a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Use your words

Posted by wendy on 2012/01/12

I wrote a pretty harsh Facebook status yesterday:

That cut and paste status that likes to insinuate that I don’t CARE ENOUGH about cancer to copy and paste someone’s lame attempt at being profound on MY status needs to DIE. Seriously.

I’ve touched on this subject before–as you know, I am no fan of cut and paste–but, I thought I’d elaborate on this a bit, and doing it here seems a better spot than writing another short status update.  My updates are for flippy remarks and what kind of sammich I had for dinner.  Long explanations and heartfelt thoughts go here.  (Well, for the most part–I do admit to being  flippy over here, too.  I can’t help myself, y’all.  I’m flippy.  It’s my nature.)

This is one of the many viral updates that get under my skin and make me cringe:

All of us have thousand wishes. To be thinner, to be bigger, have more money, have a cool car, a day off, a new phone, to date the person of your dreams. A cancer patient only has one wish, to kick cancer’s ass. I know that 97% of you won’t post this as your status, but my friends will be the 3% that do. In honor of someone who died, or is fighting cancer, or even had cancer, post this for at least one hour.

This is me around 8 months ago. I didn't have just ONE wish, you guys. I had just as many wishes then as I do now. Beating cancer isn't about wishing. Beating cancer is about DOING. None of us sit around and sigh and "wish" to get better. We fight and we plan and fight some more. Do not equate your 'wish' to lose 10 pounds with my fight to beat cancer. They are very different things.

First and foremost….if 97% of the people who see your Facebook status are not your friends, then may it’s time to delete Farmville and step away from your computer.  Go make some friends and stop being all passive aggressive with the ones you DO have.   It will do you some good.  ooo…I’m snarky.

Look, everyone.

Mira.  Mira.

Lean in.

I’m going to share and it’s kind of important.

You are not a parrot.  You are not a myna bird.  You’re not a toddler mimicking his parents until he learns how to speak correctly.  You can speak for yourself.  I realize that this takes more time than a right click.  I know you’re busy.  I am, too.  We’re all busy with our lives and our virtual farms and getting that high score on Farkle.   Okay, maybe that’s just me with the Farkle.  But, I digress.

As a cancer survivor, and as someone who has lost people that I love dearly to cancer, as someone who has friends who fought and survived, who are fighting as I type this, I want to make something very clear:  You are not honoring anyone with a thoughtless right click and a paste.  If you want to honor someone, then use your words.  If you’re thinking about someone who’s fighting cancer, then tell them.  Sending them an email or send them a card through the mail.  Give them a call.  Tell them you’re thinking about them and send them your best.  As someone who has been there, I can tell you that words mean more when they come directly from you.    Truly sharing how you feel about someone takes time and thought.  If you want to honor someone who lost their battle and wish to share, then…SHARE.  Talk about that person, tell us if they made you laugh, what they smelled like, how they made you feel.  Tell us you miss them.

Use your words.  

It really does not take much longer to write “I am thinking about you.” than it does to copy and paste someone else’s status.  I realize that people love to use Facebook as a soapbox and the internet dearly loves a good bandwagon, but I like to dream of a world in which the passive aggressive “shame on you” bandwagon is the empty one.

Use your words.   It won’t matter how bad your grammar is or how awkward your words sound–if they come from your heart, they will be appreciated.

Use your words.  Because, when we are sick, when we are suffering, it is YOU we want to hear from the most.

Use your words.

221 Responses to “Use your words”

  1. Sarah said

    Good goddess, woman, I love you.
    Thank you. I’m hoping this post of yours gets shared on Facebook way more than the stupid status message. 🙂

    • wendy said

      I love you, back.
      And. holy cow, was your post ever predictive. ❤

    • Any attention to the subject is good attention. Copy and paste is about the least you could do to help, but if even one person is inspired to do a real act, like donate money, or even just to reach out and comfort someone who has battled with cancer, then the copy and paste was useful. It’s such a huge issue these days, that everyone knows someone who has been effected by this disease. We shouldn’t attack people who copy these saying into their status, we should instead encourage them to take that next step and do measurable good in someones life. Please don’t attack the person, attack the disease, or else you may just be hurting your own cause. Best of wishes to you.

      • wendy said

        Hi Steve! We will have to disagree on this one. I just can’t buy into the ‘any publicity is good publicity’ ideal. Although, I do agree that copy and paste is absolutely about the ‘least’ anyone could do. Please look back at the comment here–the majority of them are from cancer fighters and survivors like me. We do not appreciate being whittled down to “one wish” or portrayed as victims. There is so much more to us than that. Add that to the terminology, which uses public ‘shaming’ if you don’t copy and paste is incredibly insulting. That said–thank you for coming by and offering a different perspective. They are welcome around here. 🙂

  2. bernadette said

    There you go- the power of words to move someone (me) to action rather than attempting to status-shame me. Them’s some mighty powerful words.

  3. Alie said

    I wish I could share this a million times. ❤

  4. Excellent blog piece. I’m now going to post a link to this every time I see one of those ridiculously stupid memes. I always wonder who makes these things up in the first place? Obviously no one who’s actually had cancer!! Stupid is as stupid does!

  5. hillary said

    I am thinking about you, you magnicent lass.

  6. Maite said

    I’m pretty much running out of ways to tell you how much I love you and how remarkable of a human being you are. Seriously. This is awesome. I’m sharing this until my index finger turns purple (that’s because I don’t know how to type)

  7. I am never one to try to tell people what they should or should not say on something like Facebook because the very nature of that beast is for it to serve YOUR need, not mine. Having said that, I do think it’s not just important but NECESSARY to hear from the people so many purport to speak for on there when they post generalized statuses about things like this because I think we forget all too often that there are names, faces, and LIVES behind every cause. And without seeing the person through the illness, disease, disaster, whatever, you lose the essence and purpose you were standing up for and that is the very humanity that links and binds us and that we so often toss aside in order to tsk-tsk people for not supporting causes as we do.

    Thank you for the honesty, and bravery.

    • wendy said

      I like what you said, Chris. I think that’s been my issue with slacktivism. People really don’t see the people–they just see the meme.

