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Telling others you have cancer

jagged
Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2008

How do you tell acquaintances that you have cancer or that it has returned?

Last year at work I took a 6 months medical leave with cancer. Well, the cancer is back and I will be starting another medical leave in a week. How do I tell people my cancer is back? I likely wont make it back, so it is probably goodbye. Death is difficult to lay on people, and I hate the pollyannish approach. Thoughts?

justashley's picture
justashley
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2008

Wow, I feel for you.
You are in my prayers.
That said, you don't have to tell them the extent of your leaving, and that you may not be back, but please tell them what they mean to you, if its nothing but just to say I really like you for who you are. Or maybe remind them of something they did that touched you.
Death is hard to face and people generally don't know what to say or do, I hope you will be doing what you want in your last time however long it might be.

jagged
Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2008

This is a great reply. Right now, everything has been me, me, me. I am not insensitive, just wraped up in the goings on. The reminder and suggestion was needed. Thank you.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

The folks that grant leave have to know and you alone know who else ought to know. I find it easier to be honest but maybe not explicit on all the details. Strangers don't need to know more than the fact you need some time to take care of a personal situation. Close friends will want to know more so they can help. As much as you don't want to burden others, friends can be a big help when they know what is going on and how to help. If you start feeling guilty about being the helped rather than the helper, think about what you would have done if one of them were fighting cancer. You probably would want to do something.I remember when I came down with a second cancer (breast cancer first, lung cancer the second go round). Everybody wanted to make food for us. We couldn't eat it all and it was the high fat sort that I wasn't really supposed to eat at all. Finally the folks at work got organized and either cooked stuff we could eat (skip the cake and concentrate on the veggies) or gave us a gift card for the week to a nearby restaurant. It really was a help, especially the gift cards. Doing dishes or cooking when you don't feel well is a drag.By the way, reoccurances and second cancers mean another nasty battle is coming up, but they don't always mean doom and disaster. Make your appointments to do whatever the doctor recommends, get your papers in order like you might die tomorrow, but then live each day out to the fullest. That is what life is all about whether we have a year or twenty years left. Good luck!

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