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Introduction—Has it been hard to tell people?


Hi, I am newly diagnosed with IDC grade one. My doctors so far are optimistic about treatment and prognosis. My lumpectomy is scheduled for next week. I am nervous about the pathology report. I actually met with my surgeon on my 68th birthday. Happy birthday to me! Aside from my family, I’ve only told one other friend, so this site is a real relief. It’s comforting to read other experiences. I found a benign lump at 25 and was diagnosed with breast density at that time, so I was getting used to thinking I just had weird/normal boobs. Mammograms are hard, never routine. I’ve had several ultrasounds, and had a biopsy 20 years ago—always benign until now. I know I need to keep some communication going with friends but we’re just not that close. I feel like I’ll just become dinner conversation for them while they try to figure out what I did to cause this. My closest friend, the one I could talk to about everything, died five years ago of an aggressive BC. So, thanks for this community. I think it’s going to be a great help.


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946

    Any friend who.thinks you caused your own cancer is NOT a friend, and you need to drop them as soon as they say something idiotic.

    I was also 68 when my cancer was found five years ago. I have my last appointment with my oncologist next week, woo-hoo! I told my friends on FB - I only have people I personally know as FB friends, so that took care of it quickly, and I got to set the tone. I opted for a "Holy crap, this isn't how I planned to spend my summer" or something similar and slightly joking. Fun rather than sad worked for me.

    It really wasn't that bad. The lumpectomy didn't hurt, and if you keep pressure on it, there'll be minimal swelling. I used sports bras with a rolled-up child's sock on the incision, and hadn't swelling. It didn't hurt at all, and the surgery and recovery barely made a dent in my life. Radiation was annoying, but very brief each day. So the reality of it all was much easier than I'd imagined it would be. Good luck to you!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,080

    Sorry that you find yourself here. The issue of who to to tell, when to tell, how much to tell, etc. is a very personal and individual thing. I felt most comfortable being an open book but I only gave information that was confirmed because speculation by others would have driven me crazy. I should add that I was a teacher at a neighborhood elementary school that functioned as a small “village”. Both my daughters had attended that school before I taught there so my 30+ year relationships in the community were long and deep.For me, this approach really put a virtual stop to rumors and gossip regarding my health . People were quite respectful and caring. But… these were my circumstances and an approach that felt comfortable for me. Do what works best for you! Take care.

  • bakemeacake
    bakemeacake Member Posts: 10

    Thanks for your positive & kind responses, alicebastable & exbrnxgrl. Yes, I agree people who are prone to victim (not the right word) blaming are not friends. I think it’s borne out of fear or, probably, idiocy :) I do like the humor approach. You both have some great support. My family’s been great, maybe my friends will surprise me. Congratulations, alicebastable, on your last onc appointment!

  • brutersmom
    brutersmom Member Posts: 928

    I have always been selective with who I have told. To me, it is like another disease. Most people don't broadcast they are diabetic, have heart disease, highblood pressure, had a virus, etc. If asked I will tell. If someone says they are having issues with cancer treatment I will share my diagnosis with them. The one person I wish didn't have to know is my husband. He can't handle it. My daughter is great. I have a few friends I have confided in that are supportive. I don't think how we share our disease is one size fits all. I know people the share every detail on FB. I choose not to. Some people will pull away and some people will embrace you.