  8. Ed Feather said

    A friend of mine shared your link on her Facebook page. Glad I saw it and read this. Great writing here and I love the snarky attitude! My wife, Sarah, had a snarky attitude, too. She had ovarian cancer for 5 years. Died this past May. I miss her every day. I really miss her writing, too. I’m glad to see there are other people out there with a similar wit about them. Keep it up. Hope that you are doing well and winning the fight.

    And, I agree about wishes and dreams Don’t wish about cancer. Fight it. But keep the dreaming and wishing alive for other parts of your life. Live as much as you can. You deserve it.


    Ed Feather
    (my wife was Sarah Feather – her blog, if you care to take a peak is Carcinista.com)

    • wendy said

      With a name like The Carcinista, I think I would have loved your wife to bits. I am bookmarking her site as soon as I finish typing this. Cheers back to you, Ed. I will keep you in my thoughts–I very often said that I think my cancer was harder on the people who loved me than it was on me. I am sorry for your loss and your pain. I cannot imagine how much you must miss her.

  9. Cindy/Beth said

    someday we will meet in person…I look forward to that. 🙂

  10. Rita said

    Thank you so much for using your words!! I shared this on my wall and I hope ALL my friends read.

  11. You are amazing…..always. so glad this has gone nuts. you will serve the nation xx

  12. Mamó said

    Wow! Thank you SO MUCH for using your words to educate people. I, too, cringe at those inappropriate and insensitive status updates. How dare they insinuate that I don’t care about cancer if I don’t “Share” their drivel!!
    You have eloquently written the reply I have often felt; in the future I will “Comment” on those statuses with a link to this post.
    You really lifted the spirits of a mom whose 13 yr old lives with a cancer diagnosis and the after-effects of “treatment.”
    My word for you is “INSPIRATION”, because that is what your couragous words have provided.

    • wendy said

      Mamó-I will light a candle and say a prayer for you guys. Feel free to link away anytime you need to–because yes, it’s drivel and we have more important things in our lives to deal with–especially you right now!!. All my best to you and your child. ❤

  13. Stephanie Somers said

    I am thinking about you today…but I didn’t know it until I read this. I lost my father to cancer. In 3 days, it will have been 20 years. I’d love to use my words. You are right. Thanks.
    All my very best to you.

    • wendy said

      Your words are definitely enough. In 3 days, if you feel a little whisper through the cosmos, that’ll be me, sending you some vibes. We never stop missing them, I know. ❤

  14. This is soooo good. “Use your words. Because, when we are sick, when we are suffering, it is YOU we want to hear from the most.” There wasn’t much more that mattered to me than when someone would stop by my fb page, send me an email or send me a text message while I was going through chemo and leave me a little message of encouragement or just to let me know they were thinking of me.

    • wendy said

      It really is the little things that bring smiles to our faces, isn’t it? I have never felt such overwhelming support and love as I did when people let me know I was in their thoughts. 😀

  15. Amen and Amen. I’m new to your blog – and ironically enough, found a link to this post on Facebook. I’ve lost loved ones to cancer and at this very moment, have a friend and also a next door neighbor who are battling it and are so very sick. No cut-and-paste will ever ease that.

  16. Lauren said

    Bravo girl Bravo!

  17. Amy said

    You never cease to amaze me. Thank you for putting this into perspective for those who play the copy/paste game, and of course for reminding all of us what is truly important. Being in real relationships and reaching out to people you care about is really a message for everyone. That is so much bigger than, “hey I’m going to guilt you into a FB status,” because, really, those are annoying in any and every context.
    Thank you for your openness and willingness to share yourself. All that you’ve shared, given, and explained really helps all of us, on so many levels. I love you to bits, girlie!

    • wendy said

      I love you back!! Maan, I hate guilt. Unless it’s somehow related to me eating too much fudge. Because at least, I had fun while it lasted. FB guilt is useless, I say!! hee. xx

  18. caroline said

    wow,well said…snarky or not! all the best 🙂

  19. Marcy said

    Brilliant!! Very well said. And FTR, I love snarky.

  20. Lisamarie said

    You my dear lady, are an inspiration and a truly strong and forthright spirit! You have put into real, meaningful WORDS, what so many of us need to hear– Thank You!

  21. Stacey said

    Yours is a bandwagon I would Gladly ride on!
    I am a Wors user and abuser at times….But I have NEVER been a “Cut and Paste in honor of” kinda girl!…I appreciate your words, I acknowledge your fight, and I THANK YOU!…
    One request…..That you do me the honor of accepting my FB friend request….I have a feeling I could learn a lot of new “words to use from you!”. All my best Stacey W!

  22. Hear hear! I have often said that these empty gesture don’t help. Also, please don’t shave your head in my honor – I like looking at your hair. Just because I’m bald doesn’t mean I want to see bald people everywhere. Way to make me think about it ALL the time.

    People do these things to tell themselves they care but true caring is what my friends and coworkers are doing for me – bringing me food, sending me cards, making me cookies. It’s been three months since my liver resection to try and buy myself a few more years, and they are still on the ball with helping without my asking. I’ve barely had to cook – three months. That’s pretty damn amazing.

    They are too busy to cut and paste some silly facebook meme.

    • wendy said

      YES. Yes, and yes. Also, YES. The people who really care are way too busy making sure you have food (and cookies. cookies are important.) and sending you cards and writing you emails and letters.

      Also. Cookies.

      I’m sending you some love, lady. I just hit your blog and HOLY CRAP your latest post has me all riled up again.

  23. Thank you. As one survivor to another, thank you. From the depths of my soul.

  24. Margaret said

    yes. it’s so simple. you’re awesome, my friend.

  25. Evelyn Klein Schiphorst said

    You made me realize that’s writing a supportmail to someone struggling with cancer is priceless. I just did! Thanks for making me (and other people) aware of this.
    Lots of love and luck to you! You are a very very strong woman!!

    • wendy said

      Oh man, I am so glad you did that. It made MY day. It really is such a joy to get a letter or a note from friends when you’re going through it. Thank you!!

  26. Sitting here processing today the doctor thinks my mom has “a few months to three years” to live with her breast cancer (that she has beaten for six years already, iron queen that she is), and I found your post thanks to my lovely friend Margaret. Thank you. Thank you for your words to say what I know my mom believes and wants right now — other people’s words of true love and concern. This post touched me in more ways than I can explain.

