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Stopping "telling" people

13 REPLIES 13
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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Apart from initially when I was still emotional and had a problem getting the words out, almost everyone I know knows about my cancer but I am a.blabberer and can't keep anything quiet! :)I often tell people in response of something else we're talking about and to explain my change in attitude to every day stuff and how I react and feel differently about things now.I don't want to appear holier than thou to others but such as why I'm happy to go to work because I can.I've had very little negative reaction and if I have, it's their problem and personality not mine.This is now part of my story..part of who I am and affects my thinking and actions every day.We're all different.
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Re: Stopping "telling" people

I tell everyone. Just very factual. Personal preference I guess. You never know the information you may get back and the blessings of support!
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Re: Stopping "telling" people

I'll look for the BCC DVD as I wasn't given any advice about specific excercises.   I don't have any tattoos apart from the radiotherapy dots - mine are so small I can't even find them.   So another new experience! x

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Great idea re the tat, and so kind of the lady to do this for people. I'm doing the stretching too, as I understand that it is important to keep it up. Also got the BCC Exercise DVD from this site as I felt more confident approaching exercises when recommended specifically for people who've had  breast surgery. I get the odd little stab or twinge now and again but it is obvious that it will take time for all the nerves and things to get themselves knitted back together. It's odd, but I feel quite fond of my 2 scars, which now look very neat anyway - reminds me that the surgery was to restore my health and I was lucky it was picked up when it was. Hope the tat goes well -I've never had a tattoo (well, only the blessed radiotherapy ones dammit!) as a bit sqeamish about needles, but after what we've been through, especially those horrible biopsies and stuff, I guess the tattoo will hold no terrors for you! 🙂

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Optimissy64

 

I'm doing really well thanks, my scar has healed nicely and   I'm now looking forward to having a permanent makeup tattoo done to replace my missing nipple (I had Paget's disease).   I have an appointment in May with a lovely lady who carries out  this procedure for free for people who've had breast cancer.  I have a  slight ache/stiffness occasionally in my treated breast but think this is to do with the nerves so am doing some stretching exercises to see if it improves.   Hope you are well x 

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

PS: Sorry, had 15 rads as well, like you.

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Well said Flossy - so important for us to try to dispell the out of date myths as and when we can, though the timing of when we do this is going to be individual to us all. I think it might be easier to talk about if we have early stage (I too only had WLE and SLNB, no chemo) and if I'd had chemo I think it would have been harder to present a positive picture, 'cos I probably would have looked like s**t and would definitely have been whingeing. Hope you're doing OK and back to full strength. I was diagnosed about 4 months after you, and feeling pretty good.xx

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

I know how you feel.  When I got diagnosed July 2016 I only told immediate family and a couple of close friends.   I found their reactions harder to deal with than the diagnosis itself and several times wished that I'd not actually told anyone.   People find the word Cancer very hard to process and certain generations associate it with a death sentence.   Since my treatment  (WLE followed by 15 doses of radiotherapy) I've started to tell a few more people as I feel that people need to know that you can have breast cancer, get through treatment and be well.  People shouldn't assume that because you've had breast cancer you are ill and those of us who have had positive outcomes of this disease need to share their  experience too, otherwise we only ever hear of people who are extremely ill and unfortunately pass away.   You only have to read the "just diagnosed" threads on this forum to see how people react to the words You Have Breast Cancer.   x

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Hi

 

thanks all for your very thoughtful and considered comments.   It does feel a bit like entering into another emotional phase.  Xxxx

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Patricamay

 

Oh mate, I am sending you a lovely hug, hate to think that you are feeling this way xxx

 

May be you felt comfortable about telling her, which is why you did!  I think it was her actually dealing with the fact that someone she knows, albeit that you have not seen each other for some time, having had cancer, it does bring it home to people because you never think it is going to happen to you or someone you know, despite the statistics they keep quoting.

 

You are an amazing lady you have come through so much to be where you are today moving forward after breast cancer, all the treatment you have had and looking forward to living your life to the full.  I am absolutely certain people will not be frightened of you, in fact the opposite, but what they probably will be is frightened of the reality of this happening to someone they know, but what they can do is to take comfort that you have come through the treatment so succesfully.

