Don’t Say Nothing. Say Something.

Everyone who reads this blog will know that last week was my one year “Cancerversary”. Well, my cancerversary of my Hodgkin’s diagnosis anyway.

Blogging my way through it has been one way that I’ve dealt with it. I’ve come to make connections on Twitter that have been an amazing support. Some people don’t get it, and that’s just fine. It doesn’t float everyone’s boat. We’re all different and that is what makes life interesting.

Both times I got  my diagnosis, I made a conscious decision to post it on Facebook and Twitter, only once my friends and family knew. Some people wouldn’t, they would choose to deal with it privately and not broadcast it to all and sundry. That’s okay too.

In this post, I managed to put family and friends into six categories. Looking back at that post, I stand by everything I said. And dealing with cancer the second time round, those six categories still exist.

Someone I have a lot of respect for in the blogging community is having a hard time at the moment. I haven’t met her “in real life” but she always has an encouraging or supportive word to say to me. She is one of my favourite bloggers and you should really go and have a read to see for yourself.

Henrietta has made the point this week that people who don’t know what to say, say nothing at all. It’s not about saying the “right” thing, or the “wrong” thing. It’s about saying something. It’s about letting someone know that even if you don’t know what to say that you are thinking about them.

People will talk. I know for a fact that people who haven’t spoken to me for years have been talking about me. Did they call, text, email, send a card, even say to send their love via someone else? No. All that makes me feel like is a piece of gossip to talk about in the office kitchen or the pub.

If anything has been taught to us over the last year or so, it’s that life is too short, and we may not have forever to say the things we want to say. Treasure your family, love your friends, and show them that you do. You don’t have to say something profound or wonderful, but just say something.

 

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10 responses to “Don’t Say Nothing. Say Something.

  • missjacq

    This is so true. I find if I’m walking down the street, people I have known all my life, will walk the other way and pretend not to see me. I know they have seen me as its obvious but because they just don’t know what to say they will avoid me at all costs. This actually upsets me and for the first time in my life, (since having cancer and loosing my hair)I can totally understand what it must be like being disabled. This is how I’m treated when I walk down the street. People either point, stare or just avoid me like I am a nobody anymore. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Claire H

    I’m so glad you have written this. As someone who has only recently come across someone recovering from cancer I have always wondered how I would/should react. You don’t want to come across with sympathy which appears patronising or to try to jolly up hoping that you can lift a person but then only to feel callous.
    I guess most people are silent because they are scared. Scared of their own emotions and fear they may say the wrong thing.
    Now I have read this I’ll know that to say something (anything) is better than nothing…
    thanks for sharing.

  • hpretty

    So touched by this post, and for being named as one of your favourite bloggers. thank you.
    i agree with you – i spend a lot of time wondering whether i should put certain private things out there. Should i be more private, reserved, stoical? But the truth is I write, that’s what i do. I don’t offend anyone with my words. I just might be more honest and open than the next person. And that’s okay.
    Love to you my dear friend

    M2Mx

  • Aaron

    First, congratulations on reaching such a wonderful milestone in your cancerversary! I actually just celebrated mine with leukemia just over 2 weeks ago.

    Second I am so happy I came across your blog. I really enjoy your writing and can’t wait to sign up and read more.
    Would love to hear your thoughts on my blog http://www.aaronoutward.com
    Aaron

  • Emma-Lou

    Your post is so, so true! When my Mam was diagnosed, my father and I went down to our local pub one evening. We were avoided, people who’d drank with us, who I’d served when I worked behind the bar there, the people who we’d celebrated their good news like baby births, new jobs etc didn’t come over, and looked at us sympathetically over their pints. It was an awful feeling. Now, years on, we realise-and some of them have told us, it’s because they didn’t know what to say or do. Of course we were all devastated about Mam’s diagnosis, worried sick about her-but we wouldn’t have minded people coming up and chatting about the football, or how their family were. It didn’t have to be all about Mam. Asking how she was, or just saying that she was in thoughts and prayers would have been fine.
    I read your blog regularly, and your tweet updates, and I think that you’re fantastic to talk so honestly about your experiences. You are in my prayers, and I want you to know that I’m routing for you all the way. Take care of yourself xxxx

  • Simone

    Have to say going through the diagnosis of cancer with my own mum at the age of 16 I was very aware that the people who should have been there were “no-where to be seen”. People who should have phoned to chat to mum suddenly didn’t call. The diagnosis didn’t change her as a person, she was still (and still is!) as stubborn as ever! I just think that sometimes just a phone call to chat about something completely random would have cheered her up.
    Very true that silence speaks volumes – there is no right or wrong thing to say although an aunty did come out with a clanger and in this instance I would have said that saying nothing at all would have been the right thing!

    Carry on posting hun – we will always comment!x

  • vesna

    Here here! And happy cancerversary! Mine is coming up; Hodgkin’s as well. I admire your courage, bravery and attitude. I’ve been following your blog and enjoy every bit of it. I can relate many times. Keep on keeping on!

    Across the pond,

    Vesna

  • aemorse

    I’ve had people on Facebook even tell me they were defriending me because my posts were “too depressing”. Well, yes, being diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkins a month after your 23rd birthday (and 4 months after blowing all your savings to move 1000 miles away from your family for your first job) is pretty depressing, thanks. Try living it. I really agree with your 6 categories- particularly the family that doesn’t care. I have extended family in the area who literally could not be bothered to lift a finger, despite me not having a car (think they’d ever try to handle public transportation while on 6-8 months of chemo?) or my family/close friends near by. It’s amazing, really.

    I just wanted you to know that it’s heartening to see a Stage IVa survivor who is doing well. This blog is really helping me in the week before my first round of chemo. Thanks!

    -Allie

    http://thegoodhodgkins.wordpress.com

    • rozzibee

      So sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but glad that my blog has been some kind of help. Good luck with chemo! I will check in on your blog to see how you are doing x

  • To Text, or Not To Text? « 'kin Hodgkin's

    […] The first thing that came to mind was that I thought it was a strange thing to search for. But then I thought, actually, it’s actually quite sweet that a person wanted to say something but didn’t know what. They could have just thought it was too hard and not bothered, but you all know my thoughts on this. […]

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