    • wendy said

      Lynn, I am sending my best to you and your Mum. I am going to say a prayer that your mom beats those odds. I love the way our lives interconnect like this,little bits here and there make us smile or make us think. And, yeah….more than anything, feeling loved is paramount–it’s far to easy to feel alone when you’re diagnosed. It’s the little things that snap us out of it.

  27. I feel exactly the same. Having cancer doesn’t stop me being a human being with normal hopes and dreams . Thanks for being brave enough to stand up and make people realise how horrid that status really is.

    • wendy said

      I think most people just…don’t think. It’s so frustrating, I know. Sending you good vibes and mojo, Elizabeth. ❤ The Cancerchick club isn't one we want to join, but damn, it's full of amazing people. 🙂

  28. excellent post, I am tired of the posts about handbags or holiday destinations to ‘spread awareness’, if you are not aware of cancer, have you been on Mars? in a cave?

    • wendy said

      Seriously. I don’t know anyone who isn’t ‘aware’. I haaate those posts so much–especially when people say “it’s all in fun”. Cause, cancer is a lot of things and fun never once gets on that list. Yeesh.

  29. I read this and fell in love. you are brilliant and beautiful and my newest hero. thank you. I’d totally kiss you but I don’t want to catch cancer. Best wishes to you in your battle. The world needs more like you to stick around and kick it’s ass. Bless you.

  30. Michael D Dunn said

    My love for you just got deeper! 🙂

  31. Brad said

    Stole the words right out of my fingertips. Im only 21 but only recently lost someone very close to cancer. This stuff angers me and not just the cancer thing too.. Animal abuse, child abuse, rape etc etc. posting some crappy status on Facebook doesn’t do anything!! I saw one the other day that made me so angry. It was a group saying that a child needed 100,000 likes and shares/ prayers to get better. People’s pursuit of ‘likes’ is absolutely ridiculous these days. Good on you for powering through too 😀 peace out.

    • wendy said

      Yeah, I am no fan of the slacktivist status. They’re useless and a bit maddening to those of us who are actually affected by these things. All my best to you, Brad–I am so sorry for your loss. xx

  32. Skye said

    “Use your words” is what I tell my kids all the time! :).
    Thank you for this post. I am fortunate enough to be in good health (knock wood), but many of my family & friends are fighting or have fought cancer and other chronic illness. I feel like I care enough about them to NOT repost those viral status updates. Anyway, you said it all so eloquently.

    • wendy said

      Thank you so much. I like that you care enough NOT to post that stuff. That’s an excellent way to put it. 😀 hee “use your words” –I need it cross-stitched.

  33. Saw this on Facebook that a friend of a friend shared…your words are awesome and everyone needs to read them….I “dislike” those cut and paste status messages also. Thank you!

    • wendy said

      Thank you for dropping by, Sharon!! I’m so pleased with the response I’ve gotten today. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in disliking those things. 😀

  34. Louisa said

    I followed the link to this from my friend’s Facebook page, and it is awesome! I love the term “slacktivism” 😀

  35. Chemobabe said

    Love this. Thank you.

  36. Jen Soals said

    I ❤ you Wendy! "Use your own words" indeed. I am happy for you fighting the little c and spreading some shiny joy to others. I tell my daycare students to use their words (vs screaming etc) when talking and I think grown-ups still need to remember this too. Be original, thankful, individual, grateful.

  37. Dare said

    This needs to be picked up by every major media source and be plastered everywhere possible.
    Nothing but love woman!

  38. Victoria Paul said

    I just wanted to say that I read your message because someone I am friends with posted it on facebook. I am someone who rolls my eyes at generic “re-posted” messages. I tend to be more in touch with movements and messages that come from folks I know and deal with issues they are dealing with directly. However, the connection to your blog hit home with me, and I hope if I ever have anyone in my life facing cancer or other dire conditions that I can connect with them in a personal and strait forward manner. But I want you to realize, I wouldn’t be thinking this if it wasn’t for your facebook message.

  39. feistybluegecko said

    Well said!!! These blanket updates and games that trivialise in the name of awareness are something that push me off my cosy spot on the fence every so often. I got into a real tizz about the last awareness game and that is where I first thought of the need for a “cringe” button. Here’s the rant in case you didn’t see it earlier….


  40. yamini said

    i was blown away by this post – which, incidentally (ironically?) – i came across through Facebook. i never posted any of those repeat messages, but i also never realised how insensitive they can be, especially when those sharing them don’t understand what the message really is!
    in this age of copy-paste, your post has the power to make people go back to the basics – using our words, in our voice.
    hats off to you! u got a fan here! 🙂

  41. Jacquie Kernick said

    Thank you for saying so well what I have often felt when I see FB requests that guilt-trip readers for not reposting.

    I agree that our own words of comfort help a lot more and give more encouragement if they are directed to the person who is battling cancer, or those affected by the passing of someone dear to them.

    My very best thoughts go out to you today, Wendy.

  42. HChef said


    I’m one of those rare birds that still sends cards and letters through the mail. They mean more to people than I can explain here.

    You’re spot on–do something that matters.

    • wendy said

      Snail mail is still the most awesome thing ever, I think. I loved opening my mailbox to cards and letters (and hats! omg at the fabulous knitted hats I received from awesome people). Thank you!

  43. Oh, Wow. Powerful words there, and so honest, but made me smile too. I also hate those FB memes and status blackmails.
    The universe has been kicking me to speak, so I blogged. http://www.sarahbarnard.co.uk/blog/2012/01/13/anger-hope-and-losing-the-fight/ Hope you don’t mind.
    Even though I don’t know you, I’d like to wish you well and express my hope that you continue winning and kicking the ass of that little c.
    All the very best.

  44. Ha! Your message is doing the rounds on FB indeed it seems. I found it too and will share. I’m not a ‘sharer’ usually though but more of a ‘shouter’ – at the tv, the pc and other stupid non-human unwilling appliances. The shouting at humans I try to keep to a minimum, which isn’t always easy 😉
    Bookmarking your blog to refer to in future when more blackmail thingies pass my way and sending GoodVibes aplenty for you and all commentators here above – what goes round comes round, innit? 😉

    • wendy said

      Shouty is GOOD, I say. Especially at the TV. I do it all the time. 😉

      Thank you!!!

