Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Not to Say to a Cancer Patient

Today was probably the best day I have had in months. My back was not in as much pain, so I was able to slack off some of my pain medicine. I was also able to eat close to normal. I know some of it is mental, but I also really feel like the cancer is shrinking. Today some of my fire fighter coworkers came to visit tonight and it was great. They brought me cards from work and a cancer bracelet to wear. The bracelet said, "What cancer cannot do. Control faith. Shatter hope. Destroy peace. Silence Courage. Invade the soul. Steal eternal life. Kill friendship. Suppress memories. Conquer the spirit. Cripple life." This bracelet makes you want to punch cancer in the nose.

Today I'd like talk about what not to say to cancer patients. None of these comments were said maliciously, in fact I found them comical.

When I had prostate cancer someone said:
1. "My uncle Joe had prostate cancer and he's been peeing in his pants ever since, but he's ok."

and another person said:

2. "My uncle Jim had prostate cancer and he can't make love anymore, but he's ok."

Neither one of those sounded like good options to me.

Lastly, when I was diagnosed with stomach cancer someone told me, "That's terrible. Right now I'm heading to Louisiana to my aunt's funeral. She just died of that."

When I got off the phone I broke out laughing.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34


  1. Hey Mark,
    Ricky Stewart here. I'm here with my daughter Kelsey and just found out about your situation. We are also going to give this to God and will definitely be praying for you. Hope all is well and I know it will be because you are drawing on the Strength that counts; the strength of our Lord. I am a lot like you in knowing that God wil carry me through not only the highest of mountains, but also the deepest of valleys. God's will be done, Mark. See you next time, Good Lord willing, the creek don't rise.

    In God's timing,
    Ricky & Kelsey

  2. Mark,
    I know that God will bless you and you will, through your strength and courage, come through this as a display of the power of God. Your friends at the refinery talk and think of you daily. We struggle with why this happened to such a wonderful person that took such good care of themselves. We feel guilty that we didn't care for ourselves the way you did, but we're ok and you're not. We love you and are here for you.

  3. Geezzzzzz don't you wonder sometimes? Glad God has given you the gift of Humor! I hope there are allot of people reading your blog so that they will learn not only compassion but how Faith makes a world of difference in those that believe. God had truly blessed you with wonderful co-workers and friends. (your family is pretty good too) LOL....well of course, I'm one of them! Are you laughing?

    O Lord my god, I called to you for help and you healed me. Psalm 30:2