My Ovacome
10,069 members12,423 posts

"AT LEAST" ?????

Hiya, just want to have a little rant about something that gets up my nose.It's those two little words AT LEAST.What is it that whenever some people utter these words ,they feel they are saying something constructive or helpful to make you feel better.When in actual fact it leaves me thinking... "what "? I'm not talking about our loved ones or family here , they seem to know what to say, when to say it or even keep their gob shut .Yesterday, I popped in to see my pals at work,good friends who are delighted to see me and immediately surround me .So ,there we were having a group hug when a" colleague"(I'm not that close to this person) was passing and asked how I was ."I'm having a good day thanks."To which she replied ."Glad to hear it ,AT LEAST you are fit and well and manage to get out and about."....Aaaaargh!!!

And what about this one from my boss when I was having my chemo ...

"Awe well...AT LEAST you are not throwing up and losing weight, some people look ill when they're on chemo." Eeegads !! I was lost for words...

Another episode recently was in the supermarket , I saw ,coming towards me someone, a noseyparker, someone I hav'nt seen for years ,so I thought she won't recognise me.(well I am wearing my new bumfluff, grey hair regrowth, no hats or wigs for me ,they make me scratch and that ain't a good look when I'm ogling the salmon on the fish counter.) Oh God...She spotted me and shouted ,yes shouted.

"Eeeeh ! what have you been doing to your hair?."!!.....I really wanted to say "What the ####'s it got to do with you ?" But no , I kept my composure,I kept on walking and pushing my trolley until I was level with her and said "I haven't been too well lately " then walked past her.I could hear her stupid brain ticking over to find something else to say, then it came.....I knew what was coming...."AT LEAST it suits you Suzanne"...She didn't even get my name right ( It's Susan,close ,but not right)

I wanted to turn back and thwack her over the head with my bargain of the week ,a half price joint of pork that I will keep for Christmas,to good to waste on her skull anyway.......So.... that's my rant for today...

Im typing those two little words in capitals as I know that whenever I'm chatting to someone and I hear those words, AT LEAST ,,I think UH-OH.....Here it comes.....

It's laughable really...

Don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for people who don't know what to say . Believe me I've been there a million times over the years and I shudder to think that I'm probably guilty of the said offence . But I see and hear things in a different perspective now .Cancer does funny things to you and I know that sometimes it's better to say nothing at all.....AT LEAST for now.....

Phew I feel better for that

Best wishes

Suzieque xxxxx

17 Replies

Oh Suzieque,

You have made my day, laugh I nearly wet myself LOL LOL LOL.

I was having an "off" day, (oncol on Fri and dreading it) but you have come into my life and blown all the dark clouds away.

Thank you for that, Have you ever thought about writing a book LOL LOL.

So glad that you have got it all off your chest, hope you feel better for it.

So glad that the "Pork" is safe phew !!!

Have a good day, and thank you again. x x

Reply least you have us to rant to!

I. xx


Thanks suzieque!

I hate that too. All that "at least you look well" crap! As if I should feel guilty for not giving in! Your tales made me laugh! And laughter is good for us!


Hi Suzique, you,ve made my day im laughing my head off!!! Good on you girl! AT LEAST(sorry had to do that ) you have the guts to say what you want Well done LOL Love Lynn XXXX


Hi Suzique, my best 'AT LEAST' was after being told my cancer was back a friend said' at least you've had a good life' not really tthe optimisttic comment I was expecting! love to you all Sue x


Hi Suzieque

That was inspirational, my worst AT LEAST was my dad when he heard that my PPC was back, "AT LEAST you are still smiling, long may that last" .

AT LEAST you made me chuckle this morning, thanks.



Yesss. Brilliant stuff, Sue. When people like your "friends" are getting up my nose I'll remember your post. You might enjoy Barbara Ehrenreich's "Smile or Die" (can we recommend books on here?) Why do we have to look on the bright side all the time? This desease is cr** and it's OK to think so from time to time. You go girl!



You have me ROFL - your post is so funny yet serious too. Tho I didn't need chemo after my op, I got lots of thoughtless comments like - well AT LEAST you don't need chemo!! No that is true but I HAVE HAD CANCER you idiots!!

I would never wish anyone ill but there have been times when I have wanted to say please take an hour of my day and see how you feel love.

Take care hun,



HI Suzique

I had to laugh at your post, I know exactly what you mean, I have had some really silly comments off people, one that springs to mind though was quote" AT LEAST you won't notice when you lose your hair" reply .... "how do you work that one out?"....."because it is allready light " (in colour) .... Ho that's allright then ha! ha!

