I mean, the doctor just told you that you have cancer. It's scary and the last thing you want to do is hear horror stories about other people who had the same type of cancer as you. SO, why do people do it? Maybe they just don't understand.
I wrote a blog post a while ago talking about how people could support a loved one that has received a cancer diagnosis. I mean you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that compassion is probably number one. But, why is it that people feel like it's okay to relate what you are going through to someone else?
Maybe it's just me? ... I mean when I was first diagnosed with Leukemia tons of people had compared me to others they knew that had went through the experience of having cancer. Their friend, grandparents, mom or dad, siblings, neighbors, aunts and uncles, I mean I have heard it all. "Oh my grandma had cancer but she didn't make it. I think it was because she's old. You're young so there is nothing to worry about" was one of the things that was said to me and believe me it didn't help! For me, being compared to someone made me super angry.
For instance, my family and I knew of a young man that had AML just like me and he was even treated at the same hospital I was but unfortunately he was called home early. I can't tell you how many times people compared the two of us. It bothered me so much. I mean how was I supposed to "stay strong" and "be brave" when I had people telling me horror stories of people they knew. And, maybe I am coming at this a little strong but I have to tell you the anxiety of being compared to others was high. Just imagine sitting in the hospital fighting for your life and people telling you stories of others they know that "died from chemo". Like, why would you think that's okay to say to someone? And I can't stand the people that ask you why you chose to put poison in your body and not take the "natural" approach. Not helping!!
I'm not sure if people think that they are helping or not but it definitely doesn't help. The treatment for cancer is different across the board. Some need IV chemo and some can take a pill. Some people need radiation and others don't. Genetics, height and weight, ethnicity, medical conditions and allergies are just a few factors that doctors need to take into consideration when they are going to treat a patient. Not to mention there are over 100 different types of cancers listed by the National Cancer Institution. Not all cancer patients are the same!
Each hospital usually has a protocol in place for how they approach cancer treatment. With there being over 100 types of cancer and over 6,000 hospitals in the US alone, I can't imagine that the treatment is the same for every cancer patient.
So stop comparing us, please.