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Topic: People trying to help is going to drive me nuts. Can you relate?

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Nov 1, 2019 05:50PM

Dixie02 wrote:

First of all, I know 100% how lucky I am to have people who want to help, however, they're going to drive me crazy. There are types of people in this world, and I'm the type who is introverted, and independent. The tipping point was a very kind lady from my corporate office who offered to sign me up for the housekeeping service that does free cleanings for people going through cancer treatments. VERY nice gesture, but I have two teenage sons, two large dogs and a husband... I don't want people in my house, it's not a nice house. And now I'm stressed because I have to figure out how to politely decline without feeling rude, or making her feel embarrassed for asking, or worrying about what to say if she insists I sign up. And, the only reason I'm reacting so strongly to her gesture is because I have another manager who keeps trying to get me to sign up for everything that I could possibly be eligible to sign up for. He's gone so far as to actually call in favors with contacts that he has, and now I have these people calling me, asking for my living expenses so that they can fill out an application for a grant. I don't want this type of attention. I don't like to talk to people that I do know much less people that I don't (I mean that in the nicest possible way), and just because I qualify for assistance doesn't mean I need it, nor want it (again, in the nicest possible way. I'm more inclined to sign up to HELP than to be the one asking for help).

I'm really just venting, but I'm also hoping that somebody here can relate. I'm sure some of you have had to deal with overbearing, helpful, people. I know that I'll have to just learn how to say "thanks, but no thanks". I'm already aware of the warning signs of these situations approaching, and I've only been diagnosed for a few weeks. It just makes me feel rude. And, than I get stressed because I know that the whole interaction was awkward because my reaction is more apprehension than excitement. Maybe when I'm waist deep in chemo treatments, I'll ask them about their ideas, but for now I just want to see where my life is headed.

Dx 10/11/2019, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/10/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 1, 2019 06:09PM TB90 wrote:

Dixie02: You are being smothered with care and concern and for an independent introvert, this must be so uncomfortable. But this time it is about you and what you need. A simple line like, “Thank you so much for your concern and kindness, I may decline the offer right now, but will be certain to let you know how you can help in the future.” Depending on how things go, you may welcome a cleaning crew in the future and then you can ask. And don’t worry about the state of your house! They are not there to judge you. Let them clean your bathroom and they will likely love your dogs. Now is time to stop worrying about others and communicate clearly your needs. Saying no is not rude. Allowing others to decide your needs for you and then you resenting them, that is rude. Take care of yourself and be proud to do so.

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/20/2014 Breast
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Nov 1, 2019 06:18PM MinusTwo wrote:

Dixie - you are NOT rude. As TB90 says, it's about what you want this time.

All these "helpful" offers is the very reason that I didn't tell anyone about my cancer. My grown son flew in for three days to get me to & from the hospital. My SIL was on call if I had an emergency, but she lived 2 hours away & actually was best at meeting me for lunch when I needed to get out. Other than that no one knew about my surgery or treatment or recovery. I didn't want people showing up with food that I didn't want to eat or ringing the door bell when I was sleeping.

In addition to saying, thanks for the offer but I need to decline for now - if people are trying to get you to sign up for things, can you just say - interesting idea. I'll discuss it with my husband. Good luck.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 1, 2019 08:04PM - edited Nov 1, 2019 08:05PM by windingshores

I hate to give a predictable answer, but I had absolutely no help. I had to take a taxi from the hospital. I completely understand your feelings. But it was hard being "independent" too. I think the best thing to do is to be proactive and give people things to do that you DO want, specifically, and otherwise just say "no thanks." It won't come off as rude as you are thinking. Humor helps too as in "No thanks, I would have to clean for the cleaning people."

Dx 2/2015, DCIS/ILC/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Surgery Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy
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Nov 1, 2019 08:24PM AliceBastable wrote:

If you've just been diagnosed, do you know your type of cancer, what surgery you'll have, and what post-surgical treatments you'll need? If you just need a lumpectomy and radiation, you really won't need help except transportation the day of surgery. If it's a mastectomy, you might have drains that need an extra pair of hands and longer-term transportation help. If you have chemo, you have no idea how your body will react. Some people cruise through it and others are totally wiped out and very much need assistance. Just tell people to wait, like you said, and as you find out more, start thinking of which friends tend to gush (a big NO), and which ones are more practical and businesslike (YES!).

