ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- Finding the words to comfort a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer can be difficult. There are boundaries and limits some people tend to ignore or are not even aware of. An Atlantic Beach man decided to blog about the do's and don'ts after his wife of 40 years, Laurie Piscitelli, was diagnosed with breast cancer on August 19, 2015. He aims to help teach others what you likely should and should not say or do to someone battling cancer.
During Laurie's fight, the Piscitellis relied on support from family and friends, a tight network that included people not so sure how to help.
"The do's were the folks that listened to Laurie's story and did not make it about their story," said Steve Piscitelli.
The don'ts include saying things like "It could be worse," "I know how you feel," or "I need more specifics."
"Telling someone it could be worse, while definitely there's always something I guess worse, that's not helpful," said Piscitelli.
The couple decided not to post about Laurie's diagnosis or journey on Facebook but says someone else took it upon themselves to do it for them. That's a don't.
"I reached out to the person immediately and I said listen I know there's a digital tattoo here but I would love for you to delete that post," said Piscitelli. "We'll post when we are ready."
He says everyone reached out with good intentions but some missed the mark.
Piscitelli suggests people keep in mind, "It's not about you. It's about the person with cancer."
Things you should say include, "I can't imagine how you feel" and "know that I am here for you."
Laurie Piscitelli who is now on the recovery side of things and doing well, advises others to, "listen, be there, hug."