“You’re so lucky, I’ve always wanted a boob job” – and other awkward things people have said to me

Some people don’t know what to say when you tell them you have cancer – and some people say the darndest things.  Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

  • “You’re so lucky, I’ve always wanted a boob job” – this one has to be my favorite.  I can’t tell you how many women said that, or some variation of that, when I told them I had breast cancer.  How crazy is it that women are so insecure about the size of their “girls” that they would consider me “lucky” to be getting a mastectomy and implants?
  • Keeping with the implants theme – when I told my plastic surgeon I wanted to stay the same size and not go bigger after my mastectomy, he seemed shocked and asked me several times if I was sure. When I said, yes, I just wanted to look like my old self, he said, “Ok, but I’ll have to special order the implants – we don’t carry them that small here.”  Ouch.
  • “It’s not the cancer that kills you, it’s the treatments” – I heard this one a few times and, I must say, it was not very comforting.
  • “I prefer your hair longer” – this one I hear a lot now from people that I don’t know very well, haven’t seen in a while, and don’t know that I had cancer. It’s always a little awkward because I don’t want to have to say all the time, “I didn’t cut it, I had cancer” – it’s kind of a downer and a bit of a conversation killer.
  • “But you look healthy – your cheeks are nice and rosey” – I got that a few times when I was going through chemo. It was actually the steroids making my face break out in a rash, but people meant well.
  • “Ooh, I wanna see!” – this was said to me by a new co-worker whom I had just met after being out for 6 months. When she found out I’d had a mastectomy and reconsrtuctive surgery, she boldly asked if she could see my “new addition”. Granted, I had become quite used to taking off my shirt and showing my chest to total strangers, but I was pretty sure they all had some sort of medical degree.
  • And, finally, the ever so encouraging, “You have cancer? My Grandmother had cancer. She died.” I know it’s hard sometimes to know what to say to someone with cancer, but listing the people you know who have died from it is definitley something to keep to yourself.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. meganorussell
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 03:37:58

    I’m so sorry you got sick, but this is hysterical!


  2. romie3
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 14:36:53

    Thanks, Megan! I try to find the humor in things whenever possible!


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