USA Today article features several Planeteers!Heidi Adams — By Heidi Adams on February 11, 2009 at 7:36 am
Check it out, guys! Liz Szabo of USA Today interviewed several of our members for the following story: “Cancer Can Bring Out Just the Wrong Words.”
There’s even a photo of our lovely Carrie! w00t!
Carrie Morse, left, and restaurant owner Reem Azoury share a few laughs at Figs Fine Foods in Washington, D.C.
It’s a topic that has spawned thousands of postings here on Planet Cancer. Mostly incredulous stories of “I-can’t-believe-they-just-said-that.”
If you have friends or family who just can’t seem to get their feet out of their mouths, here are a couple of book suggestions to pass along from our friend, author Dr. Wendy Harpham: 20 Things People With Cancer Want You to Know, by Lori Hope, and The Etiquette of Illness, by Susan P. Halpern.
Among other advice in the article, here’s the sidebar with specific and constructive suggestions for what you SHOULD do:
ACTIONS THAT SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
• Show empathy. The National Cancer Institute’s Julia Rowland suggests, “I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with cancer,” or, if appropriate, “I’m sorry the cancer has returned.”
• Don’t forget them. People with cancer often are cut off from friends while in the hospital or recuperating at home. A call, card or even an instant message help them feel remembered, especially on special days like birthdays, says Paul Boyle, 33, a cancer survivor from Jacksonville, Fla.
• Offer specific help. “Let me know if I can help” is so vague that the person with cancer is unlikely to ever take up your offer, Rowland says. Instead, ask if you can do something specific: drive your friend to appointments, babysit the kids, mow the lawn, shovel the walk, clean the house, call doctors or make appointments, update a website with your friend’s health news, cook a meal on a particular day or organize friends to bring a different meal each day of the week.
• Talk about something other than cancer. Many people get tired of talking about chemotherapy or blood counts. Talk about the same subjects that always interested you, from sports to current events, says Jimmie Holland, author of The Human Side of Cancer.
• Make them feel they’re still one of the gang. Boyle’s co-workers knew his sense of humor well enough to use humor when welcoming him back to work after chemotherapy last summer. Knowing that he would be wearing a bandanna to cover his bald head, everyone else in his office also showed up wearing one. “It was nice to know I wasn’t being treated any different than before,” Boyle says.
• Celebrate survival. “Everybody’s first instinct was, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m sorry,'” says Dan Waeger, 26, of Washington. “But when I told a stranger in a cab that I was a three-year lung cancer survivor, the reaction was, ‘That’s awesome. Congratulations.’ That’s the best reaction I’ve gotten.”
Go here to read the rest:
USA Today article features several Planeteers!