what to say when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer.

@Tanika (632)
Australia
December 18, 2006 8:58am CST
Hello, my mother in law is 48 years old and is in the process of being diagnosed with cancer and has been told it is 95% that she has chronic lymphocytic leukemia. she is awaiting the results of her bone marrow test to confirm it. I feel so sad for her, she is a wonderful and giving person. I have absolutly no idea what to say to her and need help. i know she probably doesn't want me to feel sorry for her. what would you say? i am known for having foot in mouth disease and just the other day said 'you might make it another ten years'. what an awful thing to say so someone. i hate that i said that. i love her alot. pls tell me what you would say. thanks alot, Tanika.
9 people like this
69 responses
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
18 Dec 06
Tanika First of all I am so sorry about this for you and your Family There is not a lot you can say to her but you can tell her how much you love her and appreciate her be strong for her and help her through this I know it will a hard time for you when you do get bad make sure to try and not do it in front of your Mum go to a Friend or you are welcome to message me if you need to I will think of you and I really hope you will be able to get through this Tell your Mum how much you love you Hugs to you
2 people like this
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
18 Dec 06
Sorry your Mum in Law I was typing to fast here
2 people like this
• India
18 Dec 06
Just say, I am with you always no matter what happens........
2 people like this
@Tanika (632)
• Australia
19 Dec 06
thank you...
@lauriefnp (5112)
• United States
18 Dec 06
Tanika, I'm sorry that you & your family are going through this horrible situation, especially at this time of the year. Why not tell your mother-in-law exactly what you said here? Tell her how much you love her, and that you will be there to love and support her through her treatment. Try to avoid a discussion about her prognosis if you are afraid of saying the wrong thing. She's uncomfortable with these conversations also, I'm sure; why not discuss this with her? Ask her what SHE needs from you throughout this. The most important thing, I think, is to communicate your love.
@Tanika (632)
• Australia
18 Dec 06
thank you. i will do that. i find it so hard to think in this situation because i am emotionally involved. It helps to get an outside perspective.
1 person likes this
@Bevsue (251)
• United States
18 Dec 06
This is not a totally hopeless situation for her. So the best thing to do is concentrate of positive thinking.
2 people like this
@calvin222 (1607)
• India
18 Dec 06
There is nothing much to say but lots to do. be nice real nice and sensitive. listen to her. do something she always wanted to do. take some time off to spend with her.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Dec 06
I understand what you are going through, my father passed away 2 years ago from cancer and I was only 19 when he found out he had it. (not exactly a great age to deal with it) I found that if I didn't say much but let him know that I did understand and I cared that he was sick. The best thing to do is to keep going on with life, make sure she does to. If you really need to say something, just let her know your there for her if she needs help or just someone to talk to. I don't see anything wrong with what you said, they gave my dad 2 weeks to live, he lived 2 more years... Sometimes knowing that people think you can be around longer makes them fight harder to try, and who knows she may be around longer then what you said.
2 people like this
@anja31 (708)
• Canada
18 Dec 06
I am really feel sorry for you. Be otimistic no matter what happend and to her, she need your support
2 people like this
@treblem (316)
• Philippines
18 Dec 06
encourage her. show your love especially this time bcoz she needs it badly at this time of her life that she's really down. don't lose hope. call upon our merciful Maker who made us and can also make a difference. who knows He may have compassion on your mother and heal her. try to stop giving her pork, bcoz pork is the source of all kind of diseases. try that. give her more fruits and vegetables. don't stop praying for her. i believe in the power of the one who answers prayers. have a very meaningful day!!!
2 people like this
@Marie2473 (8521)
• Sweden
18 Dec 06
sometimes you don´t have to say anyhting just be there dfor her and for the rest of the family, I lost my grandmother in cancer when i was 13 years old and I still can´t remember a thing someone said to be - i just remember who was there. Who held me when i cried and who gave me a shoulder to lean on I hope she can beat this disease - i hope she will recover . U are in my thoughts!
