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Has Anyone Minimized Your Diagnosis?

Have you ever felt like someone has minimized your cancer experience?

How so? How did you respond?

  1. Absolutely. And this person continues to do so. The initial comment was "you have leukemia? Well don't overdramatize the situation." Another comment was, "plenty of people get that and they get over it." Not to mention the many times I was asked, "aren't you done with that yet?"
    I learned to respond by explaining to the latter question about the "chronic," part of CML. I was too shocked for the overdramatizing remark at the time but now I'll just say it is not a walk in the park.

    1. I now just smile and say " I just bet you would not want to trade places with me" Dennis( TEAM)

      1. Yes. If I ever talk about planning for the future with the unknowns of cancer, people say "None of us knows how much time we have left! I could get hit by a bus tomorrow!". I say, yes that's true for me too - but I have a deadly disease and you don't. I have also learned not to bring this up anymore.

        A good friend reacted to my blood cancer diagnosis by saying, "My friend had cancer and she fell down on the sidewalk and had to be taken to the ER! Someone had to pick her daughter up from school!" I learned afterward that a mutual friend scolded her and told her she was unfamiliar with my particular cancer and was minimizing my situation.

        People are more familiar with cancer diagnoses which involve immediate surgery, radiation, chemo, etc. They don't understand watch and wait or taking oral chemo every day for the rest of your life, which is my situation.

        I've really learned it's best not to talk about it.

        1. It's a weird thing about cancer in particular - whether it's because it reminds people of their mortality or because they just don't know what to say, it seems like they always are saying and doing the wrong thing. The whole "smoldering" cancer thing doesn't seem to jive with what they've seen on TV and in movies, so they just assume it is nothing, when it most certainly not! Keep on keepin' on, DPM

      2. Sometimes it's just because they feel awkward and don't know what to say.

        Minimizing it, might make them feel better.

        I don't hold anything against anyone. I do my best to ignore it's there. I also do my best to minimize it myself.

        I certainly don't have to look far to find many far worse off than I.
        Seems there's a lot of friends no longer around and a lot of friends missing loved ones.

        Might be a thing that happens at age 62 and older.
        The class reunions are getting smaller

        1. Minimizing it can make some people feel better about it somehow. If we minimize it then it doesn't hold as much power over us. I think I understand what you mean. It's not a conversation everyone is willing to have. Maybe we need to respect that too. As you say, there is so much loss. Thanks for that perspective. It gave me something to think about and things sure can be complicated.

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