 

Helena xxx

 

 

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Hi

I find that when ever I talk to people about it, they want to know if I'm OK now ie have I been cured?! I don't know the answer to that and I can't say it anyway even if it were true because I wouldn't want to jink it. People want everything to be alright because they don't know what to say if it isn't. As the other post said, some are supportive and others are not. Some are good  in practical terms. Very few provide emotional support. I wouldn't shy away of telling people though. I think it helps saying it just to come to terms with it yourself xx

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Hi Patriciamay

I told people quite early on, but always followed the news with "but it's Ok, it's early stage, it's not going to kill me" etc. Most people were matter-of-fact about it, taking their cue from me, except one couple of friends, (almost "family" in their relation to me), who phoned me every day for a week and had been crying a lot. I got p**sed off in the end and told them so, as I was fed up with reassuring them! I told them - only half jokingly - that if ever I needed another operation or treatment I wouldn't tell them until after it was all over!!!

I found I wanted to tell people at the beginning, as in doing so it made it more "real" for me, using the words "I've had a diagnosis of cancer" to kind of neutralise the shock, and i think it worked for me - every time I said the word cancer it felt less scary.  What I appreciated most was neighbours and friends just asking how I was doing as i bumped into them here and there, or the odd email or small gift. I realised that before my diagnosis I was hopeless myself  in knowing what to say when a neighbour had bowel cancer- thankfully still alive!-and so I didn't say anything at all. I've realised since then that I was afraid of saying the wrong thing, I didn't want to ask how they were in case the news was bad and it upset them, and I was afraid of the word cancer -- all about my own fears. Now I know I will be a better friend and neighbour as a result of my own experience should anyone I know get a cancer diagnosis, and I will neither fuss over them nor ignore them, but just treat them normally, drop off the odd little treat, and see if they want anything practical done, even if just bringing in a basket of logs or walking the dog, and most of all taking my lead from them. I'm  making it my mission to normalise the word cancer, since people still seem to see it as a death sentence, so I have not used euphemisms like Big C, which i hate.

So back to your post, - peoples' reactions are about THEIR stuff, not about anything you've done "wrong" - and they are going to get it wrong a lot of the time, as I once did. All you can do is use your judgement as to who you tell and when, but maybe treat it like a little experiment, and be interested in their responses, and maybe think about educating them if they over-react (though it sounds as though you tried that with your colleague at the conference.).Rather than laying off telling people, I'd be inclined to tell more of them to see how they respond? All the best with it anyway - we all have to find our own way through the telling people bit. xxx

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Re: Stopping "telling" people

Hi. Please don't feel like it's you. From my experience when I told people, some ignored me (very hurtful) and others are over supportive. I think people just don't know what to say to you and don't want to say the wrong thing so say nothing. I don't tell people because if I'm not myself I dont want them saying "oh it's because she had cancer" on the other hand if you don't tell them they might just think I'm a miserable so and so! I think it's catch 22 and no right or wrong ans just do what feels right at the time. Sending you a big hug..xx

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Stopping "telling" people

All through my diagnosis and active treatment I have found it hard to tell people about my BC, even now not many people know at my work place even though I disappeared from my office for an hour and a half each day for my radiotherapy.

 

this week I bumped into an old colleague at a conference.  For some reason I told her, I really don't know why I did, I think I wanted to test the words.  Her reaction was understandable but not what I wanted. The sympathy, the shock the horror on her face.  I could almost read her mind thinking thank god that's not me.  I went to lengths in explaining I was well and modern treatments and early detection give many good outcomes.  Even so she kept coming back to it the whole afternoon and hugged me before she left like never before.

 

What do do I conclude from this?  I'm a fool and have been in denial about my illness?  I'm not a very nice Person?  I would probably have reacted the same six months ago.  I don't know what the future holds for me, I know the statistics, which are favourable, and I know I want to live my life.

 

I kind of don't want people to be frightened of me, I think that is how I feel.  So for now, I am going to lay off telling aNy one new about what I have been through.  Am I right?