2 people like this
@onesiobhan (1330)
• Canada
18 Dec 06
That's really rough. I think everybody gets foot-in-mouth around things like that. It's very emotionally fraught and we don't know what to say so we say something stupid. It's not just you who does that. Are you very close to her? Maybe you could tell her that you care about her and that you don't always know what to say or sometimes say the wrong things but that you are rooting for her. Sometimes it's best to be honest.
2 people like this
@shiboleth (270)
• Canada
18 Dec 06
This is a very sad thing. Tell her that you love her and that you will pray for her. Maybe you cna pray together. I'm sure that would make her feel better.
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
18 Dec 06
Ohhhh ((((huggggggggs)))). I know exactly how you feel. The man in my life is 46 in January, had a major op for stomach cancer five years ago, almost to the day. They removed 26lbs of tumour from his stomach and couldn't remove it all, so he lived for almost four years with a cloud over his head, but he made the most of what he had. Then, in April last year, the hospital found that the cancer had returned, to his liver. Nine months passed, and again, he had to go for treatment. He knows exactly how I feel and how much I want to help him through, but I've learned that the best way to deal with this is to keep quiet and wait until he actually wants to talk to me about it. He feels inadequate, he feels a burden and I'm very proud of the way he's handling all this, except for the fact that it pains me so much not to be able to talk to him. Nevertheless, I know he's going through a really traumatic time and I respect his wishes. I hug him really tight when he needs it, and I tell him every day how much I love him. That's all you can do really. I find that when he goes inside himself, and won't talk about how he's feeling, it helps me to go out for a quiet walk, and have a little weep. Then I sit by the pond and watch the life going on around me and sort my head out. By the time I get back to him, I'm feeling much better and able to handle things again. It's very hard, I know, but it's important not to let them see you cry, to stay strong and thank the powers that be for the time you were allowed with them and just give back silently what she gave you in the healthy part of her life. Good luck Tanika... I feel for you. x
2 people like this
• Portugal
18 Dec 06
If you have a problem to the right words just talk like you ever did, never mentioned the disease or something like that. You company will be much appreciated more then words.
@shaf732 (85)
• Singapore
18 Dec 06
Very sad heard about your mother in law, You must be patient and pray. Life , there is alot of tests, some of them is written, we have to go through for them. My grand father was suffered same sickness in 1987-88, I love him.... . do not be upset, take care of her , some more times with her....
2 people like this
@Hemant83 (1282)
• India
18 Dec 06
just want to say you that please don't worry leave them aside and yes god is great he will definitely help you and your mom. Just trust in him. And yes i will Pray to god.. Please don't worry. Ok. You take care and have a nice day.
2 people like this
@Kylalynn (1773)
• South Africa
18 Dec 06
This is really sad. 48yrs old is so young to be diagnosed with such a horrible disease. I am not too sure what you must say to her, but perhaps take it from her. If she feels the need to talk about it, be there for her. Also let her know she has your support and that you love her. All the best to you and your family.
@usama18 (61)
• Pakistan
18 Dec 06
I M SORRY ITS UR FAMILY MATTER AND IT DEPENDS ON U THT WAT U LL SAY BUT ITS A REALLY A VERY BAD NEWS.
2 people like this
@Irecapat (40)
• United States
18 Dec 06
First, I am sorry to hear that she has cancer. But to answer your question, make sure she doesn't give up on life. Make sure she knows you're there for her. If she doesn't have long, make the rest of the time she has here the most enjoyable experience she has ever had. She's only 48 so she should still be able to function some. Ask what are some of the things she's always wanted to do and do them with her. Enjoy life while guys still can. I hope this helped.
2 people like this
@hm1177 (1223)
18 Dec 06
i think she will know you mean well and to be honest what can you say to someone with cancer? just let her know you are there for her and maybe do sweet things for her like buy her fav chocs or cook her fav meal or take her to the cinema or something she would enjoy?
2 people like this
@bahjaa (27)
• United States
19 Dec 06
well .i really feel bad for you and the situation you in .the only thing you can do is to give her more love and try to be close to her as much as you can ,forget about the cancer or what she have treat her as normal person . God will be with you
@isha900 (1459)
• India
19 Dec 06
it can be
1 person likes this