What Do You Say?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 03, 2015 2:56 PM GMT
    I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in a while last night and her head was covered with some light peach fuzz hair. She's not the kind of person to do that for a fashion statement so I assume she's going through some medical treatment. I feel like a dumbass now but I pretended I didn't notice and we briefly talked about stuff like families and work. This morning I still don't know what I should have done. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation, particularly being the one undergoing treatment? Did you appreciate people asking or did you prefer they just kept to the small talk? For some reason I've got a guilty conscience for not showing some kind of support. But cancer seems like such a personal, private thing I didn't want to intrude.
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    Nov 03, 2015 3:08 PM GMT
    I've been in that situation a few times, and have found that beginning by telling them that it was good to see them again, and then asking if everything's all right, in light of your noticing the lack of hair, they'll not at all be offended and will appreciate your concern. Once you break the ice, things will be cool. I know that after my bike accident I really appreciated people asking me what had happened and if they could help in any way. Good luck!
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    Nov 03, 2015 5:06 PM GMT
    DefensiveEnd saidBut cancer seems like such a personal, private thing I didn't want to intrude.


    If her cancer were that personal to her, that she did not want people to know, she would be wearing a wig.

    It would be perfectly alright, after telling her it was good to see her again, to ask if she had been going through chemotherapy, and if she were handling it ok.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1030

    Nov 04, 2015 5:31 AM GMT
    I presume at some point you must have said something like "How are you doing?"

    If she didn't volunteer anything, you could have followed up later with, "So, how are things going for you?"

    If she still didn't take the bait, she probably didn't want to talk about it, and pressing the issue - unless you had a legitimate reason to fear for her immediate well-being - would have been sorta rude.
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    Nov 04, 2015 7:17 AM GMT
    bro4bro saidI presume at some point you must have said something like "How are you doing?"

    If she didn't volunteer anything, you could have followed up later with, "So, how are things going for you?"

    If she still didn't take the bait, she probably didn't want to talk about it, and pressing the issue - unless you had a legitimate reason to fear for her immediate well-being - would have been sorta rude.


    Agreed! Because if the OP decided to mention medical treatment to her and discovered that she's healthy, then his assumptions would have been insulting.