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    Things That Lung Cancer Survivors Don't Want To Hear.

    Facing lung cancer is tough. It's hard enough staring down the number one cancer killer, knowing that research has been seriously underfunded for decades... but then you have to deal with people blaming you for your disease! Here's a few tips on what NOT to say.

    Do you smoke?


    Not cool. Did you ask your aunt if she smoked when she got breast cancer? Did you ask your co-worker if he smoked when he got skin cancer? Some people did smoke, but quit long ago... some never smoked... and yes, some may still smoke and be filled with guilt and shame. The fact is that NOBODY deserves lung cancer. Try giving them a hug instead.

    I wear pink for The Cure®

    Oh really??? Tell me more. Or, wait...let me tell you more. It's hard to know where to start... the pinkwashing and feel-good marketing of carcinogenic foods...misguided shopping for the cure... the pink fountain that pours never-ending streams of green into the coffers of overpaid executives... fracking for the cure... the point is, think before you pink.

    What do you have against pink? We're just trying to save lives, right?


    Cancer is not pink. Lung Cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, three times as many men as prostate cancer. Yet for some reason... *cough* marketing *cough* pinkwashing... lung cancer receives only a miniscule fraction of the research funding that these other cancers get. If we really want to make some progress in the war on cancer, a good place to start is with the cancer that kills more than any other.

    My [aunt/cousin/grandma] had lung cancer... They died. After a long, miserable fight. They suffered and had a lot of pain. It was a blessing when it finally ended.


    What is wrong with you? No, really? Do you think you are helping? If I want to know more about your relative's battle, trust me, I'll ask. In case you didn't notice, I'm fighting my own battle right now.

    Just think positive!


    Oh really. Thanks. I hadn't realized that was an option.

    How are you doing...REALLY?


    How do you think I'm doing?? How would YOU be doing? Next question.

    The government already has the cure. It's [marijuana/asparagus/shark cartilage/detox/snake oil/ear wash/yoga routine].


    Please. Please, please, please. Stop forwarding me emails and sending me links. I have access to the same internet that you do.

    You are so strong! You are such an inspiration.


    Maybe. Maybe I'm fearless and unstoppable. Or maybe I'm not. Please allow me to feel my own emotions, whether that's fear, or anger, or numbness. The cancer didn't magically make me a warrior. We all love stories of those facing down cancer with fearlessness and resilience, grace and peace. But please don't force me into that mold; I may not be at that part of my own journey just now.



    Seriously, I may not be at my best right now, and I may be more sensitive than I used to be. You may not know what to say or do, or you might even feel awkward being around me. But I'm in the toughest fight of my life... and nobody can fight this battle alone. If you were my friend before cancer....please... be my friend now.

    Seriously. Just be a friend.


    Things you should say:

    * Wanna hang out?

    * You look great! (If I really do)

    * I just picked up some ice cream and I'm headed your way!

    * Remember that time we....

    * Need a hug?