You’re invited! Join us for the next Empowered #patientchat where we’ll be discussing those awkward conversations about your health. No one seems to know just what to say and things often spiral to strange places from there.
Earlier this year, Emily McDowell, creator of Empathy Cards, was interviewed on NPR about her book collaboration “There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say And Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, And Unfair To People You Love“. She states in that interview:
“Really, I think it’s all about listening. And I think a lot of what we go into in the book is that we operate under the assumption that we need to find the right words, and the good news is that Oprah can’t even do that. Nobody can do that. And so you kind of are off the hook in that really all you need to say is, “I’m here,” and “I’m thinking about you,” and “How are you doing today?” and then let the person talk. …”
Sounds simple but the pressure to be positive and the hurt that is caused by others’ comments is still something often covered by patient advocates – showing we still have a long way to go. Here’s a collection of thoughts on this topic:
- The stupid things people say to those with cancer & their families by Lisa Bonchek Adams
- What to say to someone with cancer/thoughts on how to be a friend to someone with a serious illness by Lisa Bonchek Adams
- How to reach out to cancer patients and empower them by Rachel Korn
- How to say “no” when someone keeps buggin’ you with questions about chronic illness by Jenni Grover Prokopy (Chronic Babe)
- How to Respond to People Who Offer Cures for Chronic Illness by Jenni Grover Prokopy (Chronic Babe)
- Please Stop Calling Cancer a Gift! by Nancy’s Point
- Nine Cancer Language Traps by Nancy’s Point
- “I’m Fine, Really I’m Fine:” What not to say to someone with cancer from Medivizor
- Articles on “What Not To Say” from The Mighty Site
Guiding our discussion will be the following Topic (T#:) Questions:
T1: What are some of the things people have said to you about a disease/condition that really struck a cord?
T2: Why do you think these awkward conversations are so common? Why do we find it so hard to communicate about illness?
T3: What are some of the language traps surrounding illness? What terms do you hate to hear from others and the media?
T4: What things have people said to you that you found truly supportive and helpful?
Empowered Patient Chats (#patientchat) are held every other Friday at 10:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Eastern and during the chat patients and advocates come to learn from each other and discuss topics of interest to empowered patients.