Who to tell?

I was diagnosed on Friday and have shared my news with a couple of very good friends. I have yet to tell my two sons aged 16 & 17 as I want to have as much information about my condition. (MRI tomorrow and consultant appointment next Thursday). I am feeling positive about everything but am more concerned about the reaction from other people, I don’t want people feeling sorry for me or sad. I’m more worried about telling my parents (dad is a great worrier with a heart condition and I know he is going to be absolutely devastated. Almost tempted to only tell him once I’ve had my op. Any advice greatly appreciated


I was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago now. Had MRI last Wednsday - rather an undignified position but not painful. Saw consultant yesterday and the option is R side Mastectomy. I told my other half twp weeks ago, he works away so is rather upset and doing long distance worrying. I told my sister last Friday and she is worrying but strong. Going to tell 88yr old worrier mum on Saturday - my sister is coming up to help. I do not think there is a good time to tell anyone but you need to be positive and almost dtrong for them. I think others worry more because they are not going through it all. Depending on which op you have it will be difficult to hide so I have opted to tell, you might need radiotherapy or chmo afterwards.


Good luck with it all. I find that laughing at the inconvenience and messing about helps.

Enlisting support to tell people is really good. My MiL is worry incarnate (and over 80) and although I told her on the phone she didn’t really hear me so I made sure I got husbands bro to talk to her properly. Although I get about the ‘being strong for them’ idea it can be an additional worry and stress that you don’t need. Only you can do what is right for you.


ive gradually put no out there telling friends and contacts. The person I struggled most to tell was a good friend I work without who was going through her own hellish set of struggles and I really felt bad to add to her woes (another born worrier) - as it was she was awesome when I buckled up to tell her. Your dad may surprise you. Give him practical things to do to support you. These may not require any skills or abilities. It could be as simple as phone me andt tell me a joke each day. And whatever happens his reaction is his. You cannot control it. We can only control what we do. And how we react to others. We can’t control their actions or reactions.


will be thinking of you on this journey. Xxxx hugs



Hi FLossy03,

As others say - there never is a good time to tell anyone about such a diagnosis.

On the practial side - it may help to tell the ‘worriers’ about it when you have more knowledge yourself about your diagnosis, such as stage and grade, as well as a rough idea what your treatment plan looks like.

Like this it may be easier to explain to them, why they may not have to worry too much. Men also seem to prefer the more ‘practical’ approach.

It may be worth remembering that many have the image of cancer patients of 20 odd years ago in their mind, which may make their worries worse. Cancer and cancer treatment is not, what it was then - it has come such a very long way. I went to a Cancer Research fund raising event at my local pub yesterday - and was totally blown away meeting people with and post cancer diagnosis - and I would never have thought. It made me feel great, as we are a very small village. I am not on my own - and they did not guess at my ‘status’ either! 


Sue xx

Hi Flossie,there have been a number of threads about who to tell /how to tell about your diagnosis if you search the sits you will find some interesting discussions .Its a very personal decision who you share this with ,personally I kept it very private told a handful of close friends and family and a couple of work colleagues .I found it very hard telling people as they got upset ,then I got upset ,I was very relieved when I got to the end of the list of people I intended to tell.I was glad that most people around me didn’t know as I could be “normal” with them.I didn’t tell my elderly father as I knew how much it would have worried him but if I had had to go through chemo wouldn’t have had much choice ,I do think it is better to tell people when you have more information ,my son was 17 when I was diagnosed.Good luck with your treatment .Jill.

Thanks for your replies. I’m finding the reactions of the few people I have told harder to deal with than my own. I had my MRI on Thurs evening and have consultant appointment this Thursday - my current thoughts are that I’ve been told the worst so whatever I get told next is just the next step.

Hi, just wanted to say, 



i agree with all the points below…I had the same dillemna, both with my initial diagnosis and with my recurrence… The latter because by then several friends had also got cancer and were comforted by my long gap with no mets…so  I felt I was letting them down!


However my own personal choice was to tell them because I needed to get some support …I found that we all seemed to be even closer because of the common condition…an interesting outcome.


but, its a personal choice for each of us… No right or wrong and no need to rush to decide either.


hugs, Moijanx