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Chalk it Up to Who Knows What...

Andrea B.

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Okay, just when I think I have heard the most offensive questions when I tell people my mom has lung cancer, someone comes back and makes me speechless. My neighbor asks how my mom is doing. I tell him good, but we will find out in a few weeks after a PET scan whether or not she is in remission or will need to continue chemo. He looks at me and says, "oh, how do you feel...must be a bit scary knowing you carry some of those genes." I just had to post, because I continued to be amazed by people's insensitivity, or maybe it is me being extra sensitive.

Anyways, as always everyone is in my prayers and blessings to you.

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> must be a bit scary knowing you carry some of those genes.

I think this guy has a lot more to worry about with the contamination of his gene pool than you do! Ignorance breeds ignorance.

I have gotten the "How long do you have?" question a few times, mostly from concerned and well meaning folks, but still.. My answer is "Only another 40 years or so". The look I get is precious. :lol:

We need to be a little more vocal about the fact that this is a survivable disease. Most folks have visions of the sad happenings of thier grandparents times, but even then, it wasn't always a death sentence.

At my DX and announcement at work, I learned of 3 co-workers parents that had lobectomies or entire lungs removed and subsequently lived to ripe old ages. It just wasn't something you talked about then, and not really something that would come up in conversation at lunch. Knowing this was a tremendous help with my anxieties. But it amazed me that these things were going on around me and I had no clue.

Now, I might be embarrassed to talk about an STD if I had one, but not lung cancer. I don't understand why folks are so quiet.

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Though his choice of words and timing leaves much to be desired, it tells me that this person is one of those who may be getting the real message: We are all at risk for developing lung cancer, and that genetic damage is beginning to show a greater role in the development of lung cancer than previously thought. I think in his own, backhanded way he was trying to be sympathetic towards what he felt might have been some of your underlying concerns. Remember, smoking isn't the only smoking gun when it comes to lung cancer. He may have relatives who have cancer forming in mutltiple generations. (I do. My Mom had lung cancer, her sister had lung cancer, and her brothers had lung cancer. Their Aunts had lung cancer. Not all of these people were smokers or around smokers.)

I know it can be hard to take some of the things people say and do. We are sensitive because of the stigma. But sometimes we can take these moments and turn them into mini-courses on empathy and understanding-for both the sayer, and the one on the receiving end.

Just my 5 Cents. And I do hope it helps.

Fay A

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