The Good Patient...
In psychology we have a term called, "the double-bind". The slang for this is a "Catch 22" or "you're damned if you do, and damned you don't".
One example of a double-bind might be your boss telling you that you're overstepping your role too much when you've made too many decisions without him, then after you back off you get a bad annual review because you don't go above and beyond.
We see double-bind every day in the tabloids, when some botoxed former child star is "fading away" when you see her ribs in a bikini, then is "out of control" after she gets a double chin and is chowing down at an In N' Out.
The point, is, there's no winning here, and everyone faces double-binds at one time or another. Some we put on ourselves. But imagine when you're facing a life-threatening illness. It's like trying to diffuse a ticking-time-bomb and different people are shouting, "Snip the red wire and leave the rest! No, snip all the others EXCEPT the red wire! The red wire is the BOOM wire!" For cancer peeps, EVERY wire is a boom wire. The things that supposedly cure cancer are the same things that cause it.
Every choice we make to save our lives is a wrong one if you listen to too many people. Perhaps this is why so many cancer patients are so private about it. Gosh, even other cancer peeps become part of the problem.
So what do we do?
The key here is FIRST recognizing that this person is already under a lot of stress. And be very sparing with your advice, especially...ESPECIALLY if you've never had cancer. Even if advice is asked of you, consider whether your advice would be helpful. **Also, share what's worked for you. Sharing personal experience is almost always more helpful**.
What would be also be more helpful? Say this: "You got this! You're strong. You're smart. You're going to figure this out."
Then leave it at that. Put it down, walk away. Don't. Say. Another. Word.