Congratulations! You're a survivor! I'm sorry. You had cancer.
July 23, 2009 10:03 AM Subscribe
What does one say to a cancer survivor when they tell you that they're a cancer survivor?
posted by Barry B. Palindromer to Society & Culture (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm having a conversation with a lady who is a very infrequent acquaintance (we run into each other occasionally in the courtyard of the office complex). We have probably had 5 short conversations in the past year. She's a very nice lady. At one point in the conversation she says "I'm a cancer survivor", and suddenly, I don't know how to proceed. It was germane to the conversation, but only tangentially.
In the split second's following, I'm trying to figure out how to respond. "I'm sorry" doesn't sound right; I mean, she survived! "Congratulations," also doesn't sound right because she had cancer.
Thankfully she proceeded after I said "Oh," and nodded my head. Is there a conventional response in the cancer survivor community or something?