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How to tell people about upcoming surgery (mentions children) How to tell people about upcoming surgery (mentions children)

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Unread 03-05-2013, 03:59 PM
How to tell people about upcoming surgery (mentions children)

My da Vinci TAH/BSO is scheduled for March 20th.

I have not yet told my adult children, or my cognizant, very elderly parents (95 and 96) that I have any gyne problems.

My Mother treats all cancer like a death sentence, so I'm reluctant to mention the endometrial cancer diagnosis (the "C" word).

My sister-in-law tells everyone my business. I had 2 benign polyps removed during my colonoscopy and she used me as the "poster child" to tell people.

I'm normally a very private person, and don't like to reveal my personal troubles or struggles. We all have them, don't we.

Any advice how to break the news?
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Unread 03-05-2013, 04:20 PM
Re: How to tell people about upcoming surgery (mentions children)

Since it's family, I guess you do need to say something. And probably they'll talk amongst themselves? So telling each a different story may not work. My approach would be to say you're having a hyst for some (unspecified) GYN/female problems. If they ask more you can be vague and say you'll know more after the surgery-----which is true. Post op you'll know more the extent of the cancer and whether you'll need further treatment. If the surgery is the only treatment then you can tell your parents it's done and treated. I think being vague but honest pre op might cover it. My mom told everyone (but me) that there were abnormal cells and the hyst was to biopsy them. But then later it came out it was actually cancer (which I knew) so the secret was out anyway. When it was me, I just said I had cancer and that it was probably going to be all removed. I think you can be more general with non family, but with close family you'll need to tell them what's up. I'm private, too, so I get it that it's hard. Good luck, I hope it goes well.
Unread 03-05-2013, 04:21 PM
Re: How to tell people about upcoming surgery (mentions children)

I'd just limit what you tell people. They don't have a right to know all the details. When I was preparing for my surgery, I was told that I didn't even need to tell my supervisor why I was going to by out. I had to fill out a form and get it signed by my doctor to get the time off under FMLA, but I was not obligated to tell my supervisor anything about the medical reason for being off work.

Your elderly parents grew up in a generation that was a lot more private. Just tell them that you have problems with your "female parts" and that the doctor says it will get worse if you don't have the surgery. As for your sister-in-law, she doesn't have a right to know any more than that either.

Since the chances are excellent that the surgery will eliminate the cancer (it did for me) there is no reason to even tell anyone about that. It would only scare your parents, and if you tell your sister-in-law, she may blurt it out to them and get them upset.

Best of luck!

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