      (yeah–there is good stuff happening around here)

  45. Fairview said

    Hi I´m 47, like, old, and when I was a lad I had ‘pen pals’, only girls I admit, different lands, different cities around the world, and I can still remember the feeling of getting a letter from Ireland or Italy and opening it and the fragrence, feeling, sense of thje person totally permeated the pages, the envelope, everything. Energy, our energy, comes out the hands (we feel when we hold hands for sure) so every word had been fillied with their nature, direct into the word and page…then when it´s opened and you touch that page their energy runs into you..and just like people, some will run deep and others sort of glide off. I used to think I re-read letter the run-deep letters to see what was written but now I know it was to feel that warmth of connection and unique energy of that person again in my hands and inside. So yeah sometimes faster and convenient is better, sometimes it’s not and we need to stop and think what we may be losing when we thnk we´re advancing…So 100% for what you said, 10/10, whatever, thanks. What we all want is connection, but the question is quality too, depth, nourishment, reality. Hope you got a little sense of me through this, I can’t put my sign-ature, but something may pass. ABRAZO FORTE!! Fairview

  46. i’m using my words — to say you rock. love this, and i hope the message goes viral PDQ.

  47. Caz said

    I have a great deal of respect for your words and your sentiment.

    It is interesting in this viral age that the cut and paste statement you have in your blog is very slightly but significantly different from the one I saw and did cut and paste. The one I had flipped the 97% and 3% the other way round and read as follows:

    Stupid cancer . . . Some of us want a new house . . . A new car . . . A new mobile phone . . . To lose weight . . . But someone battling cancer wants just one thing, to win the battle. 97% of my friends will re-post this, but 3% won’t. Let’s see who does. Please re-post this in honor of someone who lost their battle, or for someone fighting it now

    I don’t repost very often and only when I feel stongly about the subject. I have moved away from using my fb status very much and so only update when I feel it’s something important. Interestingly, a number of my friends that either are battling or have (for the time being) won that battle really appreciated the sentiment.

    I can’t help but see the positives in raising awareness and sparking thought provoking and eloquent blogs like yours.

    • wendy said

      Thanks for your input, Caz!!! I’ve yet to meet a fellow cancer patient who enjoys those, but there are all flavors and sizes of us, so it is entirely possible that there is a contingent. 😉

  48. Joanna said

    When I was fighting cancer people used to cut and paste and then tag me. I used to roll my eyes and respond with, “actually I have lots of wishes…”. I think sometimes it just makes people feel better about themselves. It was hard not to say this isn’t all about you. Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging people to use their own words.

    • wendy said

      ❤ Yes! Somehow, because you HAVE cancer, it's 'okay' to tag you. And, there is this sense of "oh pity the cancer peoples!" that just grates on my nerves. Support and love are good, but pity? I've never needed it.


      • Joanna said

        Exactly! I refused to make cancer the most important thing in my life, but there is a misconception that it should have been. Keep your pity and send me a note reminding me that I am more than my illness.

  49. Fat Gary said

    Love it.

  50. I, too dislike the copy and paste bullies. Your words were impactful, and it has spurred me to drop a line to a friend who is a 5 time survivor, and going through a tough time at the moment…after all, she doesn’t have facebook, so how can she see all the cut and paste thoughts from the 3% population?

    • wendy said

      hahaha–that made me snicker. Yes, how else would she know? And, I’m so pleased you dropped your friend a line–it means so. much. to us when we’re in the middle of it all.

  51. I’m sharing the hell out of this. I have been trying to think of the best way to discuss my intense dislike of those cut-and-paste “awareness” statuses, and my distaste for the insensitivity and laziness inherent in the use of them, and you have scooped me, beautifully.

    Thank you.

    • wendy said

      You know, it’s been an interesting day, and I’m finding so many people that just make me happy to read. Your blog is one of them, dude. Thanks.

      How awesome is your nic? whiskeypants. I enjoy them both. Although not always at the same time.

  52. Just a sympatico shout-out! Gawd, I hate this kind of social media tyranny…

    Love, your sister Grumbler. 😉

  53. […] post from a little c on those ubiquitous Facebook cut and paste and post on your status updates has resonated with […]

  54. nema24 said

    I Love this post! #truefact 🙂

  55. Patricia said

    Thank you for sharing YOUR WORDS…they truly are the words of many…I lost my husband
    after his 4 year heroic battle with a rare cancer…I truly learned the meaning of love, honor, truth,
    happiness, joy, sorrow and more in those years…And I certainly found out who were my heart
    friends and who were not.
    Keep sharing your words…I continue too.

    • wendy said

      Oh Patricia, I cannot imagine your loss. You really do find your friends in these situations and thank God we do, for they are such a wealth of support and strength. Thank you for sharing YOUR words today. ❤

  56. lisa daria said

    Powerful post – and completely agreed, if you are thinking of someone who is battling cancer contact them, show them, it’s a very long treatment process, a little human interaction goes a long way.

    • wendy said

      It really does, Lisa. It’s pretty amazing to see how many people share the same sentiment–and so very awesome. 😀

  57. Zee said

    I love that you are replying to each and every person that has commented. You’re surrounding yourself with love. Can’t get any better then that xo

    • wendy said

      aw, maan, I figure I damn well better–you guys cared enough to speak up, I am going to make sure you all feel heard. 😀

      You know, I like the way you said that–because I’ve felt surrounded by love ever since my diagnosis. Cancer sucks, but the amazing people I’ve met and the people who’ve touched me along the way have enriched my life in more areas than I can begin to articulate. It’s been a ride that I would not change for anything.

  58. Yes, Yes and Yes…. Thank you for saying this.. I am so tired of being made to feel bad because I wont cut and paste. Yes I’ve lost people, yes I’ve fought it ~ but using other people’s words wont make a bit of difference.

    Keep writing!! 🙂

    • wendy said

      Thank you! Yeah, when people try to guilt me into stuff, I get all bristle-y. Especially when it’s for something completely useless. grr.