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 1, 2019 08:34PM - edited Nov 1, 2019 08:35PM by ElaineTherese

Hi!

I did chemo, surgery, radiation, and a year of targeted therapy. A friend of mine set up a "Lots-a-Helping Hands" page for me. She posted requests for things I REALLY NEEDED, not things other people thought I needed. Some of these errands were real life-savers, like the people who volunteered to pick up my daughter from games and sports practices. Some people brought me dinner on Wednesdays, which was my chemo day and a day when my husband worked late. I will be eternally grateful to this friend, but remember, she posted what was most important to me.

It's nice that people are trying to help out, and yes, it's hard to swallow that pride and accept help from others. You might make of list of things that really would be helpful to you. I had my house cleaned weekly while I got chemo, and I don't regret it, even though my house is a dump. (I mean that -- I have twins with autism and they've done a number on our furniture, walls, and have even broken a few windows.) If you can't think of anything helpful, just smile and say, "No, thank you."

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/22/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/16/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/11/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/8/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 1, 2019 10:45PM - edited Nov 2, 2019 01:14AM by Dixie02

"No, thanks. I would have to clean for the cleaning people" LOL I like that.

Elaine, your friend had a great idea. The people that I stress over are the very well meaning people that I kind of know, but not really. I suppose that this is my opportunity to learn how to graciously decline well meaning gestures. Or, how to accept them if I need to, because I suck at that too. I must sound like a mess, I'm not, I love people, I'm just not good with sympathy and attention like that.

Minus Two, once the cancer was confirmed, I figured that I needed to tell my managers at work. It's not a big company, and I've worked at a few locations so word got around. I was fine with the news spreading because that meant that I didn't have to break the news to everyone myself. I'm more comfortable with people treating me like nothing's wrong, or even making a joke about it, it's the sympathy that makes me uncomfortable. You know?

Dx 10/11/2019, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/10/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 2, 2019 01:04AM AliceBastable wrote:

Dixie02, I was so low-key and humorous about telling people (I did a one-time FB announcement the night before surgery), that I didn't really get any offers of help. Be careful what you wish for! When I had to have a nastier surgery a few months later, I got one offer. By then people thought I was Superwoman, I guess. Or I need better relatives and friends. 😁

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 2, 2019 11:03AM - edited Nov 2, 2019 11:06AM by ruthbru

Since you have just been diagnosed, you really don't know how much (if any) help you might need. My suggestion is to thank people profusely and tell them just that. "Thank you so much for your caring offers. Once I have a better of what my treatment will involve, I will absolutely get back to you if there is something that I need help with." And then start a list of people who have offered to help you.

I ended up needing both chemo and radiation. Cooking during chemo would have been horrible for me (the smells of food were gagging). A work friend organized volunteers to bring dinner to my house twice a week. I still had a teenage son at home and a husband who both needed to eat (more than the pizza and the macaroni they would have made on their own). So that was a godsend for them, and me too because I could pick at food somebody else had made. Plus they brought enough food so we had leftovers the rest of the week. Nobody offered to clean for me, but I hired a cleaning lady because the chemical smells would have bothered me too much (and I didn't want to waste whatever energy I had on cleaning anyway). For radiation, I had to make a daily 200 mile round trip (for 6 weeks). I could NOT have driven there and back every day myself (not enough energy), and my husband couldn't easily take that much time off work (he took off every Thursday when I met with the radiation oncology). So, I had kept track of people who had offered to help, and contacted them and asked if they could take one day and drive me to radiation. I didn't have to drive even one time, which I appreciated more than I can say.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 2, 2019 11:59AM - edited Nov 2, 2019 12:00PM by SuQu31

I had a few people at my work who seemed a little insistent about suggesting they would do things for me that I thought I had made clear I did not need. Sometimes you feel like you've tried to politely decline the offers, and the people just aren't getting it. If you have a closer friend at work that you can be completely honest with, and you don't want to continue to politely decline because it isn't working, tell that friend to send the message. That's what I did. I did not want people I worked with showing up at the hospital during or after my surgery, and I also did not want people coming to my house. Then my husband would have had to be polite and nice to MY work colleagues. That wasn't fair to him. They are nice people, and he likes them, but it would have been an extra strain in an already stressful time.

