5 Things to Know before talking to someone with a tumor


Published on February 25th, 2014

I found out recently that I have a tumor in my liver. We now know it is benign! I have had an amazing out pouring of friend, family, and other support. After avoiding some and letting others in I have come up with this list of things you should know before talking to loved ones about their tumor whether it is benign, malignant, or unknown.

Cut the Cures

Pinterest is fabulous.
I love it.
I’m obsessed.
I pin clothes, decorations, recipes, and so forth. I have even looked up alkaline juices and such. However, please no matter how hard resist from sending the latest olive oil or natural CURE to a tumor. We know you mean well however, it is just not where our mind is at the moment and we may avoid you to make sure we don’t have to waste the little energy we have listening to you swear it will work if only we did it. We really want to say, “Really, did it cure your tumor?” Didn’t think so.

If you are insistent on your internet cure, how about buying the needed items and take it to them! We certainly want to see you during these times so make a stop at the store and then surprise us!

Positivity Overload

Go easy on the positive affirmations especially when the news is so new allow us to explore all possibilities. We will linger in positivity and then have moments of fear, all of which we need to vocalize. Please avoid cutting us off with a positive quote when we do discuss the negative side. We need to discuss but not dwell or live in that space so God forbid the results comes back as the “c” word we have already processed a little of the negativity and can move forward from that point instead of starting the shock, grieving, and scared process from scratch.

Not enough hydro

Tumors are very painful. This is not just something that is taking up space in your body and your organs and body have happily made way for this mass that should not exist, leaving you with zero discomfort or pain. Nope, quite the opposite. It’s losing sleep at night, can’t even make it through a simple wii game of Frisbee golf painful. Other moments, it’s just pressure, like a hand weight in my case on my side. So please let them clean, shop, or do anything they want when it’s “just” pressure and then let them curl up in the fetal position when it’s full blown pain and be there for both.

Walking Zombie

Tumors are draining. I can’t really tell you if it is the actual tumor or the emotional drain that makes this true. When I first found out about my tumor I had decent energy then during the first two days after finding out I was like a newborn taking long naps and even going to bed after only having been awake for no more than two hours. Don’t be concerned if we don’t text you right back or respond immediately to your Facebook message; we are sleeping.

State of Mind

What’s going through my mind? Well, here’s the best way to describe it for me.

Imagine that moment when your with your friends and one in a serious, no f-ing around tone says, “(Insert Your Name), don’t move. I’ll get it.” You know there is some icky creepy crawly thing on you and your mind has just gone to the dark side imaging the biggest, hairiest bug posed for attack. You remain still, thankful that your friend is risking his/her well-being to remove (or most likely smack off) this hideous creature. You think about running and screaming as you wildly jump around and head bang to remove the now record setting spider (in your mind) who has (again in your mind) just crawled into your hair.

THAT feeling is like having a tumor. You have something icky thing growing and living inside of you but none of your friends can smack you upside the head to get it off.

Bottom line, we need you. We need you to be there, bring food, send us a sweet text, call and leave a voicemail even though we may not call you back, cry when we cry, be tough when we are tough, and love us.



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About the Author

Meredith S

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