What Cancer Patients Want You To Know

Cancer patients are not living in a hospital attached to a puke bucket.  We are ordinary functioning people at home, work, and in the community.
Tests and treatments can be time-consuming, and the best thing you can do is just go and sit with a patient.
Each person with cancer is different, and their journey is unique.  Comparing my experience to another loved one with the disease does not mean it will work for me.
Don’t say things like, “If you’re gonna get cancer, that’s the one you want to get,” or “I’ll pray for a miracle.”
We do enjoy connecting with other warriors and survivors. 
There is no miracle cure through foods, drinks, or herbs.  I rely strictly on my doctors for advice.
I don’t want pity or warrior stories.  I mostly appreciate humor, encouragement, compassion, and companionship.
Just because I look okay on the outside doesn’t mean I’m not emotionally vulnerable.
Cancer doesn’t just affect a person physically.  It can make a person suffer mentally or financially.
Don’t try to force me to suppress my feelings by saying, “Everything is okay.  You’ll be fine.  You’ll get through this.  You don’t have anything to worry about.” 
It’s essential to remain positive and optimistic, but it’s equally important to be realistic.
Telling stories of people who have died from cancer…that’s not helpful.
I am a person, not a diagnosis. 
What may seem like the simple flu to you will put me in the hospital.  Please don’t sneeze or cough on me.
Forgetfulness doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention…I’m on drugs that mess with my short term memory.
We get incredibly fatigued through treatment and, therefore, will need more help with simple tasks.
Losing my hair isn’t “fun,” but my life is worth so much more than my appearance.
I probably won’t reach out for help, so just do it.
Just because chemo is over doesn’t mean the battle is over.
You may disagree with my decisions but should be respectful of them.
Let me cry.
Advice may not be what I need, and it can hurt more than help.
I love being held in your thoughts or prayers.
I don’t know why I got cancer, and hearing your theory may be insulting.
Don’t take it personally if I don’t return your call or want to see you.
I need you to also offer support to my caregiver/loved ones because that helps me too.