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Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others? Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

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Unread 09-04-2005, 06:12 PM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer after a D & C. At that time I decided to only let my immediate family know about my cancer. I thought that it was a private matter and only my business. Well, that only lasted until just two days before my surgery when I told my job-share partner. After the surgery, I ended up telling everyone who came and brought meals or visited. Since then, I have told pretty much everyone, friends, relatives, and even strangers. I got to a point that I just needed to talk about what I was dealing with. HysterSisters has been a blessing, because I feel like I can unload, vent, discuss, and be sad with others who have gone through much the same as me and not burden all of my friends and family all of the time. I do think that they wish I would talk about something else sometimes.

My question is have any of you with a cancer diagnosis kept the news to yourself (and immediate family) or have you all sought out the support of others?

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Unread 09-04-2005, 08:40 PM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

s Diane

I shared my cancer diagnosis with family, friends and co-workers immediately. It would have been pretty hard to hide since my abdomen swelled up to a full term pregnancy size. Everyone questioned what was wrong.

I think we all have to do what we are most comfortable with. This site has been so helpful to me. Only the sisters here at CC truly understand what we have been thru.

Unread 09-04-2005, 08:41 PM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

Hi Diane,

We told people right away of my cancer diagnosis. We live in a small town and my DH is a pastor so we went ahead and told people as we prefered people hear if from us and accurately.

As you say, we need to talk about it and receive support. This site is great for receiving and giving support.

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Unread 09-04-2005, 09:46 PM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

Diane: I am sorry about your diagnosis and I hope you are healing well. I was diagnosed after a D&C too and as you know, they can not tell you the stage until after all of the pathology, after the Hyst. I choose not to tell anyone but those who absolutely had to know because I did not know the stage and I expected everyone to ask questions I could not answer and I could not stand to be looked at with pity for the 2 weeks before the surgery. This was confirmed when I told our office administrator who asked me didn't I want to have children...(I have no children but was seriously considering before this happened).
After surgery I told everyone who would listen because it kind of was a confirmation that I was alive and surviving this...of course a number of people asked about thinking I wanted to have children ...(I have got used to it at this point).
I think whether one should tell others really is based on many personal issues...It will be interesting to see what others say.
Unread 09-04-2005, 10:08 PM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

I was recently diagnosed with low grade endometrial cancer but haven't
told anyone but my husband. We will tell family & close friends when
I get a surgery date. This is an issue I've really struggled with, but when I put myself in others' places, I decided it is the right thing to do.
Also, I have a niece who has had infertility issues, is on estrogen, and
should discuss endometrial cancer with her doctor due to a possible
genetic factor.
Unread 09-04-2005, 10:10 PM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

I told all my friends. I really whish I could tell my mother, but she is a member of a religous cult, and she would use my illness to further her beliefs, so I keep her in the dark about my condition. It's sad because we were close and used to be able to talk about anything. Now, when I need her most, I can't connect with her. She's somewhere out there is spaceland chanting to her guru.
Unread 09-05-2005, 03:39 AM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

Hi Diane

I have to say that you have done the right thing in telling everyone especially your family. I thought i was doing the right thing when i didnt tell my daughter straight away. I decided as she was right in the middle of very important university exams and only had 10 more days of exams to go that it would be fairer to tell her when she had finished her exams. Also i didnt tell my mother till after my second operation as i wanted to have all the correct facts and diagnosis. She, was and still, is very frail after my father had died 8 weeks before my diagnosis. Both of these 'secrets' played havoc with me mentally and i can assure you although i had the best intentions it didnt go down very well!

take care
Unread 09-05-2005, 06:40 AM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

Hi - I eventually told family, friends, and co-workers, but I was hesitant to tell anyone other than my son and parents at first, and I'm not sure why. I think it just seemed so melodramatic to say, "I have cancer." I have no idea why I felt that way. Within a few weeks, though, all of my family, friends and co-workers knew.

One of my co-workers died from lung cancer around the time I found out I had cancer. She had told only two women with whom we work, so when she died, we were all just stunned. She worked up until three days of her death; we received a notice on Friday that she was taking a medical leave. She died the following Wed. Some people were so hurt and angry with her for not telling them; they missed the opportunity to be supportive and helpful to her while she battled the cancer for the whole year before she died. Close friends of hers were devastated that she didn't confide in them.

I still believe that everyone has a right to deal with cancer in his/her own way, but this experience showed me the importance of letting others help and be supportive.

The best of everything to you!
Unread 09-05-2005, 07:10 AM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

Thank you all,
I appreciate your comments. Part of the reason I didn't want to tell people in the beginning was because I didn't know what my prognosis was. I didn't know how long I might have had cancer because I had ignored some of the symptoms thinking that they were normal pre-menopausal symptoms. I told most people after the path report came back and I found that the cancer was still in the relatively early stages and that I would recover. I also didn't want to have people pitying me or talking behind my back. Instead, people have been supportive and encouraging, though, I have been the subject of some talk. People I have not told about my cancer have called or sent cards, saying that they wish they had known so they could have helped after the surgery. All in all, I have appreciated everyone's concern and support and I have realized that I have not always shown the same concern or given the same support to others. That certainly will change!
Unread 09-05-2005, 08:00 AM
Did you keep the cancer diagnosis to yourself (and family) or did you tell others?

Oh, yes, Dianne - I agree so much with your last statements. I really learned how to be more supportive from people who knew how. I work with a woman who I've always liked but have not been that close to since we're in different parts of the building. She was probably the most supportive person throughout the last year. She sent many cards, called and sent little gifts. Although I didn't expect that kind of attention from anyone, I have to say that each little thing she did for me made me feel very special and cared for. She has a Downs-syndrome child who is 16 now. I think she learned how to make people feel extra special from others when she was going through those first tough years after his birth.
Take care, Pat

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