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Question for you Ladies

dthompson's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

There is a woman at my work who was recently diagnosed with BC. I do not know her, as I work in a very large federal office building. I know she was recently diagnosed because an all hands e-mail was sent asking for personal leave to be donated to her while she goes through her treatment.  I feel like I should go up and introduce myself and let her know that my wife is still fighting breast cancer and let her know that if she ever needs someone to talk to that she can call my wife. I also wanted her to know that if her husband (not sure if she has one or not) has any questions about the road ahead to please call me.  My question is; Is this OK or would it be out of line ?  What would you all think if some strange guy came up to you and introduced himself and talked to you about a very personal issue (BC). I certainly don't want to upset or offend her, but I lso know that it would have really helped when my wife was diagnosed for her to have someone to talk to who had or was going through the same thing she was about to go through. Also I would have loved to have a BC husband to talk to to get insite as to what to expect while being a care giver. Thanks all !! God Bless!!





Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

Not sure how to advise you, exactly -- an alternate idea might be to email her

I was fortunate in that at work I have two colleagues who have dealt with what I have had to deal with the past year plus.  I also have a few others there, as well as at church, who had less drastic problems than I but still offered support.

One of my best friends lost her battle with bc -- her husband thinks that part of that was because her DR did not take her a more aggressive route.  She had a recurrence of cancer which ended up in her bones and elsewhere.  Her husband and mine have been friends for years.  Actually, my husband has another friend whose wife, someone I work with, who has battled bc.  So, over the years, the three of them have talked, although this time my husband had a different perspective.

Our friend Brian has been good for both of us, as he has shared things with us.  I also think that in ways, we have been good for Brian.  Even though it has been almost 2.5 years since Val died, it seems that he feels he can talk with us about things that went on, as he knows we understand and understand it all better than anyone else he knows.  It was a relief to me to know that if he wanted to, my husband had someone he could talk to -- and he did, sometimes. 

So, it may be that both you and your wife can be a source of encoruagement to this couple.

Posts: 3644
Joined: Aug 2009

Perhaps you could find someone who knows her and feel them out for how she is handling it/how open she is.  We are each so unique!  Personally for most 'things' I'm a very private person but when it comes to IBC - I'm very open and ready to talk to anyone anytime.  Hubby is a much more private person than I am but he is not the least bit when it comes to IBC.    He wears his "Tough Enough To Wear Pink" wrist band 24/7 and wears his 'Tough Enough' pink tees often.   Son does the same things - I got a call one day from WA state from a woman he'd talked to and gave my number to - GREAT!  BUT we are each so different - try to find out from her friends before you approach her and then when you do (IF you do) you'll have some idea of how to approach her.

Just my thoughts!

Winyan - The Power Within


BlownAway60's picture
Posts: 847
Joined: Nov 2009

When I was going through treatment I had a lot of people that I did not really know come up to me and ask me guestions about the beast, my treatments and how I was doing. One of them was the Social Worker for our unit. She wanted to know my experiences so that if there was someone else on base fighting the beast she would be better prepared to help them. She used to visit me atleast once a week. I finished chemo in Feb of 2010 and Rads in July of 2010. I retired from Civil Service in Sep 2010 after 37 years. I have been crocheting hats since May of 2010. I donate most of them to local chemo clinics but some I donate to individuals. I used to just keep to myself and would never approach someone that I did not know. Now I just walk up to people, that I can tell are going through treatment, and ask them if they would like a hat and give them my phone number. I never, in my life thought that I would be able to do something like that but I do it all the time now. Cancer changes us all. I was lucky my supervisor also had BC. She had finished her treatments but was still taking Herceptin. So she knew exactly what I was going through. She and I used to have dscussions and compare notes. I was glad that I had enough leave that I never had to ask for it while I was in treatment. The Social Worker for your unit may have already talked to your co-worker but it never hurts to have a friend especially one who has been there.



Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2791
Joined: Jun 2010

to introduce yourself to her and make that offer.  If the unit was asking for leave donations and included her name in the email, she is obviously not opposed to people (i.e., strangers) knowing.  She is in fact reaching out for help by requesting leave donations.  So, I see nothing wrong and think it is perfectly appropriate for you to approach her.  The worst thing that can happen is she'll say "no thank you" and if she does, you can leave the door open if she changes her mind. 


jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 869
Joined: Jun 2010

I would like to agree 100% with what Suzanne/Double Whammy said. Go ahead and make that introduction and your offer of help. I think you would be a great resource. You will have lost nothing by making the offer and she could have something to gain.


dthompson's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you all so much for your replys. This is a very toughy subject so I wanted to ask you all for your points of view. I may get someone who knows both of us to make the introduction. I just know how lonely my wife and I felt after her diagnosis. It would have been great to have had someone in our same shoes to talk to. I just want to make sure she doesn't feel that same sense of being alone that we both did. Thank you all again. Gob Bless.



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