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Just diagnosed Just diagnosed

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  #1  
Unread 07-20-2004, 11:42 PM
Just diagnosed

2 wks ago I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. After several months of uncontrollable bleeding and all kinds of test, I was scheduled to have a D&C and removal of my left ovary due to a dermoid, but since I had become so anemic (even while taking my iron twice a day) the laproscopy was cancelled and just had the D&C and hysteroscopy. My doctor called less than a week later with the news. My problem? I don't know how to tell anyone. I have not shared the news at all. At my post op check up, my doctor was a bit peturbed with me that I hadn't told anyone about the cancer. I know I'm going to have to and soon, I have my appointment with the Gyn/Onc on 7-29 and I have a feeling things are going to move rather quickly (I hope)
Any suggestions how to tell my family and friends?

Thanks,

barbiekins
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  #2  
Unread 07-21-2004, 06:49 AM
Just diagnosed

Hi Barbiekins!!!!

Welcome!! I am so sorry for your diagnosis, but you have come to a wonderful place for support and advice. My diagnosis was only a few short weeks ago......

wish I could be more help on your problem, but for me I had no issues telling anyone, except for my children (ages 22 and 24). My dear husband explained my diagnosis to them.

I wanted to welcome you and bump your post up so that hopefully someone will come along who can give you some advice. Please keep us posted on your progress......
  #3  
Unread 07-21-2004, 07:13 AM
Just diagnosed

Hi Barbiekins.

Yes, you've come to the right place indeed. Hystersisters will be a great source of support and encouragement and info for you, I'm sure.

And I'm also sure that many of us who've had endometrial cancer will be around to share our experience and to encourage you.

I had irregular bleeding in my late 40's, and an ultrasound revealed a slight endometrial thickening....and a follow-up D&C revealed probable endo cancer. A week later I was in for a TAHBSO---my DR wouldn't delay. It turned out to be stage IB and didn't require further treatment, just follow-up exams and yearly CT Scans for 5 years, which is a common protocol. The prognosis was excellent--the radiation oncologist at the hospital met with me before I was discharged, checked the path reports, and said that radiation wasn't necessary, that I had a 98% chance of never seeing this cancer back.

Endometrial cancer, caught early and treated appropriately, can be often curable.

I tell you all this, just to reassure you that there's life after a cancer diagnosis...and even if your cancer requires treatment, there's life after that too! In fact many of us here find that life is far more normal, sane, and balanced AFTER cancer (most people assume that normal life is over after cancer has been diagnosed).

So hang in there, and use the people and resources of this website to help you through.

Blessings.
Marlene
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  #4  
Unread 07-21-2004, 08:47 AM
Just diagnosed

Hi Barbiekins -

Ohmygosh! I had to laugh at your post because it sounded so much like me! I thought **I** was the only one who had trouble telling people! It's the strangest thing. I wanted to tell friends because I wanted their support. Also, I made a promise to myself years ago **not** to have the kind of secrets that force you to pretend something. Those secrets start taking on a life of their own and end up becoming more and more powerful.

But how to do it??? Even though I wanted people to know, I just didn't know how to tell them. Plus, I felt like I was a little too vulnerable and fragile to deal with them crying or getting all sorry for me. So, I finally chickened out and had my partner tell practically everyone. I did tell a few folks via email.

I encourage you to figure out why you can't tell people. Is it because you don't want to see the looks of sypathy (and maybe even horror) on their faces? You don't want to cause them worry? You don't want to admit it to yourself? Let's face it, Cancer is the Voldemort of our times. (If you haven't read Harry Potter, nevermind! If you have, I agree with Dumbledore. Talking about Voldemort in whispers and being afraid to say his name just gives him more power. "Cancer" is like that, I think.)

We're all terrified of this thing and it becomes the big elephant in the room. We talk about it in whispers and have such a feeling of impending doom when we hear the word. (Ok, maybe I'm just talking about **myself** here!) At any rate, it's just not true. Minnesota Public Radio just had a thing about cancer. The medical community's views of cancer have shifted from looking at it as a terminal disease to a chronic disease. There are huge advancements all the time.

Part of the reason I felt I had to start talking about it is because I hate that fear that's out there. I thought talking about it would help blow it up, for me at least, and maybe make it easier for those future sisters who will follow me.

Did I just have a little rant??? I'm sorry! I hope it helped you a bit -- it sure did help me! Boy, is this site ever empowering.

Hang in there, Barbiekins. You already told us, so I know you can find a way to tell others.

Hugs,

Ghita
  #5  
Unread 07-21-2004, 09:14 AM
Just diagnosed

Hi Barbiekins,
What Marl said is so true (thanks for that Marl). Most people think cancer is the end - but in fact often it's totally curable.
I found it hard like you - but then began to tell people. Once you've said the word 'cancer' out loud a few times to someone - anyone (talk to yourself in the mirror first, if it helps!) - it becomes much easier. Also, if you can say that it's cancer but be positive about the way forward at the same time, it isn't such a bombshell to them.
I found it easier with some folk to email or telephone, then they have chance to digest it before they see you.
Whatever - good luck! This site is the BEST for getting support and advice.
  #6  
Unread 07-21-2004, 09:34 AM
Just diagnosed

I think the thing that I found was that most people had a lot of experience with cancer and weren't as scared of it as I was. Most people seem to have had some relative who had cancer and beat it, or a friend who had it. Whereas there was absolutely no cancer on either side of my family.

Some people were like, "Oh no!" And others were like, "Oh, my friend had that. She's fine now."

