Liver Cancer

Disease, Medical, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Oncology

What the person may be thinking about

  • Why me?
  • How did I get this?
  • I'm afraid to die. 
  • How long do I have to live?
  • I'm tired of talking about cancer all of the time. 
  • People never know what to say and sometimes say things that make me feel worse. 
  • People were very kind when I first told them I had cancer, but now they have stopped reaching out to me. 
  • I'm so lonely during my cancer treatments. 
  • I hate spending all of my time going to doctors' offices and the hospital. 
  • All of this information is just overwhelming. I don't even understand half of what the doctors are telling me. 
  • It's hard to choose the best course of treatment. What should I do?
  • I don't want to lose my hair. 
  • I'm so upset that I can't work out/play tennis/run because I don't feel up to it. 
  • I'm bored and lonely.
  • It's so frustrating not being able to do everything I'm used to doing. 
  • How will I take care of my family while I'm receiving treatment?
  • I'm tired all of the time but I'm having trouble sleeping.
  • I'm having headaches and muscle pains.
  • I don't feel like eating/I'm always hungry.
  • I feel nauseous all of the time. 
  • I can't concentrate on anything and I don't have any energy.
  • Will I be able to have sex during treatment?
  • Will I be able to work while I'm receiving treatment? Will I be able to keep my job?
  • I'm worried about the financial impact this will have on our family. Are there any other resources to help deal with this?

Words That Might Be Encouraging

  • I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care.
  • I'm sorry you have to go through this.
  • I'm here if you would like to talk about it. (Listen without always feeling that you have to respond. Don't feel like you need to fill empty space with conversation.) 
  • I know you have chemotherapy (other treatment) today and just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you. 
  • Can I come and be you during your treatment?
  • I am here to help you with whatever you need during your treatment.
  • I can prepare some meals ahead of time and will help with household chores during your treatments. Let's go ahead and put a schedule together. 
  • Many of us would like to help. Can I put together a meal calendar so your friends can coordinate when they can deliver meals to your home? And/or a chore calendar?
  • Do you need rides to and from treatment? Can I help put together a schedule so you don't have to worry about getting to them?
  • Why don't you let me put together a carpool schedule for your kids so you can rest?
  • I'd like to stay in touch while you are going through this. Can we set up a regular time each week for me to call you/come over?
  • Do you need any help figuring out the insurance for your treatment?
  • Is there anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable?
  • I'm just calling/e-mailing to fill you in on the latest here at the office. (If the patient is your co-worker, keep him/her up-to-date with what’s happening at work. However, always check before doing something for your co-worker with cancer, no matter how helpful you think you are being.) 
  • I have a friend who had this same type of cancer and she has been cancer-free for five years! (Always keep it positive.)

Words That Might Be Discouraging

  • I know how you feel. 
  • Don't worry; everything will be ok.
  • Don't cry; it's not that bad. 
  • Cheer up!
  • You look so tired today.
  • Are you going to lose all of your hair?
  • You look like you are losing weight.
  • Look on the bright side; at least you are losing weight!
  • You seem kind of grumpy today; don't let the situation get you down.
  • You only have one life to live. You have to make the most of it.
  • Stop complaining! You are a lot better off than many other people.
  • Will you still be able to have sex?
  • I'm going to come over every single day to help you out. (Don't make unrealistic promises.)
  • This is just God's will; everything happens for a reason. 
  • Are you sure that's the best treatment option? I've heard it doesn't work. (Respect their decisions about how their cancer will be treated, even if you disagree.)
  • I didn't tell you about the meeting because I didn't want to bother you. (Don't exclude the person from work activities based on their illness. If you have concerns, ask them if they would like to be included.)
  • I know someone who had that kind of cancer but she died. 
  • I haven't come by or called because I didn't want to bother you. 
  • I know someone who had that surgery and developed a really bad infection. Are you sure it's safe?
  • Now that you are done with treatment, are you cured?
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