Five Things to Say


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The topic of cancer is sensitive, and because of this, people often face difficulty addressing it with cancer patients or people experiencing cancer symptoms. This episode provides listeners with a variety of responses to the question, "What are five things to say to a cancer patient?"

Life on Pause is a podcast created by and for young adults living with cancer. Within this episode, listeners can hear answers to the question "What are five things to say to a cancer patient?" as submitted by individuals who have experienced different types of cancer. The episode includes recorded responses as well as emailed responses based on first-person experiences.

Listen to experienced individuals answer the question, “What are five things to say to a cancer patient?”:

First Response (00:47)

The initial responder discusses what they would tell someone with cancer, based on their own experiences with the disease and its challenging nature.

The speaker explains that cancer patients should be encouraged to breathe and relax, as the uncertainty of the diagnosis can be stressful. They emphasize the importance of patients trusting their medical professionals and creating a cancer support community of people who will be positive and helpful while experiencing cancer symptoms and treatment.

Finally, the speaker says that cancer patients should prioritize their health, and supportive listeners should encourage them to enjoy their lives.

Second Response (4:24)

At age 21, Ally was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. She responds to the question by expressing the importance of communicating support to cancer patients through their treatment and the decisions that they will need to make.

Ally speaks on the impact that open communication and positive encouragement can have on a cancer patient. Rather than focusing on the external physical changes that cancer patients may experience during their treatment, Ally suggests pointing out their internal qualities.

Cancer patients can experience feeling different or alienated due to their diagnosis and the changes that come with it. Therefore, she tells listeners to try to maintain normalcy in their relationships with cancer patients and their interactions.

Third Response (6:28)

Diana begins her response by first quoting a segment from the book "Pillow Thoughts'' by Courtney Pepperneil that she says inspired her during her experience with cancer.

She answers the question "What to say to a cancer patient" by addressing the listeners as cancer patients themselves and communicating what she believes they would want to hear. In addition, she provides positive wishes and words of encouragement to patients.

Diana discusses how cancer patients may experience fear and how they should avoid letting their fear consume or paralyze them. Focusing too much on the long path ahead can cause cancer patients to become discouraged. Instead, Diana tells patients to take it one step at a time and continue fighting.

She speaks on the changes that cancer patients may see within themselves due to their experience with the disease and tells patients that this is ok, and to take time to get to know the new versions of themselves.

Email Responses (9:48)

In this segment, the host provides additional responses to the question "What to say to a cancer patient?" that she received via email. Answers to this question include promises of support, following through on actions promised for helping cancer patients, and confirmation that it is alright to experience fears and sadness due to their cancer symptoms and diagnoses.

38 episodes