What I learned through telling people was this:

1. You have to give people some credit for being intelligent and knowing how to handle this kind of news.

2. Telling people what you'll be going through will quickly sort out your real friends from your "I just can't deal" friends who fade into the background.

3. You will make new friends who are going through similar things, so cancer actually opens up a whole new community of people to talk to.

4. You will come across people who are undergoing chemo, or who you've heard had cancer, and your own experiences will internally encourage you to approach them to talk about what they're going through. And they will be grateful for the chance to talk about their situation.

I wish you a lot of luck in telling people. They won't know your stage until they get inside to take a look, so maybe it will be something easy to deal with. If not, and a more difficult treatment is recommended, just know that many people on this board have been through such treatments, and we can all be here to try to lend an ear and support.

s!
  #7  
Unread 07-21-2004, 09:39 AM
Just diagnosed

oh GHITA!

You have hit the nail on the head. I too was SOO Fearful of telling people of my diagnosis..and I know now why...it was the looks of pity. I needed strong people with me telling me that of COURSE I will kick this beast's butt!

I have become much free-er about discussing things with certain people, and I figure those I'm not comfortable talking with dont need to know from my lips..they'll hear it soon enough as word travels fast! My big thing 'in the beginning" was the gossip....the rumors...I was HOT NEWS! and that bugged me so much!

Now, 6 weeks post op and 5 weeks post "official" diagnosis...I don't worry about it anymore.

BarbieKins,

You tell who you want to tell. I wasnt' able to talk about "IT" for quite awhile, since I myself was not comfortable with the diagnosis (HELLO?..who is??) but I knew that til I was able to talk about it, nothing was going to get said from my lips. I had a few close friends who I was able to talk with....and it got easier and easier to discuss it with those not so close to me. Surround yourself with POSITIVE people .....Take strength from them...and stay away from the negative folks. Well, at least that is my advice, and I know that being around positive people has been a tremendous comfort to me.

OH! (am I rambling here???) Also...if you find someone too draining ....sometimes people who find out actually need YOUR Support to deal with YOUR diagnosis....I've had to back off from them for a little while. Dont' feel the need, IMHO, to hold their hand. LOL...that sounds hard, and I wish I could be more ...precise...in my explanation of that, but I can't right now (too much coffee, perhaps???).
Ok. So to sum up my experience (hopefully briefly & succinctly)

I told only those whom I was comfortable with. My husband the blabber mouth broke the news to the others, and spared me a lot of the telling of the details..people can be so crass and crude sometimes!

You will have to talk about it. You will have to tell people. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and cancer is not some invisible disease that you can hide. You may find that supportive strength comes from the people you least expect it to come from!

Good luck, Barbiekins....stay strong, say positive, and dont' let things get you down. WE ARE WOMAN, HEAR US ROAR!

I'm done. sorry for going on and on and on...and not really even getting anywhere!
next time, I'll order Decaf!

  #8  
Unread 07-21-2004, 03:23 PM
Just diagnosed

Hi Barbiekins, I am generally a rather private person and many of my long time friends now live several hours from where we retired and thus unfortunately we are only in occasional contact. When I learned about my possible cancer dx and surgery (these events were only a couple weeks apart) I chose to tell the members of my small family with whom we maintain close contact, a couple new friends, a few old friends via email, and my pastor. I also asked my husband not to spread the news in our small town; we travel allot so my absence from town activities was not unusual. I find it amusing that to this day the "town gossip" never got wind of it even from the town pharmacist.
My pastor (I attend church about 50 miles from town and could not travel there for several weeks) included me in weekly prayers and thus my church family learned about my dx and surgery and I welcomed their prayers and cards. Several members later shared their cancer stories with me and that was comforting. I eventually told several good friend from my former city when I either visited with them or they phoned me. The nice part was at that time I could tell them re my excellent prognosis.
I think we all may handle this a little differently, so do what seems right for you. In any case do not ever feel afraid or ashamed to tell anyone you have/had cancer but do so only if and when you want to share this with them. I second the suggestion to surround yourself with postive people as much as possible.
s, peggiesue
  #9  
Unread 07-21-2004, 09:31 PM
Just diagnosed

Ladies, thank you so very much for your imput and support. It helped alot. I'm going to try and tell my best friend tomorrow, and hopefully that will open the gate to telling others.
I've sorta come to terms with the fact that I have cancer, I knew all along it was a possibility when I started having my "problems" but it was still a huge blow when my doctor told me.
I'm such a strong person, others very rarely see me breakdown. I guess it's hard for me to let other people see me so vulnerable and to have to see the look of pity on their face when I tell them. And my parents? Well, since they live 150 miles away, I'll have to break the news to them on the phone, that's going to be a treat!

Thank you again, I'm so glad I found this site
  #10  
Unread 07-21-2004, 10:00 PM
Just diagnosed

Dear Barbiekins,

Isn't funny that when we are given such a diagnosis one of the things we concentrate on is how other people will handle it. I have heard so many of us do it, yours truly included. Almost as if we brought this on to ourselves and we are so sorry to have to bring a "downer" into someone's day.

Know something, YOU are what is important at this stage in life. Others, including family, will have to be YOUR support. No the other way around. Mind you, it took me many months to allow others to do things for me. And I still find myself trying to "protect" others from being hurt. You will find out that there are many people out there who will support, encourage and empower you. Sometimes, it will be those who may not even be close to you giving you what you really need. It's wonderful to see total strangers give of themselves for the simple reason that they just care.

I am truly sorry about your cancer. Please know that we care, and keep us updated. One thing I have noticed lately is my lack of sleep. Communicating here has been a great outlet. Use it to its fullest.

Lots of hugs and healing thought,
Gricel
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