  59. Jo said

    I was told i had breast cancer at the beginning of December 2011, I went in for surgery to have the lump and nodes removed, they took 45 lymph nodes out, and 5 of them had cancer. I went back yesterday for results, it wasn’t the news i wanted to hear. They didn’t get a clear enough margin, so now i have a choice, do i go in again for more surgery for them to try and remove the cancer again, or do i opt for a full mastectomy with reconstructive surgery at the same time. One minute i think yes i will have a full mastectomy, then i won’t have cancer anymore, then i think well maybe i will let them operate again to see if they can get it that way, but what if they don’t, it’s easy for people to say yes have it taken off completely, but they are not the ones with this decision its me, and if i am honest i have no clue, what to do..I am so confused, people keep saying your a strong person, then why do i feel as though i can not make a decision, i do not feel strong..I feel weak, i have children, they want to operate again on my sons 13th birthday, i have said no not that day, my 16 year old’s son was spoiled because of this and i can’t spoil another child’s birthday, but then again i do not want to risk of it spreading anywhere else. I just want to talk to someone who has been through what i am going through now to try and make sense of these feelings i am having it seems nobody understands..

    Jo x

    • wendy said

      Oh, Jo. I have BEEN there. I have. In the beginning, you have so much information thrown at you, and you have to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life when you’re in NO EMOTIONAL STATE to make important decisions. I remember all those horrible days and nights when I was trying to decide my course of action. I know you feel weak and not strong or brave–I felt that way, too. I waffled back and forth between my options, too. Every option you have right now sucks, and it really is hard to talk to people about it who haven’t been there. (but, you came to the right place–my sidebar of blog links is full of freaking amazing women who’ve been right where you are, some have moved through it, and some are still fighting. None of us want to be a cancerchick, but I don’t know a single one who isn’t made of steel on the inside. You have it, too–you’ll find it. I know it doesn’t feel that way right now, but it’s there.)

      I know you don’t want to spoil your son’s birthday, but girl–we all want to make sure that you’re around for all his other birthdays, and I can guarantee that he would feel that way, as well. (and if it really does bother you–and I know from experience that it can be the little things that make or break our days–then, ask them to do the surgery the day AFTER. You have cancer dammit, tell your doc you want to eat cake with your kids.) ❤

      I'm going to send you my email, sweetie. You feel free to use it anytime you need to.

      • Joanna said

        Jo, that was me in 2010. I found the tumor on my anniversary! Everyone makes it sound so simple. Just have the mastectomy and you can quit worrying was the advice I heard over and over from friends who hadn’t been there, but the truth is that there isn’t a simple solution. It isn’t going to be easy no matter what you choose. My decision to have the full mastectomy wasn’t because I was strong, it was because I was out of options. I was and am no braver than any woman has to be to beat this. My children were 9, 6 and 1 when I had my surgery and began chemo. The last year was so hard, but cancer didn’t spoil their birthdays. It just helped them see what really matters. I still carry some guilt over how much I missed this past year, but I am so very grateful that we still have many years together. I’m so sorry that you have to do this. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  60. […] discussed the Facebook cut and paste phenomenon here, and I have mentioned one of the many versions of the following Facebook forward before, but […]

  61. Kate said

    Thank you for this. It’s so true. Eight months ago my chemo ended and my hair was just growing back. And like you, I had many wishes while I was out doing.

    • wendy said

      YES. I don’t want anyone to make the mistake of whittling us down to just ONE wish. That’s an assumption no one ever needs to have. xxx

  62. Jo said

    Thank you all, You have helped me more than you will ever know, i needed to hear all the things you said, people keep saying its only a boob.. To be honest that makes me want to smack them, my breast care nurse rang me last week and when i told her i was in bed, she said to me, “you what you are in bed, you have only had a breast operation” i was too stunned to reply to this, but i have put in a complaint about her to pals service, as i thought this was rude and so uncalled for. I think being here with you all , will help me with the decisions i have to make as you all understand and know where i am at the moment, so for that i thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤

    Jo xx

    • wendy said

      You’re so welcome, Jo. Check my sidebar out for some amazing breast cancer blogs–and check their sidebars out to find even more. There is a fantastic support network out here. I hope you have better luck with your next nurses! I have been extremely lucky in the medical professional arena–the nurses at Decatur General are flipping ANGELS. I loved those women. I hope you get some Angel contact during your next foray. xxx

  63. Miss Due said

    writing my words: i am thinking of u…we have to fight and stop pasting 🙂

  64. Lorraine said

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤

  65. Thanks for saying what I always felt in my heart to be true but never had the guts to say. My grams survived breast cancer at 86 years old and is now 95 and still cancer free and kicken ass. My husband Adam, his mother fought cancer for many, many year but lost the fight last December. I’ve never reposted those sayings because I felt it was so cheap, like the words I wanted to say honor my husbands mother who died and my grams who survived, those words to say about them and all we went through we’re much more personal and real than cut and paste.

  66. Alie said

    Holy crap, dude! 861 FB shares!

  67. Lynne said

    I just lost my dad to cancer. When we found out last May, we all wondered how it would end. He was given 3 months to live…..he lived for 7. Those last 4 months were a gift. He was 79 and full of life, but he didn’t want to live in a bed with his body failing him…needing oxygen tubes to get a breath. When he made that final flight to get to the place where he could die surrounded by family, he kept his dignity. Even when the TSA agents pulled him up out of his wheelchair….something that usually made him pass out, he kept his dignity and did what was demanded of him. He was propped up in the living room on Christmas Day…and all of us were there. Being the oldest, I was most concerned with all the grandkids sapping the little bit of energy he had. I wanted him to go to bed, but he insisted on staying in the midst of the family. He knew this was his last time with them.
    We knew, as well. He passed away the next night, with Mom by his side as he took his last breath. I haven’t even accepted his death because living here in California, so far away, I can envision his smiling face as if he was still kicking around on the golf course. I envision him getting off a plane with Mom, coming to visit me here in San Diego.
    It will hit me. Just not now.

    • Jo said

      This made me cry, I know everyone says time is a good healer not what you need to hear right now, but I am thinking of you and sending you the biggest hug you can imagine. Keep your memories alive of him, talk of him daily, sounds to me that your dad was one brave person, i would be very proud to be like him.

