CSN Login
Members Online: 18

No support from friends, newly diagnosed

Orleans
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi all, I am scheduled for a MOH surgery for basal cell on my lower back in a few weeks. I have researched several cancer sites re skin cancer. Every site recommends hat, sunscreen and protective clothes...no full sun activities from 10-4. My golfing friends say I'm overreacting by not playing golf during 10-4. I am determined to protect my health. I can't believe that one friend is actually angry that I'm not playing golf. Have any of you had these types of reactions from friends/family? Thanks!

lovingwifedeb's picture
lovingwifedeb
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

From this day forward you will be getting all kinds of opinions if you ask for them and especially when you don't ask for them about cancer. My experience has been that the people close to us have the biggest opinions and that they have never had cancer. With that said learn everything on your own and ask your doctor everything...

My husband's doctor had this to say about melanoma and the sun... a person who has been diagnosed with melanoma still needs exposure to the sun for the benefits of natural vitamin D everyday. The key to this is NOT TO BURN! AND LIMIT THE TIME OF EXPOSURE. The cancer eats the melan in your body and you need to replace it.

The next lesson is sunscreens... they do not stay on your body forever once applied, they do not protect forever.

Read, Read, Read, and ask your doctor even more questions.

Deb
lovingwife to Bob, stage 3c melanoma

Orleans
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks Deb. I am confused as to how to handle friends/family who are determined to convince me that they are the only ones with the right advice. My initial thought is that noone is as close to the cancer as I am...and therefore it is easy to offer advice without the consequences.

I am disappointed tho! I would love nothing other than having simple support. No big deal just plain old "anything I can do?" Oh well, its not going to happen so I am just going to be really quiet about what is going on with my health from now on! Lesson learned!!

Good advice on sunscreens and getting 15 minutes of sun daily.

Thanks again and yay for you for being a loving wife to Bob!! He is very lucky :)

washoegal
Posts: 45
Joined: May 2010

Deb is so right. Skin cancer is misunderstood. My best friend when I was first diagnosed, said Oh I am sure you are just fine. When I had to have Lymph Nodes out. She said the same thing. After the surgery, I told her just to keep her mouth shut!

It's too bad your friends won't schedule tee time early. But to make you feel a little easier I just came back from 3 weeks in Egypt and I managed to protect my skin with sunscreen, barely tanned. It can be done if you want to.

Mary
Stage 3

Orleans
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Washoegal....LOL. Sometimes you just have make a stand.

I think I'm just beginning to understand that skin cancer is misunderstood. Maybe because it is so prevalent??

I'm relieved to hear that you spent three weeks in Egypt and managed to protect your skin. I am checking out the websites for protective clothing. And we have a clothing store here that specializes in protective clothing. Now if I just could perfect my golf game :)

JR1949
Posts: 230
Joined: Jun 2009

Orleans, as others have posted, cancer is truly misunderstood by a lot of people. My wife had a mole in 1991 on her forehead that was biopsied and diagnosed as melanoma. When she told me after the dermotologist told her, I thought skin cancer was not serious and then she shared the literature the dermotologist gave her and explained to me how serious it really is. She went to hospital and had the mole excised and removed lymph nodes that were on that side of her face as a precaution. Post op tests showed her cancer free every time until June 2009 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 metatastic melanoma with 2 tumors on her lung and one on her esophagus. Long story short, she underwent agressive IL2 chemotherapy treatments from October 2009 til November 2009 and by the grace of God is now in remission and cancer free. She is still having CT scans every 3 months and will soon go to CT scans every 6 months. Let me stress that the important lesson learned was that she was having regular checkups for 18 years and was therefore had no symptoms (asymptomatic) which was a plus for her survival of the cancer beast.

I am also a cancer survivor from prostate cancer and my wife and I can tell that a lot of people truly do not understand cancer.
I hope I have not been too wordy, but I just want to explain our experience.

Good luck to you on your journey with cancer, you are doing the right thing. Stay positive, limit your sun exposure, do use at least 40 spf suntan lotion when you are out.
Eat foods with antioxidants.
JR

Orleans
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi JR...sorry about the delay in answering you. Believe me you weren't being too wordy! I appreciate that you shared the cancer experiences with me. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of battles that people wage, its truly amazing. I wish you and your wife the best, it sounds like she may be out of the woods. As I read more about skin cancer and I realize that we have 35% chance of getting cancer in other organs it makes me even more determined to stick to my convictions about my health. Its a mystery to me why doctors don't pass on this information to patients. At least mine did not. Thanks for your encouragement, especially "you are doing the right thing"....that really helped me alot!

washoegal
Posts: 45
Joined: May 2010

Can't help with the golf game, except to tell you to protect you skin so you can get back out there and not lose all your friends! People got really tired of waiting for me while I applied more sunscreen. As soon as one complained I lifted up my shirt and showed my 6" scar and said I have more wanna see them. No more complaining! Then I passed around the sunscreen and everyone applied it! LOL.

Orleans
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2010

Washoegal...Your story made me laugh! In fact, I shared with my husband and got a big grin from him. My golf game....oh sigh....no amount of medicine could pump that game up. After the holidays I'm going to try and get a group together and golf early, before the witching hours. We will see it if works out. Thanks for the laugh!

cfw9186
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010

I am at the moment recovering from having my lymph nodes removed from my right groin area, talk about scares. I have one also on my right back hip where the primary was....when my girlfriends came over a couple weeks ago to visit during my recovery, I have been encouraging all my friends to go in for a skin check, I said to one, you can either have the (place where a suspicious mole was removed) about the size of a quarter, or this my back hip one that is 8" long, sometimes visual is much better than words.......she went in and was checked out....I just had to laugh when you showed them your scar reminded me of my story. So many people don't think it is a big deal. Not until it happens to you or someone you love, spread the word. :)

LynnLuc's picture
LynnLuc
Posts: 24
Joined: Sep 2010

The first reaction my family and friends had was when I told them I had stage 4 melanoma...they said basically it's only skin cancer...and basically put it off as nothing. I think the majority of them still don't understand melanoma kills people. I had mine removed very early and it returned a few years later in the same place...had it removed again as well as lymph nodes...again it came back years later parked against my superior vena cava.
People don't get it unless they are diagnosed...they down play the seriousness of sun damage and skin cancer...I am a red head, fair complexed and blue eyes...don't burn and wear plenty of sunscreen and sunsafe clothes...wear a hat and cover up your neck!
I was given 6-9 months to live in June 2009 and for now I have NO EVIDENCE of DISEASE...

rowe
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2004

I understand what your going through. People have a misconception about skin cancer and especially Melonoma. Which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. There needs to be more education. I also have red hair and always burn if i dont wear sunscreen. I'm a 11 year cancer survivor I did a clinical trial for Melanoma. I'm so glad your cancer free. God Bless!

Ted1200
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011

Sorry about your friend's behavior. Your's is the first post I have replied to in here. It really struck a chord with me.
Most of the folks you know will react badly. (friends & family) ugh Make sure you continue to talk with everyone. Their reaction is how they deal with things. As you walk through this problem, they will eventually see what is really happening. Don't rely on friends and family to "be there" for you. Fellow sufferers site will help you much more than the ones you have relied on in the past.
I attend a weekly support group at a near by hospital. The hospital also has lots of free literature. I've learned a lot.
Even if you can't get friends & family to listen or help, you can educate yourself regarding how to deal with their behavior/reaction. This helps a lot more than you may think.
Others have god intentions, try and remember that when they are telling you something stupid. Protect and educate yourself friend.

Ted

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network