1 year out: when to tell people you had cancer?

geo26 Member Posts: 2 Member
edited September 2020 in Thyroid Cancer #1

Hi All, 

I'm new here but I'm grateful for this space. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with papillary thyrpoid cancer, had a total thyroidectomy and than RAI at a dose of 75millicuries. In January 2020  I was officially done with treatment (and then the pandemic happened, but we won't get into that...). 


I'm also 26 years old and recently single, and I've been struggling with the question: when do you tell people you had cancer? I feel like it freaks people out, but it's a big part of me. I'm not sure I feel resonance with the term "cancer survivor", but that's what I am now. When I try to convince people that "thryoid cancer really wasn't that bad", I feel like I"m invalidating my experience and how hard and painful it was. 


How do you all talk about having had cancer? To your loved ones? To people you are getting to know? Do you get past it feeling like its a burden/secret?


Thank you so much for any insight!!




  • Miles' mom
    Miles' mom Member Posts: 29 Member
    edited October 2020 #2

    Hi there. I went through the same as you but with metastasis. Timeline of about 1 1/2 years. Let me precede with 3 things. Your experience is your experience and there should be no comparison as to "who has it worse". Pain is pain, Grief is grief. 2nd--cancer (I never say "my cancer". It doesn't own me) changes you. 3rd-- if you look up private in the dictionary you will see me. No social media etc. A select few knew of my situation and my family (who got me through).

    That said, it is not something to be ashamed of. God gives His toughest assignments to His most trusted soldiers. For me, I just know. If I feel like my experience will help someone (after getting to know them), then I will share. 

    It is not a burden--this is one of the reasons we got it. To help others. I pray your cancer stops here and will become something you went through a long time ago..

    p.s. I don't think it freaks people out. Sadly, it is all too common.