      Love Jo x

    • wendy said

      oh Lynne, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad your Mum was with him, I cannot think of anything more precious than to be next to the person I love most in that situation. I will keep you in my thoughts and heart–I know they say time heals, but that’s very little consolation at the moment. The time we have in this world with the people we love feels so short sometimes, but you’re right about days being a gift. Thank you so much for sharing. xx

  68. Deb said

    I truly Loved this!! Every bit of it. Those cut & paste statuses drive me crazy, and I’ve posted about that myself. My aunt is a cancer warrior too…metastatic breast. She also has a blog with many followers. She puts a lot of effort into research. There is so much out there about the “little c” that it can make your head spin!
    I was happy to share this link today 🙂
    Thank you!!

  69. Elizabeth said

    I don’t know you, but I know I’d like you. Thank you for writing this and for articulating something that has been bugging me for a long time.

    I hope that 2012 brings you continued wellness, joy and love.

  70. Margaret Evans said

    I can’t agree with your more.. Words from one person to another mean allot more than a re-post.. If you love someone tell them. If you want someone to know your proud, tell them. I could go on and on. If I don’t copy and past it don’t mean I don’t support the cause, I tell others how I feel and it comes from my heart. If others don’t like it don’t go to my wall.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts I love them..

  71. My sister-in-law unfriended me on FB because I said something very similar last year because these messages really annoy the sh*t out of me. Her mother and father died from cancer and she is forever posting this tripe. I got fed up seeing it – not only from her but from several other people – and went on a ranty-rant about it and she called our mother-in-law, bitched at her about how “unsensitive” I am and then unfriended AND blocked me on FB. Then our mother-in-law decided to tell me what a horrible person I was because of that. Okay … yes, I got sick of seeing it on HER status, but it wasn’t directed solely at her. I told Mother-in-Law that Sister-in-law is not the center my universe and she needed to get over herself. Almost two years later, she’s still not talking to me – online or in person. No big loss in my life. Honestly.

    I totally sympathize with the cancer survivors. If I could personally kick cancer’s ass, I would. As it stands, I give whatever money I can to organizations that make a difference, organizations that use funds to pay the daily bills of cancer patients. I’ve even sent money directly to friends that I know are going through a tough time. Every little bit helps. Every good thought helps. Every prayer helps.

    • wendy said

      I hate that you had to deal with family drama because of FB. That bit sucks. But, oh yeah. I think there would be a fairly long line of us wanting to get a few hits in on cancer if we could. 😉 Thanks for dropping by and sharing. x

  72. Beth said

    Completely awesome!! Now if someone can eradicate the beyond asinine FB breast cancer “games” I will truly be in heaven!! Feel good and well done!!!

  73. Chris said

    Lovely post! I’ve never reposted that thing you’re talking about because a dear friend of mine survived leukemia and I always thought a FB repost seemed trite compared to what she went through. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful.

  74. YES! Thanks so much – my sentiments entirely, but had been just too lazy to put them down. Fabulous to have an instant rebuff to insensitive status-seekers on FB.

    Wishing you absolutely all the best.

    Katy x x x

    • wendy said

      Thanks, Katy!!! Hee. I love that people are using this as a rebuff to the cut and pastes. I feel like I just performed a public service. hehehehe. xx

  75. Susie W. said

    I couldn’t agree more with the points you’ve made in this post! So many people copy and paste those FB posts. Most of those people have no idea what cancer patients/survivors “wish” for or fight for. Our nephew Matthew fought leukemia (and fought hard!) for 18 months. He was the bravest 18 year old I’ve ever known. He died in May of 2010, and it’s still so hard to accept his passing. I’ve done several posts on my own blog, about Matthew and about childhood cancer. I just had to speak up and be heard!
    Thank you SO much for providing such a powerful message!
    Wishing you all the best…and a big hug!

    • wendy said

      There are so many of us who’ve lost someone we loved–and it’s always too soon, I think. I am sending you and your family my very best Susie. Coping with a loss like that is nearly unimaginable. ((())) back at you. x

  76. […] https://alittlec.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/use-your-words/ […]

  77. Donna peach said

    Nothing more to add except kudos to you for an excellent message about these meaningless FB posts. Love and hugs, Donna Peach

  78. fasi1 said

    u r a sensational writer . .

  79. Just three words: I TOTALLY AGREE.

    Glad to have stumbled upon your blog =)


    When you get a chance, let’s have a chat please.

    Great, great post.

  81. dee dee deeken said

    I apologize for the above comment….a 16 year old teen-ager who thought he was being funny posted that with my name attached.

  82. thank you, thank you, thank you

  83. Michelle said

    I just want to thank you for this post. All through my father’s fight with lung cancer (which he ultimately lost last October), I saw people posting this sort of thing and it made me angry. I’m sure everyone expected ME to post it as I was dealing with my father’s fight. But every time this trite message came up it just made me more and more angry. I never responded because I’m sure they’d think I was ungrateful for the selfishness of their “donating” their FB message to such things.

  84. Raul said

    So, my good friend @AlexisHinde shared this post with me, and I’m going to have to say I disagree and agree with you. I disagree that sharing the meme is bad (or at least, it seems as though that’s how you are portraying it – I may be misinterpreting too). It makes people think, I believe. It made ME think. I cringed at the thought of sharing it (it’s come through my stream about 2,434 times, I hate memes in and of themselves, and despite this, I shared it once). But in the end, I thought “this has come through my stream so many times, maybe I should share it ONCE, to say that I stand in solidarity”.

    I agree that it’s our words that those afflicted with cancer need to hear. Some of us are gifted with our writing, some are not. Those who don’t feel they are gifted with amazing, beautiful writing, often choose to pass on the meme. Don’t be so harsh on them. Particularly, not when the meaning and intention is good.

    And I also want to say that cancer sucks. I have lost several relatives and dear friends to cancer: my Mom’s sisters (one of them, my second mother in fact), my grandmother, and one of my very best friends (this past year, no less). So while I have not been afflicted with cancer, I have been affected by cancer and I am still grieving my losses. And sometimes, I too have felt I have no words to say how sorry I am that cancer continues to take so many amazing people away from us.

    Stay strong. Loved this post.

    • Please do not take this the wrong way, but until it is *you* that has cancer, sometimes it is difficult to understand why it’s so insulting. It’s hurtful. It really and truly is. To suggest that the only thing, the only wish I have, is to find a cure for my cancer is diminishing the rest of my life, the rest of my existence. I have so many hopes and dreams. To say that a cancer patient only has one wish is to define a person by the disease they have, not who they are.