Food is very helpful. The women I worked with ordered frozen meals from a local business that makes wonderful food, and had those delivered. We could cook and eat them when we liked. It was perfect. (Of course- right? -because it is what my husband and I actually wanted and needed). It gave them the knowledge and good feeling of having helped, and gave me the peace of mind that they wouldn't be showing up and seeing me, and my house, not at its best.


Re-excision for close anterior margin 10 days after BMX. Dx 10/31/2018, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 12/10/2018, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/19/2018
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Nov 2, 2019 01:53PM ksusan wrote:

"Thank you for your kindness. I have [whatever] taken care of already."

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 2, 2019 05:15PM - edited Nov 2, 2019 05:18PM by moth

If there's one time that you can be rude, it's now. Play that cancer card as much as you need to, do not worry about being rude, just say, Nope.

It would probably help to have 1 friend or family member run interference for you (like with a helping hands page etc) and then you can just refer people to it but if you don't want even that, it's ok to just say No. And IF they don't accept your No, then move on to channeling your inner Helen Mirren


don't let anyone tell you how to live your life, how to act through your treatment and what to do --- which means you can also joyfully ignore all of us here as well Happy


& hang in there. It gets easier. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Dx at 50; Left, IDC, 1.7 cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, very weakly ER+, being treated as TNBC Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 2, 2019 05:43PM JRNJ wrote:

I can totally relate! Dx in August, surgery in September. While I appreciate knowing friends, family and coworkers care, it is completely overwhelming when they all call you and text you. I'm pretty independent. I told them no visitors, no flowers, no edible arrangements, no gift cards! I've been in the hospital twice and I told my husband to stay home with the kids, don't visit. I don't feel like talking to anyone, let alone dozens of people a day. I hate "how are you feeling?". Because I'm not going to lie. "I feel totally crappy and am having a mental breakdown"...Then they don't know what to say, lol. I also told them, I don't want any opinions, just information, but people can't keep their opinions to themselves. "You should go for a second opinion....." I have resorted to just not answering people and they are probably mad at me. They just don't understand. And my kids are picky eaters so hard to please them with random food. My friend with ovarian cancer has been telling me this for 3 years. I apologized to her for being an idiot, lol. I used to visit her and she sent me home with food she couldn't store, lol. She's pretty much the only one I won't ignore. And my boss keeps texting me and I can't tell if it is with genuine concern, or prying for info on when I'll be back.

Pleomorphic Multifocal LCIS, Extranodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TE removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 2, 2019 06:06PM Slg1324 wrote:

Hi Dixie,

I totally understand! I was recently DX and this is one of the many things I am struggling with so bad . I still haven’t told most of the family I am supposed to tell yet and it’s in part due to things like this that I know will happen. I’m such a private person. I guess what I’m really realizing is that I am really having a hard time accepting my DX 😢.

I wish I had some good advice for you . I know most people are so well meaning and really want to help and care so much but everyone is different on how they receive and want help. I also know dropping polite hints almost never works when people are determined. I’ll let you know if I think of some good ideas and will be paying attention to this thread for ideas (already see quite a few good ones I’m pondering). Thanks for posting and sending healing hugs 🤗 your way ❤️

Dx 10/15/2019, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/5/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy
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Nov 2, 2019 06:22PM Dixie02 wrote:

Sig, I've taken a mental note of the suggestions that I've been given on here. There're good ones. I'm glad that I vented now, because just hearing the stories of other like minded people helps more than anything.

JRNJ, coworkers visiting me in the hospital, or coming to my house, would not be helpful to in any way. I feel a tiny bit of anxiety just thinking about it. LOL

Dx 10/11/2019, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/10/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 2, 2019 06:38PM Slg1324 wrote:

I hear you Dixie In thinking about people visiting me at the hospital and/or home freaks me out . For me one of the scary things is I do know I’ll need some help but I don’t know what that would be yet . If i let certain people help that want to help I know it will make it all the more stressful and hard . A lot of my family can’t stop talking about other people’s stories about illness (and everything else) and even before my cancer has given my extreme anxiety. Also they love to give advice!I only want certain people seeing in such vulnerable state .thats just the way I am

Dx 10/15/2019, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/5/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy
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Nov 2, 2019 06:43PM MinusTwo wrote:

Love this thread. Such great ideas.

