I know, making small talk can be challenging, and making small talk with someone who has had cancer can be really uncomfortable. I get it. I wouldn't know what to say to me either. But I do know now what NOT to say. There have been books written about it, and even a website by a wonderful author, Kelly Corrigan who wrote a book called The Middle Place about her breast cancer diagnosis and then her father's cancer battle. Her story sound familiar? Anyway, she developed a website called Circus of Cancer which has a great section on How to Help Your Friend. It offers truly smart suggestions for those who love someone with cancer.
So, back to what not to say. Oh, I don't know, how about something exactly like this "Do you know so-and-so? Well her best friend in Baltimore had breast cancer too and she had horrible chemo for years and I heard she DIED last month. Terrible."
So, as a recap, if you know anyone who knows anyone who has DIED from cancer, you can probably skip that little nugget of info. You know anyone who knows anyone who lived for 25, 30 or 40 years after a Stage 3 cancer diagnosis? I'm all ears.