The C word – What not to say when someone has cancer

I know this is out of scope with the rest of my blog but I want to say something important. In September last year my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Whilst her cancer was aggressive it didn’t get a chance to spread. Mum has finished her treatment and whilst it’s still a 5 year wait till being able to say she is in remission all signs are good.

But how happy I am isn’t really the point of this post. This is more of a public service announcement. Over the course of my mum’s treatment she’s had people make some pretty ridiculous comments about cancer. So here’s a little list of what NOT to say to someone who has cancer:

  • my friend/relative/co-worker/person had cancer….they died

    You’d think people would be smart enough to not say this but they do! Don’t say this!

  • are you doing xxx treatment? My friend had xxx treatment. You should ask your Doctor about xxx treatment.

    Every cancer is different. There is no one stop shop for fighting cancer…that’s called a cure and it (unfortunately) doesn’t exist yet. My mum was treated by a team of doctors who knew their stuff don’t question what treatment a person with cancer gets.

  • don’t look at people who have cancer like they have the plague, they don’t

    You wouldn’t think this happens but people are weird. You can’t catch cancer (unless its genetic – so yay me) so don’t be scared of people with cancer. Unless you are sick, due to their treatment people with cancer often have very weak immune systems so if you are sick its very nice to stay away.

I never thought cancer would come to my family. Cancer isn’t fun so please be nice to the people who have it.


Informed Librarian Online: Going Mobile? The Answer Isn’t Always App-etising

It’s that time again! My latest A bit of bytes column is out! Here’s a little taste of what its about.

Person: What do you mean you don’t have an app???
Me: [groan]
Apps are everywhere. Whilst the excitement surrounding apps is understandable it doesn’t mean that you should jump out and hire an ‘IT guru’ or expensive design company to design an app for you. As library and information professionals it is vital that the first consideration is to the user, their behaviors/preferences and whether their needs will be met by an app. Because if they aren’t going to use it what’s the point?

In this month’s column I want to highlight some of the key considerations you should make prior to jumping on the app bandwagon. I also want to highlight the often forgotten alternative to the app, that is, mobile optimisation.

The full article is available for free throughout October. As always I strongly encourage you to subscribe. There’s a fantastic collection materials including my previous columns 🙂