 14:33:41

I would ignore her and the next time she starts spouting about cancer just simply and plainly ask "Did you know my Dad died of cancer less than a year ago?" which she obviously does, so this should inspire an apology. If she is at all confrontational I would politely tell her that she is very insensitive and upsetting.

posieparkerinChina Tue 04-Aug-09 14:34:33

TBH I would probably tell her to fuck off, but then I'm an abrasive bitch!!

becstarlitsea Tue 04-Aug-09 14:35:29

I'm so sorry about your dad. Any true friend should be asking what they can do to help you out, listening to you and being a support, not expounding their crazy theories. You are right to be angry. If you can be bothered to tell her she was out of line then you're a nicer person than I am, because I'd just dump her. She didn't just cross a line, she ploughed through the line with a juggernaut and put up a sign saying 'THIS IS ACTUALLY ALL ABOUT ME, ME, ME' all over your side of the line.

When my mum had cancer I was amazed by some of the stupid things people said. I think people blither because they are so frightened - they're like a little kid with their fingers in their ears singing 'this will never happen to me, this will never happen to me, la, la, la'.

PortBlacksandResident Tue 04-Aug-09 14:35:40

May we all be saved from 'Spiritual' people with all the answers and bugger all empathy hmm.

I hate the way people say that someone struggled bravely with cancer and then gave up in the end - as if they have a choice.

Tell her Cancer is a physical growth / dodgy cells in various parts of the body which stop it from working properly - not some kind of ailment bought on by too much moping, too many burgers and not enough positive thinking.

Then give her a massive slap from me angry.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 04-Aug-09 14:37:29

I've had cancer and my FIL is now undergoing chemo so I would tell her very bluntly to F* Off and a lot more besides probablyblush

Flower3545 Tue 04-Aug-09 14:43:30

I was only 19 when my dad died, after 2 long awful years of battling like a bloody hero, lung cancer.

One of his so called mates remarked at his funeral "well he did smoke after all"

I said nothing but later in the course of the day happened to spill a very full pint of guiness all over him and in my "haste" to apologise "accidently" stood on his foot with very heavy high heel shoes. He needed to go to A and E as he couldn't feel his toes and they turned black and blue very quickly.

I can imagine the nurses smelling the guiness and tutting at him.

It's the first time I've ever admitted that in public so to speakblush

cathcat Tue 04-Aug-09 16:50:31

Thanks for your replies and glad to see I am not alone in feeling angry at her. I could avoid her and let the friendship slide - we live in separate towns and she has a controlling partner who doesn't let her go anywhere without him shock - I have ishoos with this too. On the other hand if I say nothing I feel like she has 'got away with it' for want of a better way of putting it. I want to stand up for myself and tell her to grow up! sad

cathcat Sat 08-Aug-09 15:51:33

Well I have just emailed her! My hands were shaking. It was polite but to the point. I don't feel better sad but think that is more to do with my nature of usually letting people say what they want without sticking up for myself. I will come back and read this thread again to reaffirm things IYSWIM.

BitOfFun Sat 08-Aug-09 15:56:06

Flower, it is deeply wrong of me, but I did laugh at that...

cathcat Sat 08-Aug-09 15:59:40

Read all your posts again and feel buoyed by what was said - insensitive, stupid, crazy theories, massive slap grin.

Doyouthinkthey sorry I didn't fully taken in that you said you have had cancer. I hope you are recovered and all the best to your FIL. Sympathies to others who have lost parents, relatives or friends.

sarah293 Sat 08-Aug-09 16:02:36

Message withdrawn

cathcat Sat 08-Aug-09 16:07:03

Lol Riven, she might tell me to F off first, after she gets my email.
I can think of times when I have said the wrong thing - and then tormented myself over it. But she just kept going, adding more and more!

dizzydixies Sat 08-Aug-09 16:09:43

good for you, am sorry to hear about your dad. controlling partner issues or not she should have more control of what she says

hope you feel a bit better for letting her know

flower3545 - all credit to you grin

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