What To Say To Someone Recently Diagnosed With Cancer – Chronic Illness Patients: Here Are 13 Things You Can Say Instead of “I’m Fine” When Someone Asks How You Are
Members who are tired of saying “I’m fine” – when they’re not – start saying what they should instead.
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“I feel good.” So simple answer. And for people living with chronic invisible illnesses like arthritis or chronic pain, this is often an incredibly misleading answer, if not an outright lie.
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For Arthritis Awareness Month this year, we launched a social media-driven project called “Fine is Not Fine” to highlight the complexities of living with chronic pain conditions. We know how common it is to say “I’m fine”—to a friend, family member, neighbor, stranger, colleague, or even a caregiver—when the real answer is much more complicated.
Many people or the Global Health Living Foundation communities tend to respond with “I’m fine” because it’s less painful, harmful and frustrating than being honest or going into too much detail. You can read more about why people say they respond this way.
However, among the thousands of comments, likes and shares we saw in our “Fine is Not Fine” project, we also noticed that many patients said that they
Automatically says they are good. Instead, they have other responses to how they feel they are doing more effectively when communicating with others. Here is an example of their feedback.
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“I try to say things like, ‘not good, but I’m fine,’ or ‘I’m feeling better, but I’ll be fine.'” These statements help me answer a million unanswered questions when I say, “OK. ” I don’t have the energy to answer questions about how I feel when I feel bad.
“I decided to stop lying when I asked the question, but I didn’t go into it.” I might say something like “Pretty bad, but it could be worse.” No, your food checker doesn’t want to hear your whole story and doesn’t have the time, but you’d be surprised how often they respond. Something real. I keep it simple but truthful, but don’t go into details that I don’t want to share anyway. Sometimes I just don’t want to go into it and just answer “okay”, but still “not okay”, which sounds like I’m fine.
“In response to questions about how I feel: ‘Do you want to know the truth or do you want me to lie? Because if you want the truth, we’re going to be here for a while’.”
“I’m working as expected. Thank you for asking’ is a perfectly acceptable response 90 to 99 percent of the time. When I was first diagnosed, I had a steep learning curve. I appreciated others who, by letting me talk, helped me process all the information I now had to understand and figure out how to organize myself. Even in the beginning I didn’t expect anyone else to “help” or take care of me. I needed my closest circle to understand that sometimes my bail depended on my health problems, not on my aversion to them.
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“I’m doing my best” will be my new catchphrase, especially during this covid-19 pandemic. My pain is like a bad roller coaster and so unpredictable. You never know when you will have a good day or a bad day. My anxiety grips me like a vice, and once it hits, even my anti-anxiety meds don’t help. I’m like a balloon rising from the ceiling. I’m so worried most days it’s hard to think.
“I don’t see the point in trying to hide it. I will not hire in lieu of advertising but I will not suffer just to make someone else feel comfortable. Part of the reason we need to raise awareness is because people hide it.
“Most of the time I put a smile on their face and tell them ‘Good!’ No one wants to hear about my problems.” I mostly want to talk about something fun and funny.
“Sometimes it’s too real and depressing to admit or try to explain. The best saying is ‘Same old shit, just another day!’
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“If I can do something active for 10 straight minutes at a time, like cooking or doing the dishes, I say ‘good’ because it’s a win-win.” When that’s not the case, I can say I’m having a “slow day.” Because I live alone, people often don’t see how I feel. Maybe it’s boring or I’m Pollyanna, but I celebrate when I’m at the top of my game and break 10 minutes without rest. But I won’t leave my house if that’s not the case. I’m basically hiding in plain sight. The pain is mine; I choose not to share it.
Check out PainSpot, our pain localization tool. Answer a few simple questions about what the problem is and discover possible conditions that are causing it. Start your PainSpot quiz.
A digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide seeking education, support, advocacy and patient-centered research. We represent patients through our popular social media channels, our website, and a 50-state network of approximately 1,500 trained volunteer patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Today, 7 young people will be told that they have cancer. Despite being an issue that affects everyone (directly or indirectly), the “big C” is still a taboo subject because of the fear surrounding it. Research shows that as a result of cancer treatment in adolescents, 87% of patients lose contact with their friends. If we can just open the dialogue around it, it will help these victims and lead to risk reduction and early diagnosis.
As part of our campaign with FVCK Cancer – a kick-ass headwear brand working to help those struggling with hair loss caused by chemotherapy – we reached out to designer Emily McDowell. Emily was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001 when she was just 24. During the next nine months of treatment, he was seen struggling to find the right words to speak to family and friends. And the sympathy cards she received didn’t help – from cocky to cold, she said nothing about the situation she was in. This inspired him to create his own cliche-free, powerful design. From finding humor in humor to ugly sarcasm, Emily’s cards tell it like it is, while being compassionate and comforting. Check it out below, along with some of her advice on what to say to someone with cancer.
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Our culture doesn’t teach us how to talk about illness, so when it happens to someone in our lives, most of us feel too sick to deal with it. We are afraid of saying the wrong thing, so we hesitate, and then time passes, and then we feel even more stupid, but now we also feel guilty, which is even harder to reach. But for a Cancer, it feels incredibly lonely and painful when friends become silent. Remember, no one is ever a fool, and if you don’t know what to say, it’s perfectly fine to say so. Your friend doesn’t know what it’s like to have cancer either – and what they need most is your offer to just be there.
Being solution-oriented works well in our everyday lives, so when we think someone is sick, our first instinct is often to go into “make it better” mode, where we immediately fix their problem. We try to help solve it with our suggestions, questions and ideas. But it’s impossible to cure someone’s disease, and you don’t have to.
The most helpful thing you can do for them is show up, be present, listen, and be okay with silence if they don’t like to talk. Silence is not inherently stupid, it just feels that way because we are not used to it. Fortunately, it is much easier to learn to listen than to come up with things that will never come.
Find out how they are doing. “how are you?” Sounds very basic, but most people will appreciate it. It tells the person that you remember and care about what’s going on, but it doesn’t require a long commitment to the conversation if they don’t like to talk.
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Sometimes a better question is “How are you today?” Adding “today” to your question is a general admission that you know his life is generally uneventful right now. And you understand that there are good days and bad days. day. It also requires what can feel like an overwhelming question, like “How am I doing with this whole cancer thing?” And turns it into a manageable one.
Or an alternative: “What’s in it for you?” or “How are you?” Let’s say you ask your friend how they’re doing and they say, “Okay. I’m halfway through my radiation. Instead of giving your own conclusion or story in response—like, “Wow, halfway done. !” or “ My aunt really struggled with her radiation,” — it will happen
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