What to Say (or WTF Not to Say) #6

This week, I posted some of the What to Say (or Not to Say) graphics on The Huffington Post and boy oh boy did the comments fly!

There were quite a few questions about why I focused on FBC (f-bomb breast cancer for new readers) rather than on cancer as a whole. Well, the simple answer is that FBC is the FC (f-bomb cancer) that I had and can therefore speak to directly. However, I know all too well from my experience as a nurse that many of these statements are applicable across the cancer continuum. Indeed.

Oh, the other thing that is worth reiterating: every person’s experience is different. Kind of an obvious statement, I know. These suggestions are just that: suggestions. And gentle suggestions at that!  When in doubt, I highly recommend asking your loved one what would be helpful to him or her.

My intent in sharing these “clouds” and “Silver Linings”is to build compassion (both for the patient AND the friend) and to illustrate behaviors and words that many cancer patients appreciate.

This one is a doozie that many readers have heard:

Anything that you’d like to share?  As always, I sure appreciate your feedback and input!

Leave a comment


  1. Sherri Horsley says

    Hi Hollye,
    I just found your Silver Linings and can already tell that this will be a daily visit. I just had my first round of chemo for Stage 3 breast cancer and have found such strength in the stories of how other women journey through this. Thank you for your efforts –

    • says

      Thank you so much for your kind note, Sherri. I sure do appreciate it and welcome you to The Silver Pen!
      All my best wishes as you begin chemo. Please keep me posted on your progress. Wishing you all the very, very best!

  2. DanaRae says

    Hollye, a friend shared your Huffington article, which led me to your website. It's clear what a blessing you are to many people. I look forward to visiting often.

  3. E.B. says

    Hollye, I read your post every morning before heading off to the office and on weekends (Pajama Days, yayyy!). I call it my MPCB Time (Morning Prayer, Coffee and Blog!), it sets a good tone for the rest of my day. I recently recommended your wonderful site (and emailed the link) to someone who has two family members dealing with cancer (one FBC, the other one lungs) and told her I wish your blog had been around when my Mom was going through her FBC. Your blog always inspires, informs, cheers up and, most important, reminds one to be GRATEFUL and APPRECIATE the good, the every day, simple, little blessings we so often take for granted. Like, Ms. Shapiro states, your blog is an "early morning blessing" I look forward to every day. You are a major Silver Lining in a lot of lives.