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What do you say to someone who is dying of cancer?


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#1 mystmaster23

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 23:38

My uncle is in the last few stages of his life..
I feel really bad since I havent called him in so long, but I want to
What would you say to someone who you dont really know that well, is your uncle and is in the last few stages of his life over the phone?

I really wanna call but I dont know what to say :no:


#2 PixilEyes

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 23:44

I met this gal a while back. She warned me she had cancer and is going under radation treaments. To fast foward the story I'm in love with her now and she is the same with me. We live life together not worried about the cancer, for its love.

You should respect the person and talk to him like a normal person that wasn't dying. The last thing they need is a reminder of that. Thats just my thoughts.

#3 noroom

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 23:45

Wow, that's a really hard situation, and it's nice of you to want to talk to him before he goes.

But he probably gets calls from everyone that knows, and they probably make him feel bad about it. I think that's how I would feel. I'd much rather someone showing up with a piece of my favorite cake and a cool movie, or something for both of you to have a good time with. But if you don't know him that well, that might even be awkward. Unless you can get another family member (that's close to both of you) to join you. I don't know man, but a call like that is probably only going to depress you both. :(

#4 Shof

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 23:46

What kind of cancer is it?

#5 *John*

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 23:47

My uncle is in the last few stages of his life..
I feel really bad since I havent called him in so long, but I want to
What would you say to someone who you dont really know that well, is your uncle and is in the last few stages of his life over the phone?

I really wanna call but I dont know what to say :no:


Be as normal and as friendly and as loving as possible. Laugh and joke if possible. There is no reason/rule that says the next time you talk you both have to act like its "the last talk" or anything. Make your last memories talking with him be happy one's. You will both feel better for it (Y)

Hope this helped! (Y) and i'm really very sorry for what your going through right now :(

John :)

#6 +Ghost96

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:38

The bottom line is that there are no right words to say. We just lost our first son after birth and it was devastating. He only lived 20 minutes. No one could have said anything that made a difference. There are no words that could comfort us. But people were there for us and they called, visited, sent flowers, cards, etc. and that made a world of difference. It just helped us knowing that people were there to support us and letting us know that they cared. That in itself was worth its weight in gold.

#7 Diffused Mind™

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:42

My wife has a brain tumor. She is undergoing gamma knife therapy right now, but even with the best treatment, she will live for at most, a year or so.

It's not about having the right words, it's about being there, for when some people need you the most.

#8 :: Lyon ::

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:49

I think it also depends on the type of personality of the person.. if he's a melancholic type, usually he'd like people to feel sorry/give him attention, and he wants to talk about the disease
If he's not, maybe he'd prefer to forget about it and don't want ppl to remind him of it

#9 benac

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 07:48

What do you say to someone who is dying of cancer?


Use a varied tone of the word "Dude"....EXAMPLE:

"Cancer?...Dude.".

#10 Chad.C

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 07:52

Showing you love and care for them far outweighs anything you could say to them.,

#11 sfalcon

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 08:02

Two years ago my uncle was terminally ill. He was somewhat reclusive, so I never got very close with him. As his time grew shorter, I made the point of making it up to see him. We didn't talk about anything in particular. I remember he mentioned that he wanted to go for a motorcycle ride with me and my father when the summer came. We talked about that and some other small talk. When I went to leave, I hugged him and said "I love you".

The next day he died in my father's arms. I guess the moral of my little story is that if you are able, you should definitely make the effort to contact your uncle. I will forever be grateful that I got the chance to speak to mine before he passed. It matters little what you talk about, just the fact that you're talking will mean a lot to both of you.

#12 BigDaddy5

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 08:19

I think calling someone to talk to them soley because they're dying if you haven't talked to him in forever is really lame. And that's coming from someone who's been on the hospital bed with cancer. It's awkward for that person, probably even more so then for you. Imagine, you've got nothing in common except that you've got cancer. Great. Thanks for keeping in touch. Honestly, I'd rather just hear about what's going on in their life through a letter or a phone call, something that can be easily ended if it gets to awkward for me.

Now I'm not trying to say that you're a bad person, I know you're trying to be nice. I realized that while I was greeting people in the bed (most I can't remember anymore because of the morphine), so I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. It's just that realizing people are only showing up because you're going through this sucks. It doesn't help, really. Sure, I wanted to hear from people, but I really just wanted to be near those close to me. You know why? I didn't want everyone seeing me that weak. I wanted to talk to people, but didn't want people around me. I remember feeling pretty bad after I passed out on a group of people who had come to see me. It's not like I meant to, it's just that we were talking, and then the morphine kicked in and I don't remember what happened. I felt like I was a burdon to people in that state.

You can say that I shouldn't have felt that way, like so many have. But unless you've been there, you can't relate.

What I suggest is to call him with a topic in mind. Football, drinking, girls, whatever. Just talk about something, doesn't matter what...other then cancer.

#13 vetLaura

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 14:11

My uncle is in the last few stages of his life..
I feel really bad since I havent called him in so long, but I want to
What would you say to someone who you dont really know that well, is your uncle and is in the last few stages of his life over the phone?

I really wanna call but I dont know what to say :no:


Like BigDaddy5 said, call with a topic in mind. When it comes to the cancer, ask him how he feels about that if you can - I mean whether he wants to talk about it or ignore it.

A fairly close friend of mine recently tested positive for HIV. He told me and I was like " ". I didn't know what to say (and told him so).

A couple of weeks later I still felt really awkward talking to him. So I just asked him; I explained that I didn't know whether I should ignore it and be normal (because that could come across as insensitive) or whether I should talk about the HIV at all (he may well not want to be reminded). He asked that I just be normal.

#14 spacer

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 14:20

"Put in a good word for me."

#15 mattmatik

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 14:27

Do you know if your uncle has been able to accept it? Some people, when they accept the fact that they are sick and are not going to make it (even though they fight like crazy), they can be easier to talk to. However, I'm sure he'd like to hear from you regardless.



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