Etiquette for cancer | Life and Linda

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Etiquette for cancer

Many of you might ask, is there any etiquette for cancer....Yes, there is!
There are no rules, only suggestions and tips. In the end, I advise you to do the obvious. Ask the person you’re talking to what would make them feel most comfortable. And then do it.
I know this topic is taboo for some people.  Let me explain.....
Cancer is real. It affects many people in the world and I know this subject matter makes some people
very uncomfortable.

Everyone deals with a cancer diagnosis differently. 
We are all so different, so it's difficult to know how each person
will react to this news.

There are certain things, one should NEVER say.
Don't ask how long you have, or automatically say, you will be fine.
Never say, that sucks!  We don't need the reminder.

There is no need to beat yourself up, if you have said the above words. I won't hold it against you, I promise.
Cancer is the elephant in the room!

 We as cancer fighters, need your support, your understanding and friendship.

Don't offer treatment advice.  That's what doctors are for.

Please don't tell tragic stories.  We don't want to hear about another person dying from too much chemo, radiation or.

I know people tend to tell stories about a person they know and what they went through.  We don't need to hear that.
Death sentence example: My aunt/mother/sister died from cancer.

Do offer to help, if you truly mean it.
Meaning, don't say the words, thinking it will make you  feel better or make me feel better.
Say it, if you will  be interrupting your own schedule and putting yourself aside to lend us a hand.
The best kind of help is specific help. 
People usually say, if you need help or anything, please call.
Well, we are not going to call. Don't expect us to call and ask for help.  We are tired.

Don't ignore us if we now have cancer.  It's not contagious!
Ignoring us will make us feel less loved and not normal.

Do not say, I don't know how you cope with this.
We don't know either.  Fighting for our life is natural and we do put on our game face and boots to kick cancer's ass.

Reaching out is wonderful.  I know we all have busy lives.
Sometimes, we feel forgotten and lonely.  Getting a text message, phone call or  email is something we look forward to.
Cards are so welcome.  There is nothing more special than receiving
the real thing in the mail.
It means that person took the time out of their day to think of you and send you a card.

A pat on the back or hug is most rewarding.

Listening is highly beneficial. 

Encouragement is tops!  We all need encouragement and we cancer fighters are no different.
We feel sad, mad, anxious, or upset, so some encouragement goes
a long way.  We don't always share how we are feeling.  We usually feel this way, when we are all alone.
Most people tell us, we are so postive and strong, we sometimes fall down and have to vent.  We are human and need to let out the emotions.
We aren't super women., although we definitely try to be.

 Any questions about treatment is welcome.  Some people have no idea on what's involved. 
I can tell you how my original cancer felt.  The chemo, the hair loss, the whole nine yards.

Now, it looks like I will be having radiation.
I do have concerns on how it will affect my body.
I was told I would have 5 weeks of radiation, every day, except week-ends.
I am trying to research this.

Admiration and inspiration do count.
Reminding us that we are strong, brave and courageous is good.
Sometimes, we do feel like our sufferings mean nothing, however is good to know,we are making a difference.
Someday, we hope for a cure.

 What's the best thing you can hear from a friend, when you've got cancer?

"I'm coming over.  What can I bring?"
 I hope I didn't offend you.  I just thought I would share some etiquette for how to deal with that dreaded word, cancer.

 Have a wonderful Memorial day.

About Linda @ Life and Linda

Hello, welcome to LifeandLinda. I am from Northern California. I enjoy blogging, Designing Blogs, Decorating, cooking, entertaining, gardening and clogging. I hope you enjoy your visit.


  1. Linda, I wish I lived closer. I could help out. I am still praying hard. If you ever need to talk, you have my number. I am a pretty good listener. Sending love and prayers, xo

  2. Thank you Linda, for sharing that with us. It is very helpful information to know. I have been thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. (and I'm not just saying that, I really have) Keep us posted.
    Sending hugs your way,

  3. Thank you for a lovely post, You have been in my thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks, even though I do not know you personally, I have followed your blog for 12 months and love to hear of your clogging and your home. you have given good advice in your post and I hope it will help others
    Tilly x