Best wishes Gwyneth xx


Hi Susan

AT LEAST we have all had a good laugh this morning!!!

I do think though that a lot of people don't know what to say and thet are almost damned if they do and damned if they don't to get what they say right.

Keep smiling!




hi suzi.

i cant stop laughing you have made my day. i now what you are going through,

i am 12 years post opp, and i felt as though i had to expain myself to everone. why should i explain why i got this. i am new to this site and find all you ladies out there an inspiration. AT LEAST i,m here to tell the tale. lol

love nana flo xx


Yes , It's that "you look so well" comment (with or without the "at least" ) that really gets to me. It is as if somehow you are a fraud and you can't have stage 4 inoperable recurring cancer if you are continuing to look healthy. ( I don't bother to explain that nerve damage and immune system damage are detectable only to me) I have even had comments like "you must be taking a health tonic " - yes I'll pop a little carboplatin into your delicious creamy coffee right now . I'm sure it will make you feel simply wonderful. AT LEAST we can all have a laugh at this .


Hi Suzieque

You have such a good slant on things. I also keep getting the same type of comments and I just smile sweetly and agree.............whimp that I am. Why do people think that we should look unwell just because we have this terrible illness hanging over us. A hair wash and a bit of make up works wonders. Thanks for making me laugh.

Chris x


Hi girls, laugh have I - your comments were all so uplifting to read because we can all relate to one another with the `At Least` comments and the `you look so well comments.`

When I first told close friends and family members that I had cancer, obne of the first things they asked was NOT is it cureable, treatable or how bad is it. It was "Will you lose your hair", I felt like saying good god who cares about that? When I told them I would indeed lose my hair one person said "At least you won`t have a bad hair day", it didn`t matter about `bad anything else day` . Some one else saud "At least it won`t take you so long to get ready", `Get ready for WHAT?` And someone else even said "At least it won`t cost much on shampoo".

THINK, THINK,THINK, people do NOT, no excuses for them simply because they don`t know what else to say, then say NOTHING a hug would do and an offer to do the shopping, ironing or bake a cake would be nice.

No one offered to do bugger all. We should all get together and make a book top tips what to say to your friend with cancer!!!

What do you say girls can we crack it? I think we could.

Love to you all - keep sharring and keep ranting - we can up lift each others spirits.

I just want to add, it was my mother-in-laws 8oth birthday party on the day of one of my chemo sessions, after a long day at the hospital and well - you girls know how I was feeling by the time I got home. I crawled into my bed and slept 14 hours round the clock. My husband went along to show his face just for half an hour while a friend sat in with me. My brother-in-law asked where I was, hubby explained and he said "well, she could have made an effort", would loooove to hear your feed back on that one ladies.

Love from Tina XXXX



Yes! You are soooooo right! But I'm afraid to say I had this from some family members too and this has had a huge impact on those relationships. My mum said to me once "she just knew I was going to be OK" wow, she must be pretty clever given that my oncologist wasn't even sure!!!!!!! Can you believe that one so called friend said to me that she didn't think of my illness as "real cancer". After the 3 lots of surgery and chemo it certainly felt real to me!!!

Sadly some people don't really know what to say and do for the best - these people really ought to be taught to keep their thoughts to themselves! But this is just the way life is isn't it!

All the best and I look forward to reading your next rant,

Tina - the book idea would be great!

Joelle x


So good to know that we can rant here if nowhere else. well done Suzique! You've made all laugh even though we've all had these experiences too. I actually had a friend say that it was just as well she'd not made it down to see me 'that' weekend 'cos she was feeling so down that she'd have talked me into a suicide pact! What the #"£& made her think I wanted to die?!!!? People can be so insensitive and just don't know what to say - probably best not to say anything then. I like the book idea

Eleni x


I had such a laugh at your post but actually felt glad that it is not just me who feels like that.

I think I have taken most comments in my stride and feel that people are just (mostly) trying to say the right thing. However my worst, I think because it came from a really good friend, was this.

Having lost my husband exactly a year before I was diagnosed, and my daughter having moved abroad, she said "Just remember there are lots of people worse off than you". I was speechless which was just as well as I might have said something I would have regretted.

I can feel myself getting wound up again just writing this but I have never dared repeat it to anyone for fear of seeming sorry for myself.

People seem to expect that when you have these dramas in life you should suddenly become this strong, positive, uncomplaining person who should just get on with things.

Glad at last to have got that off my chest. You are all so right that a rant does you good.

Suzique, you go girl!



You may also like...