      You say it made you think, and that’s great. For you. But the other problem with these memes is that they suggest that anyone who doesn’t repost is a bad person, or doesn’t care. That stings. To suggest that we, who are going through it, don’t care about awareness or a cure is also insulting. Obviously we *do* care – a great many of us spend hours a day trying to educate others and raise awareness. We blog, we raise money for the foundations and groups that we know have truly helped other patients.

      And one needn’t be “gifted with words” to simply let someone know they’re thinking of them. The things that always help me are the notes that say exactly that – “Thinking of you,” or “Hugs,” or even just “I love you.” There’s no need for flowery prose. There’s no need for Pulitzer quality writing.

    • wendy said

      Hey Raul–thanks for dropping by and adding your opinion to the mix!! Playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ takes some strength. 🙂 I like that you both agree and disagree with us. It shows your heart is in the right spot. But, I do agree with Kerry–we much prefer to hear “I’m thinking of you.” to seeing someone else’s assumptions about what we feel. And, we do totally agree on that last bit. cancer does suck.

      Thanks again.x

  85. Sue A. said

    Thank you for those wise words. I, too, have lost too many too this scourge. But I do not like being “bullied” into copying and pasting these blurbs. I will remember your words and try to reach out to individuals more often. Take care.

  86. Rene said

    My God you nailed this! I am sharing this like a mo-fo. You are a warrior princess.

  87. Balinnor said

    I totally agree with your message. I am a survivor of bladder cancer and I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I finally had enough all clear tests to go to only having a cystoscopy (it is spelled right, I checked) once a year. Every time I see one of these 97% of you won’t post this or that, I cringe. If it is something that I actually support I will leave a comment and tell the person that I support them, however I don’t cut and paste. If it is something I do not feel strongly about, I ignore. It is amazing, but interestingly enough no one has stopped being my friend for not cutting and pasting a viral status.

    • wendy said

      I’ve learned to tune a lot of things out, and as I mentioned up thread, people have finally stopped sending ME those things, so my FB life is much less stressful. Hey, I am glad to see the word “survivor” up there. That’s awesome. I know how antsy we all get around check time, but I also get kind of proud of us for going back every time–because we are not ostriches. Here’s to many more years of clean test results. xxx

  88. FireRose said

    I LOVE every word you wrote here!! I will read more of your blog later, when I can digest it in smaller bits (easier to let my temper simmer if you lampoon idiocy half as much as I think you will).

    However, hopefully with your full blessings, I will share the living SHIT outta this post!! I HATE HATE HATE those passive aggressive “cut/paste” support messages. All they do is make people think they are doing something in support of a cause, when really – an email to a cancer fighter (also hate the word victim there… another rant), time/monetary donation to animal shelters, child abuse centers, domestic violence shelters… the list goes on… would be a better way to support a cause.

    The ONLY copy/paste crap that infuriates me more are the “this child is missing/dying/lost”, “This company supports animal abuse”, “OMGWTFBBQ – this person is a rapist!” posts that people put up, without doing even the most basic of checking. My Mother (curses to her name) copied one – it even said it had been checked by Snopes!! But, lo and behold, 5 seconds + google – it was a hoax and used to ruin a persons Identity! GGGGRRRRR…… time to go kill dragons to blow off righteous indignation!

    • wendy said

      Yeah, I was never a fan before I got cancer, but after I got cancer? Flamey, flamey hate. You share away. 😀 Also, hi.

  89. FireRose said

    aaaannnnndddddd – this is what I wrote on my own FB… Feel free to all who read it to borrow liberally – or in whole!

    This is for ALL the people out there who copy/paste cancer survivor shame-memes, domestic violence shame-memes, animal abuse shame-memes, and ALL OTHER shame-memes (ya know the ones – only 3% of the people who read this will post their support of cancer victims… will you be one of them?). THAT CRAP DOES NOTHING.

    You want to know what does?

    –Send a message on FB to someone you know who is fighting cancer – or their SO, parent, child. Tell them you are thinking of them and praying they will win the fight. Make them cookies. Make them soup. Babysit, so they can go to a doctor appointment. Go out to the movies with them. Take someone to the doctor appointment, or shopping, or to the hairdresser – give them and their family some time off or normalcy! DON’T – DON’T say you are going to shave your head in support – way to shove the illness in their face again…

    –Donate some dog/cat food to the local animal shelter – they need it!! Or better yet, find an animal that you love (for me it is ferrets or rat-kins) and locate a rescue – send them some money, make a donation of time, offer to donate something to the vet bills (those can be in the 1000’s of $$$!!).

    –Locate your cities domestic violence shelter and buy up a crap ton of single use toiletries and donate them. Go through your closet, donate work clothes for interviews or new jobs – so these women/families can get back on their feet. Hell, if it is allowed – stop by and offer to help babysit, so some of the mothers can go get a shower or coffee…

    –Volunteer your time at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. That’s a great way to help with abused, mistreated or underprivileged kids!

    Basically, instead of copying and pasting some inane bit of drivel that someone else wrote, and thinking it gives you a get out of jail free card in the caring human department – use your own words or actions – it will mean a HELL of a lot more!

  90. I LOVE this. And I could not possibly agree with you more.

  91. Martha said

    Well said.

  92. Elle said

    Love this! This has always been a huge Facebook pet peeve of mine. Don’t insinuate that I don’t love my sister, mother, father, brother or dog, hate cancer or child abuse because I am one of the supposed 3% that won’t be guilted into sharing a status. Love how eloquently snarky you are!

    • wendy said

      Yeah, they’ve been a peeve of my for a very long time, as well. I hate when people try to make me feel guilty. Thank you!!

  93. Stephanie Caruso said

    Hey lady! Observations from an overworked momma here! I’m trying to figure out to do the FB thing…try this…https://www.facebook.com/stefanicaruso

  94. Carrie Dinwiddie said

    I couldn’t agree more. I hate those Facebook meme’s about as much as I do chain mail in my inbox. I have forwarded junk when I was younger and I have to confess I have copied and pasted some junk as well, but it is very sad to compare my wish to lose weight or a new camera to say the prayer I was praying when my husband was fighting cancer ten years ago. I will always say he is in an elite group called Cancer Survivors and nothing compares to that. It’s like me giving birth to my four babies, he will never know what I have been through and unless it happens to me, I’ll never fully know what he went through with his cancer. Very well said and I shared it, on facebook none the less.

