The Value of Lending Support While Avoiding Comparisons

“My friend had the same type of cancer as you and she just ran a marathon.”

“My cousin had that and passed away in three months.”

“I went through that and nobody could help me and it took me years to feel better.”

We’ve all made statements like those and we’ve all heard the same from other people. While they are often meant well, comparing your situation to someone else can actually make them feel worse. Then they start comparing themselves to you.

“Because gray clouds hang heavy with misery, blue skies seem bluer.”

? Richelle E. Goodrich

Every situation is different and developing comparisons can make someone feel bad about not being healthy sooner or it could unnecessarily make them scared for their future.

It’s ok to relate to someone battling sarcoma or cancer, but think twice about how your wording may be perceived.  Instead of saying “My sister went through that too and she’s fine” maybe think about how you can lend an ear, put your friend in touch with your sister so they can offer each other support or share stories about her experience without acting as if it is the exact same.

Sarcoma is such a rare disease, especially in adults so comparing circumstances can be even more off-putting for patients and caregivers. Let’s think about how we can lend support, not guilt or gloom. Let’s think about how we can tell our stories so others realize they are not alone. Let’s remember that every person is different, every disease is different and every situation is different. 


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