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Cancer patients go through so much! I often have someone emotional in the office. I want to say and do the right thing. Has anyone here been in this situation or had a family member there? What is it that someone said or did that meant so much? I know everyones situation is different, Im just wanting to be more prepared next tome.
underrock underrock 31-35, F 16 Answers May 8, 2012

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I am a cancer colorectal survivor and I think it is key to be genuine and concerned. A newly diagnosed person is still working through denial and will only be hearing a small amount of what you are saying. If I could give one special thing you can do, it would be to give them contact info to ask you questions later. but only if you have the energy to follow up. The people I still count as friends are the ones who left the door open for me. I could list a stream of facts about how treatments are making people live longer but that is not often the comfort being sought. the medical community is great at prolonging the quantity of life without listening to the patients wishes about the quality of life. Thanks for asking the question, many don't consider the patients feelings well.

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That is a really good point.. without a doubt thst is how medicine thinks.

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It seems like your doing pretty good,just answer question sif they have any,or just be there to support them if possible!

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My mom and dad both died of cancer. They both told me that they didn't need me to SAY anything. The important thing was that they NEEDED to be able to talk about it. Most people didn't want to hear what they were thinking or feeling. Everyone was trying so hard to say something encouraging and all they wanted was to talk; not be told how a cure is just around the corner.....yadayadayada.

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Okay, thats good to know!

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all I know is I wouldn't want my last moments of my life of people feeling sorry for me or being depressed around me or towards me. <br />
<br />
how would you want to be treated?

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Idk.
I try to just vibe off the patient. if they like making jokes, we laugh, if they cry, we hug, if they are anxious, i answer questions, or just listen.

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there you go. all you can do really. :]

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I know....:(
It can be really heartbreaking! We had a sweet little woman crying today. She is near the end, its sooo hard to watch! The anguish

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Honestly, there is not a "right thing" to say to someone who is going through something like that. Especially if you have not gone through it. I would just tell them that you are sorry and that you are there for them if they need anything. Support is the most important thing, often when people have cancer they feel alone. Do whatever you can to help them not feel completely alone.

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Good point, making ppl not feel alone...

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This makes me think of a young woman in her 30s that was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was crying etc. I didn't know what to say except I knew my coworker was a breast cancer survivor in her 20s and she was now in her 40s so I would let the patient know about the tech ( bc the tech loved sharing her story to other cancer patients to let them know there was hope. So I would get the tech to talk to the patient bc that tech had been through all of it , was even told she would die and to check into a hospice , but she got a second opinion and here she was 15 years later cancer free.

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There's no one right thing to say to someone in that situation. Sometimes it's just better to say nothing at all.

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True

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I'm in the same boat as you. I scan cancer patients all the time and I never know what to say especially when they start crying. I think you just being kind to them and listening to their frustrations is enough. It seems as if patient care ( in radiology ) is all about hurry up and get the next one in like an assembly line. However , there are a few sick patients that sometimes wants to talk to someone and I happen to be the person so I take the extra few minutes and run behind schedule. I always try to put myself in their shoes.

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