  95. I just shared this on my Facebook wall (is it ironic that I used your words? Seriously, I’m not sure I could have improved on them myself!). Every time I see this meme (which has been about 595958348 times now) I wonder, “does wanting more than one thing mean I DON’T in fact have cancer?”

    Great blog, btw … I think I’ll follow it! 🙂

  96. Excuse my language, but this post – and you – are fucking tremendous. I don’t have cancer so I can’t even pretend to begin to understand – but I am HIV+ and the last two years were complete and utter hell. But as I read your post, I found myself nodding in agreement. During this fight to live, it was never a *wish* – it was a fight, and an effort, and choice of one foot in front of the other against all odds, and an action to master my situation and live with it from today through to tomorrow. To *wish* myself well seems complacent to me.

    Your post is so jarringly brilliant, I am at a loss for words (which rarely happens), so I will just say thank you and send my virtual applause across the line. I am a better man for having read it. Thank you.

    • wendy said

      Micael–you’ve left me with a big dopey grin on my face. Thank you for your kind words, which totally made my night. It IS a fight, we both have done it–different illnesses, but a fight just the same, and anyone who tries to diminish that is talking out of their ass.

  97. wcg1670 said

    perfectly put…with inner strength and class


  98. Brandie said

    I agree one hundred percent Cristin. Telling Grandma I loved her, in her last days had so much more impact than spouting it on FB.

    Be there. Support. Love them. That is really all anyone wants….

  99. Staci Carey said

    I am a 3 time survivor of brain, cervical and ovarian….I freekin hit a wall before my next testing at Mass Gen and freeked out over the “the latest cancer game on FB” . I felt disgusted, how dare they ” support the cause my “lol, hey I got amsterdam thats so funny” Not to me it isnt….I can’t take it…good for you just good for us

  100. I read this, then wrote a note to my uncle, so…yeah. Thank you.

  101. I found this on a link from a friend on FB! As a busy overworked mother of 4 I have a highly developed “guilt gland” As a result of this I will admit I have done the copy and paste thing,but you have made me think about how demeaning that is! I post daily on FB usually stupid little things that make me laugh but I never but anything to deep on there! Perhaps I should rethink and really “use my words” Who knows if I may reach out to someone else??xxxx

  102. […] read three blog posts this week (Use Your Words; I’m Going to Your Mum’s PLace for 22 Months; Stupid Facebook “Breast Cancer […]

  103. […] discuss stuff here when it comes up, and I am more than happy to be your go-to example for a survivor’s perspective on email forwards or C&P’s on Facebook…but, […]

  104. Leslie said

    I came here through Schmutzie’s Five Star Friday. This is a fabulous post. Just awesome!
    I can’t wait to post it on Facebook. 🙂

  105. Mossy said

    Blindly cutting and pasting shows little or no thought, and I’m stuffed if I’m going to do so. You’re right, honey, I’d rather seek someone out and give them the words, for real, in person, AND MEAN THEM.
    Highlight, copy, paste to a word document, that’s how kids in schools get to be deemed clever and you wonder if they have actually THOUGHT about what it is they’re presenting to Sir as their own work, while reaping A* grades left right and centre.
    Likewise, all these repetitive statuses on Facebook that are copied blindly by people. Put there merely as an unthinking reaction which quite frankly, after they’ve appeared on my home page several times, just sound tacky and twee. They don’t come across as heartfelt appeals which have been considered intelligently.
    I lost a beautiful friend to cancer on 23rd August 2010, a brain tumour. I had an overwhelming urge to ring her a couple of weeks before she died- not ‘I think I’ll ring Vanessa for a chat,’ there was something more urgent driving me. I’m glad I did call her, it was the last time we spoke.
    That’s how you tell people with life shattering illnesses that you are still thinking about them, not on Facebook.
    Long may you be free of cancer, kid, don’t let life pass you by now you got yours back, MAKE LIFE HAPPEN 🙂

  106. Warner said

    I lost my wife to cancer a little over two years ago, and never participate in those memes. I believe that she, like you, would have found them shallow and a bit ridiculous. Not only that, but I can’t help but think when her mom posts those messages and I don’t that her family will think I have forgotten her. Just another reason why I hate all those “I know my true friends will…” posts.

  107. Chad in Tacoma Wash. said

    I really respect your intellect and point of view. You rock! Your the kind of person I love hangin out with cause you liven up any situation (strangers not knowing your situation).I also have a first hand look into your world. My dad passed on in ’06 from cancer as a result of asian orange in Viet-Nam. It was a long battle. My Uncle Lennard goes in to have a tumor removed from his lung tomarrow, and he only has 1 lung. His Brother George, (my other Uncle) Is getting a tumor removed from his prostate on the 14th of next month. Yeah, I see it every day! I even got a “I Love Boobies” bracelet just because I do love em. I love you for fighting and spreading awareness through guided conversation. Slick move little lady. Kudos to you!

  108. […] Posts & Pages Use your words1 down, 7 to goThe Good Stuff.I want to name this post "Winning!", but I think Charlie Sheen has […]

  109. John R. said

    In addition to the fact that I resent being publicly “blackmailed” into spamming Facebook with the “Stupid Cancer” status, lest I reveal myself to be cold-hearted and unconcerned about cancer, I also find the phrase “stupid cancer” to be incredibly childish. Seriously, what fully-functioning adult still uses “stupid” as an adjective to express dislike?

  110. […] Posts & Pages Use your wordsTwisty Knickers!!If life gives you lemons, make sure you've got some vodka in the freezer, because […]

  111. Cyndi Werner said

    I am hurting for the cancer victims. Shelton Horton ( Grandpa) to Hans and Heidi and my Sister in law, both lost their lives to cancer. We are deeply saddened. Please keep up the good fight! These deaths were very recent! Grandpa in 2011 and Theresa my sistet in law 2012. Please know you are loved!

    • wendy said

      Cyndi, I am beyond sorry for your losses–especially ones to raw and recent and fresh. I have so much hope that one day, no one will know what it’s like to lose someone they love. All my very best to you and your family. ❤

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