Sig - I'm glad you found it. Remember - there is no one you are "supposed to tell". This is your time to put you first.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 2, 2019 07:08PM MountainMia wrote:

When a dear friend was dealing with her (not-breast) cancer, occasionally I would text and ask if she'd like some of what I was making anyway. "I'm making pulled pork. Would your family be able to use some of that this weekend?" or "I made a quick bread. Can I bring you half?" She was good about saying "no!" But now and then she said "yes," and I knew that she meant it. The last time I saw her (the very last time) she asked me to bring her strawberry ice cream. I hope she enjoyed every spoonful.


The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Nov 2, 2019 08:40PM Slg1324 wrote:

hi Minus Two ,thank you for reminding me that telling people is up to “me” ❤️

MountainMia , very sweet story in helping your friend

Dx 10/15/2019, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/5/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy
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Nov 2, 2019 08:51PM ange743 wrote:

I totally get what you're saying as I'm the same way. Super introvert. I have struggled mentally since my diagnosis and I don't really want to be around people or go anywhere. Lots of people have offered help, I just told them thanks, I'd let them know if anything comes up. And so far nothing has.

I have a husband and 2 teenage daughters at home, so I'm hoping not to have to ask for help with anything, that's just who I am. I did ask pretty much my only close friend to come to my wig fitting appointment with me and I'm glad I did. But I haven't seen my work friends since the middle of August. They message me every few days to see how I'm doing but I've told them I don't want to see people yet and they've accepted that. I don't want them to see me sick and an emotional basketcase. I even had one lady I used to work with phone and leave me a message about she'd like to bring me a coffee, or come play cards with me during chemo. Um, no thank you. She was the office bully and gossip and I didn't like her when we worked together, I'm sure not going to become buddies with her now.

People are usually just trying to be helpful, but it's only helpful if it's something you need/want.

Dx 8/15/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 9/23/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 11/21/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left
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Nov 9, 2019 03:23PM swg wrote:

I wouldn't even say "thanks but no thanks." You don't need to explain anything to anyone. I would just take the info, say thanks, and then toss it if you don't want it.

For me, the worst was people thinking they were being helpful by telling me about the latest new age "cure for cancer." THAT drove nuts.

Dx 9/11/17. IDC grade 2, stage 1. 1.2cm. in right breast. ER+/PR+, HER2- 2nd tumor in right breast found 10/22/17. Dx 9/11/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/23/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/27/2017 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Nov 9, 2019 03:27PM swg wrote:

Oh yeah, TRUTH, about "playing the cancer card." I mean, good lord,you've got CANCER. If you wanna use it as an excuse for everything from getting out of chores, to getting deferrals on your credit card payments..go for it. I found it was the one silver lining in a dark, dark cloud.

The best thing I got out of it was benefits from an organization we have here called "Unite for Her." I got a membership with a farm CSA..free massages..free gym membership..it was awesome. I was also able to do free personal training through Lance Armstrong's Livestrong program, which came w a 3-mo YMCA membership. They also gave me a discount on a monthly membership afterwards.

Might as well look up every free thing you can..I even was able to get help paying off utilities through a local charity, which helped while I was recovering from my surgery.

Dx 9/11/17. IDC grade 2, stage 1. 1.2cm. in right breast. ER+/PR+, HER2- 2nd tumor in right breast found 10/22/17. Dx 9/11/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/23/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/27/2017 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Nov 9, 2019 06:13PM TB90 wrote:

MountainMia: Your text just made me cry. Cancer does change things, but it never made me compromise my values or integrity. It’s not an excuse for bad behaviour, but it is a reason for prioritizing self and family.

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/20/2014 Breast
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Nov 9, 2019 09:48PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Here’s a slightly different twist on it. DH had been fairly good about taking care of me and the house. DD is a teacher with two young kids and busy. I asked both several times to give Spookie a bath. I didn’t have the energy and they both put me off. She really needed one.

So I took her to groomer. And fell in love with her foster moyen poodle. Two days later, he was ours. He’s daddy’s boy now, but if he’d given her the bath like I asked..........

Be careful what you ask for.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Nov 9, 2019 11:01PM TB90 wrote:

I think you received exactly what you needed.

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/20/2014 Breast
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Nov 10, 2019 09:04AM HopeWins wrote:

Dixie- I'm totally in line with how you feel. I don't even think its pride. It's the feeling of being under a microscope. I hate sympathy and TLC. I know it sounds weird to some, but it makes me squirm. I don't want a hug and I don't want to see someone else's tears. I want a glass of wine and a bs session on the porch that has NOTHING to do with cancer. Make me laugh and tell me to put on my big girl pants if I'm down too long. That's how some of us thrive.

