Patients Breast cancer
Advice on how to tell people I have breast cancer
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I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with breast cancer I have not started any treatments yet still waiting on some more test results before I make my decision on what treatment I want to go with! Alot of people are now starting to figure out something is off with me so I'm trying to figure out how to tell people without it being to big of a deal
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@Fini123 I would recommend first analyzing how you feel... Do you feel like you need a lot of support? You want to gauge who (how many people) you tell and if you want it to remain between only those you tell... I wanted to keep it only between the special people in my life, but some of them told others (not their fault, I never expressed to them I wanted it to be only us) because they wanted me to have more support, etc. Which was fine and all looking back on it, but I would recommend you decide yourself who and how many people you want to know.
Also, do not be afraid to say I do not want to talk about that. Think about the topics and information you want thos you are telling to know... they will ask questions and knowing before hand how you want to manage the conversation will help. It seems small, but when in the midst of conversing, topics are brought up that can be emotionally draining, so thinking about them beforehand helps prepare you to deal with them emotionally.
Also, decide where and how. I have known people who actually journaled and told people by giving each of them the journal they wrote. Inside the journal then, she asked each person to write about their day, etc. so that each week she can experience life and the joys of her friends and family without being drained by having to converse with everyone.
It is one of the tougher things during cancer - but telling the right people will help you along the journey because there will be days and times when you need that shoulder to cry on or to ask for help.
@stillbeaut3ful @Fini123 good recommendations and information.
I would encourage you to do so on your own time and terms and do not feel you owe an explanation to anyone. This condition alone runs you down and wears you out, so do not feel like you are obligated. However, telling people you know that support you will help you in the difficult and challenging times, because they will come.
How do you do best? Do you do best telling people individually? or to a group? Are the people who you want to tell all close and know each other? Or are there some individuals that are not close with others?
@Fini123 It is your life and your body and your emotions that will be affected. While others may too (because they care about you), focus on yours because your body and mind are tolled. Do what you feel in your heart is the best way to accomplish informing people.
I kept the diagnosis to myself at first, because I wanted to decide first ,what treatment I would need. For me it was surgery, chemo and radiation. I decided to be strong and fight. I told my daughters not to worry because worry is a waste of time. I told my husband , and he supported my decision to go all out and be aggressive with treatment. I did not tell anyone else but was not worried if any one found out because my decision was made already. You are stronger than you know!! I do have 2 bits of advice ,1. if you are having surgery ,chemo , and radiation and are planning to have reconstruction at the same time as your surgery, I would wait if you are getting implants . While it was nice to have 1 surgery, and get it over with , radiation can cause hardening of the implant which can lead to a second surgery. 2. ASK questions even if you think they are silly, don't look for your andwers on web MD. Lastly GOOD luck , God Bless and feel free to as my anything , if I know Ill tell you, but I can only go by my experience.,BIG HUG, Denise
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@denisejeanmckeon excellent words of advice. If you have a solid support system, having them know can help you in the fight. And yes... Ask questions and ask more. Do not be discouraged to ask questions. You want to be as close to 100% in your mind of confidence that you are aware of the benefits and risks of the surgery/treatments... the battle is largely mental also.
I had known problem letting the people I love know about my Cancer. I have know Family alive any more so my Best Friends are my Family. When I found out I had Breast Cancer I wasn’t overwhelmed I just kept going you have so many things to do regarding my Breast Cancer you don’t have time to think about it. I had to have a Mastectomy and somewhere to go after surgery and everything just fell in to place. My Friends stepped in and took control of my Life. I am so lucky to have so many people that care about me and love me. And I’m not finished with the Breast Cancer and I feel very positive about the outcome. I definitely didn’t go on Facebook and announced I had Breast Cancer. Anyone that needed to know did find out. I feel very Blessed 😄
wow readign through all the responses and feedback is beautiful and helpful so thank you for starting this thread for those of us still too afraid to put ourselves out there...... i am not new to this site because i enrolled many months ago but i have not been very active...not here or in realy life or anywhere.... my diagnosis came at a difficult time (not that any time would have been "better" to receive a diagnosis) but it came at an especially diffiult time so it added to existing pain and depression... anywho here i am trying to connect with others who are feeling what i am feeling so that i can learn and maybe find hope. thank you.
I think it's important to first cope with the diagnosis and that may mean that you keep it to yourself or share with a close family member or partner. once you're ready to share with others, do so in a setting you're comfortable with and it may be important to make a list of those you wish to share it with. as recommended above, you should also practice setting boundaries like "I don't want to talk about this anymore" or "I'm not ready to share more right now" etc so that the sharing process isn't causing you distress. Hope this is helpful. Best wishes.
Sharing can be a double-edged sword. It's very difficult to tell loved ones, but they can be a great support system. On the other hand, we all cope with distressing news differently. One of my daughters has been a great help. My other daughter is coping by ignoring the situation. My mom is driving me nuts, calling several times a day. But my sister and brother have not responded at all. Too bad I couldn't have just informed some and left out others.
My experience telling people I worked with, is to be specific up front with your boss if you don’t want them to tell anyone. For me it was awkward because it was like a rumor spreading at the highest level, and people started asking me about it immediately, but I wasn’t ready to talk. It’s gossip to some, but genuine from others.
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