  4. Hi Linda,
    I am very sorry C has returned. It has affected so many of my friends, my dear sister (Maggie May at Nuts in May, her husband Harry and my dear wife Maria who sadly passed last month). You are a very brave lady Linda, just like Maria, and I love your fight and the way you are dealing with it. I also love your advice on etiquette in this post - it is exactly right. It is as a result of this similar attitude you have that Maria was able to continue with an active and purposeful life right until the end and she was with us for another 16 years. It could have been more but she was unlucky to develop a gastro intestinal haemorrhage which was really very bad luck.
    I would like to pray for you if that is OK, Linda. With my very best wishes, Eddie x

  5. AnonymousMay 26, 2013

    Hi Dear Linda! Oh, this was a wonderful post to share with us and tell us these things. I do wish I lived close to you - I'd cook something for you or clean your house. But I do know I can pray for you and that is what I'm doing. Holding you up, sweetie, in prayer.
    Shelia ;)

  6. Linda you didn't offend me - I'm glad to know what the rules are. It is hard to know what to do. All I know is I care. I'll pray. I wish there was something I could do. Love and hugs, sandie

  7. What a wonderful list and such perfect timing for me to read. I appreciate you taking the time out to share.

  8. Fantastic post. Many want to help, say the "right" things, but don't have a clue where to start. It reminds me of advice given to expectant mothers. Each are individual and dealing with things in their own way. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers Linda!

  9. I am so glad you shared this. I wish I were closer, I WOULD come over and ask what I could bring.You said yoi are tired, I could clean for you or cook a meal. Right now I feel like all I can do is pray for you, support you, and let you know that I am thinking of you EVERY day. I pray every morning for you, Linda. I so admire anyone who has cancer and how they are able to handle it all, get through the treatments and SURVIVE!!!!!!! God bless you, Pinky

  10. Well put Linda. I guess sometimes we are nervous and start to rattle on. We all have a story to reflect on, but we need to be mindful of the person's feelings that is going through it and just offer support. You know I'm always thinking of you. I will call soon. Bless you- Liz

  11. Linda you not alone God is alway there for you, any where you go he is there, I have been thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers all the time if you need any thing email me I will call you If you ever need to talk,
    You continue in my thoughts and preyers
    Love and Blessing

  12. Good evening Linda!

    I am so glad I subscribed to your blog via email. It makes it so much easier to know when you get a new post up since lately, my blog roll is not working properly.

    Thank you for this advice. It is very much needed for everyone and I know that I have probably committed these errors! But you are so right; cancer is the elephant in the room that makes for uncomfortable feelings but the best way to begin to deal with it for all parties, is to be honest and informative, as you have been here. THANK YOU!

    And again, it was so great that you joined our France party. SO GLAD TO KNOW YOU! Enjoy a wonderful weekend,beautiful Linda!!! Anita

  13. My dear sweet Linda, your message couldn't possibly offend. You offer excellent advice on such a difficult subject. I am putting you at the top of my prayer list and hope that your radiation is not overly difficult and it does it's job and pronto!

  14. Thank you Linda for your very kind and moving words. Sending love, hugs and prayers. Eddie

  15. I love your candor, Linda, it's truly what is needed in times like this. I think people get caught up in their own fears and are worried they will say the wrong thing so they usually say nothing at all.
    You're making a difference and I know people here will truly benefit from your advice. I'm going to send you an email with my phone number in anytime. You have touched us all, I hope you know that.

  16. That was a wonderful post, dear Linda! Everyone needs a reminder on the etiquette of dealing with cancer. I'll continue to pray for you and pray for a cure for cancer everyday. Hugs and love sent to you!

  17. I'm back,lol. I cannot seem to use your email gadget so I have no idea what your addy is. If you post it here, I can send the info. I'm hopelessly tech challenged, my apologies! Talk soon. Hugs and prayers

  18. You are so beautiful, and I will say it again, I am still praying for you. I have way too many family and friends battling this horrible disease right now, so I will keep all of this in mind. Have a great Memorial Day, Linda.

  19. You are strong, brave and courageous and I'm in your corner rooting for you to win the bout!

  20. Hi my sweet Linda.
    I love the way you put this wonderful post together for us all to read thank you.
    Your words are so true and so helpful for me and I hope for others. This is a time for lots of Hugs, Kisses and prayers coming your way from me. I also know you are strong, brave and you are going to win like you did before.!!
    XXOO Diane

  21. Oh Linda! I am so sorry you are having to go through this! All I can do is pray for God to strengthen and bless you during this time, since I live so far away! With all these prayers from your readers, I know only good things will happen! Love, hugs, and Blessings from Bama!