I kept telling my family no thank you to offers of food and help and visits. At one point my father called my husband and said - You cant say no. I was so mad... at any rate, I found a wingman. My sister took over. Laid the ground rules, became my communicator. She was my rock. That may not work at work, but if you had a work friend who could do that for you... that might be nice too.

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Nov 10, 2019 07:14PM Dixie02 wrote:

Hope, that's exactly how I am. I'm getting better with it now. It's still not me, but I've realized other people are dealing with the news, and my condition, on their own terms. It does mean a lot to know that people care about me. And, I'm pretty sure they already know how I am with accepting help.

I start chemo tomorrow, so perhaps I'll need a hand soon.

Dx 10/11/2019, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/10/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 10, 2019 07:46PM - edited Nov 10, 2019 08:03PM by Lou10

Hi Dixie,

You may or may not need help. The only time I had help was for my surgery as it was in another city and I needed to be taken home. During chemo (and prior treatment for an infection), I drove myself to every appointment. Same with radiation, even though I had to travel daily by ferry for 6 weeks. During this time, I was able to take care of my two special needs pets (one of whom needed sub-Q fluids twice a day) and myself.

It was a tough time for sure, but I'm a private person and independent to a fault. Maybe it's not the best or easiest way to be, but it's who I am. I also seem to be emotionally stronger when I'm alone and don't have to worry about others being upset. Maybe I'm weird (okay I know I'm weird!)

Wishing you the best, however you handle things. :)

Lou

P.S. Forgot to answer your original question. When people offered, I thanked them kindly and said I prefer to do things myself when I'm able; if I'm not able, I'll let them know. Or something to that effect.

Diagnosis: 12/15/2010, IDC (plus DCIS & ILC), 2.5cm IDC, Stage IIb or III (unknown -- radiation to lymph nodes instead of ALND surgery), Grade 2, 2/2 nodes (sentinel and intramammary fully involved with extracapsular extension), ER+++/PR+++, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/13/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 9/14/2011 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2011 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 8/22/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 7/12/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Nov 11, 2019 12:12PM 2019whatayear wrote:

I hear you Dixie. I didn't post my diag. on social media because of most of what you are saying. I like my privacy and frankly being raised as a woman I personally have been socialized for oh so many many years to make other people feel better-- so anyone I tell about my diagnosis I wind up using alllll of my mental energy making *them* feel better about *me* having cancer! After telling a few people I was done, just done. It was exhausting.

I had a BMX and am 4 weekly treatments away from finishing chemo. I have a husband and 3 teens; they have and will continue to do some cooking and cleaning so I didn't need help around the house. My center is 20 mins from my house, during Taxol driving myself is no prob. During the 4 A/C treatments, I let people who asked how they could help come with me for a fun day of infusion. (LOL).

I have run into friendly acquaintances, people who can ascertain that I have a wig on and therefore I'm going thru chemo- and when I don't tell them about my diagnosis- I feel guilty about it-- can you believe that? I have to remind myself I don't owe anyone my medical history! They'll just have to wonder until I feel like posting about it- which I plan to do when I'm done with chemo.

You do whatever you need to do to feel good!

I found myself reading others signatures & comparing my dx to others. I decided to delete my info off my sig, b/c I felt like I was viewing people as their dx vrs. as individuals BRCA-2-BMX 6/25 -chemo 7/24 AC/T
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Nov 11, 2019 05:46PM beach2beach wrote:

Love TB90's response.

Dx 7/28/2017, LCIS/DCIS/ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/12/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 12, 2019 07:32AM VL22 wrote:

Another introvert here. I told as few people about my diagnosis as possible. I work for myself which obviously worked in my favor! My H didn’t tell his coworkers, my kids didn’t tell friends or teachers - I wanted to battle on my terms and I did. I couldn’t have done it without my H running interference like he did. I did tell my older son’s guidance counselor because he took it very hard and I she really liked him and I knew she’d keep an eye on him

Us introverts get a bum rap anyway! I told my husband so many think I’m weird anyway, so the cancer thing just added to it a bit. “Of course she doesn’t want any help!”

Dx 5/5/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/15/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 6/23/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/10/2017 AC + T (Taxol)

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