Page 8 - What Not to Say to a Cancer Patient

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“Cancer Facts & Figures 2013,” American Cancer Society, accessed March 21, 2013,
http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/
document/acspc-036845.pdf.
Introduction
There are few more life-altering moments than when one gets
a diagnosis of cancer. Every day 4,549
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people get this news
in one form or another—that’s 1,660,290 people a year. If you
are fortunate enough to not be included in that number, you
likely know—perhaps intimately—someone who is. If you have
not yet been touched by this frightening word, at some point
you may be.
I began my journey with cancer in April of 2009 when a
lump was found on the left side of my neck about two inches
from my collar bone during a simple, routine follow-up exam
for walking pneumonia. The diagnosis turned out to be stage
IV papillary thyroid cancer. When I asked them how many
stages there were, I was told four. Since then I have endured
two very extensive surgeries, external beam radiation for six
weeks, and a variety of other treatments. One would describe
me as an average white male in his sixties, divorced, and