October 12, 2013 in Features

Keep comments to patient positive

Kathy Mitchell
 

Dear Annie: My husband was diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago. We have spent those weeks seeing various doctors and having multiple tests. With chemotherapy and surgery, he should be able to live a long and happy life.

My problem is family members and friends. I am trying to keep my husband in a positive frame of mind about his prognosis. Unfortunately, these well-meaning people keep telling him horror stories about chemotherapy and radiation and all of the people they know who have died from cancer.

Everyone’s cancer is different. What works for some patients might not work for others. Please do not tell my husband about someone who died of cancer. It’s not what he needs to hear right now. I know you mean well, but this just depresses him.

Attitude is everything when it comes to treating and surviving cancer. Say something positive like, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” or “You will survive this. You’re tough.” Otherwise, don’t say anything about it at all. Just be his friend. With the advances in treatment, I know more people who have survived cancer than have died. These survivors all have one thing in common: a positive attitude. – Polly Positive

Dear Polly: We, too, have never understood the urge that compels people to tell horror stories about those who have died to those who are still struggling with illness of any kind. Attitude is so important in healing. Please, folks, keep a lid on those stories. They help no one.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.


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