Jun 24, 2019 08:03AM - edited Jun 24, 2019 08:04AM by PatsyKB
55cellos - I can only speak to what I chose to do but for what it's worth: Last year when I was diagnosed after 43 years of weirdo mammograms/MRIs (I'm high risk) and multiple biopsies with abnormal but not cancerous results, I was insulted that my body had finally given in to cancer. Irrational, yes. Plus I had been really health conscious for years and knew I'd get the "What? How did you get cancer? You do everything right?" questions. Also I'd had full genetic testing (32-gene panel; negative for everything including My cancer).
I'm known for being honest and straightforward but I'm also private. So what I did was to call our daughter and then send an email to a very small limited carefully chosen circle of very close trusted friends and family members - less than 10 in all - and SWORE them to secrecy until I gave the go-ahead. I also made it CLEAR that I wanted no recommendations or suggestions or breast cancer stories unless I asked for them - and I only asked one person for advice and that was a close relative who had Triple Negative a few years ago. I told them that if they started to tell me one of those "Well, my sister's breast cancer..." stories, I would stop them in mid-sentence. I needed to make my decisions in my way. The other thing I told friend was "NO SAD FACES AND PROLONGED HUGS when you see me." I live in one of those towns where everyone picks up on everything and I didn't want to start something!
My aim: I needed privacy and safety in which I could investigate, learn, and choose my cancer team and treatment plan. Once I had all that in place, THEN I would start letting the word out, not with an announcement (I hate that) but with a few private emails to other family members and mentions in conversations with friends as appropriate. Not "Guess what...I have cancer!" But rather, "I won't be available for that date because I'll be having cancer treatment..." then continue from there as needed.
The other thing I did was not to try to inform everyone in the family - I just let key people know that they could let other relatives know.
It paid off - I had friends to talk with; I wasn't bombarded with useless advice and questions and I had the confidence and empowerment and privacy I needed with which to make my decisions.
I hope you are doing well and are feeling confident as you move forward. Keep us all posted.