  22. Linda, this was a good post and one we need to know. I am a cancer survivor. When I was told I had cancer I thought I would just give up. I didn't. YOU haven't. You WON'T! God has a plan and you ARE brave and kind and courageous. You are a fighter. Love and prayers from ME to YOU!

  23. Thank you for this, Linda. I am so sorry you have to go through all this but I know you are brave and have a great attitude. You take care and I am sending you lots of cyber hugs...Christine

  24. What a great post and what a great example you are. I will probably still say stupid things - I know others have to me and I have decided to laugh at it, but you are so strong and show so much courage and thank you for sharing. My prayers continue to be with you. Lots of love,

  25. Great post! I learned alot. I pray each day for your full recovery Linda.


  26. Wow, what an inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing. Robyn from Simply Fresh Dinners pointed her readers in your direction and I'm sure glad she did. So many of us are now thinking about you, Linda.

    Congratulations on a post well done. It's going to make a difference in the lives of a lot of you Cancer Fighters out there, I'm sure.

  27. Thank you so much for sharing. I did learn a lot from your post. Obviously, I've been doing something wrong in the past. But really glad to finally know what I should do, so, Thank You! Stay strong and fight on! I wish you a speedy recovery!

  28. Hello, Linda, and thanks so much for your recent visit. I know we have crossed paths occasionally in the past :)

    I just want to let you know that I am also a cancer survivor (breast) 24 years now. Yes, I was fairly young when I was diagnosed. Friends, family and laughter got me through it all, along with very good doctors. I haven't had a hormone in my body for ages - LOL, but that's a good thing.

  29. Linda, I once brought heart shaped raviolis to someone diagnosed with cancer. It's the little things that make people smile. I also made rubber stamped cards and sent them every few weeks to another friend going through breast cancer treatments, and she commented that it really helped her get through that bump in the road. This was a wonderful post, and we all needed this reminder on dealing with cancer.

  30. Thank you for this post because I truly want to know and often have not been sure what to say. This helps.

  31. Thinking of you Linda and keeping you in my prayers. We've all been affected in some way by this terrible disease. Just know that you are loved and thought of by so many.

  32. Oh, Sweet One....this was a fantastic post and I feel the need to share it with others that may have friends and loved ones who are faced with a battle. I think of you always and hope that you will soon have this "evil disease" a part of your past!
    PS would you e-mail me your address?
    Hugs, Hugs and more Hugs,

  33. Just found the link to this post from mama laughlin's blog... My mother's name is LInda and she is a (Three time!) ovarian cancer survivor. Just sent her this post because I knew she'd both "get" it and appreciate it.

    I recently wrote a post about specific things people can do when they are bringing meals to people going through cancer treatments for basically the same reason... ( we got a lot of "call me fi you need need anything!" and a lot of "what should I do?" and I know people like knowing exactly what to do to help.

    Will be keeping you in our prayers!

  34. AnonymousJune 05, 2013

    My daughter send me the link for your blog. I am a THREE time ovarian cancer survivor, having just finished treatment 6 weeks ago and getting the all clear on scans. We are spot on in how we feel regarding cancer. I had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at me this last time, including radiation. I hated it. I can't tell you exactly WHY I hated it, because it doesn't hurt, it's fast, there was just something about laying on that table being positioned every day, but I hated. I wish you well. Fight the good fight. Take care of yourself and may this be the last time either of us has to deal with this horrible disease again. I want my obit to say, she survived ovarian cancer, and died of XXXX, whatever that may be.

  35. Thank you for this! I just found out a friend has ovarian cancer and I didn't know (and still don't really as she lives too far away to visit) how to respond. This has helped. I'm going out to buy her a card today now. *HUGE hugs* to you! Thank you again!

  36. Linda, you are awesome. This is wonderful advice! Very helpful!

  37. Linda, first, I love this tablescape!

    Second, thank you for this post!
    I have met so many women lady who have been affected by cancer.
    There are generations in my family that have had cancer.
    Most of the cancer is colon cancer. However, my great-grandmother had cervical cancer. Now they have recently done a biopsy to see if our son has cancer in his mouth. xoxo


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