Breast Cancer Community
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1492829 tn?1288633962

Breast Cancer and Telling your family and friends

Has anyone else run into odd responses when telling the people you love you have cancer? I kept everything to myself until I knew it was something to worry about as we discuss on here quite often a lump is nothing 80% of the time so when my OB/GYN found mine during my annual exam I didn't worry about it too much and I dodn't tell anyone just went for the mammogram like a good girl. When the radiologist said I needed a biopsy because of the microcalcifications I did that too without complaint because like we discuss many times they are benign just clogged milk ducts something else equally harmless. So when the oncologist told me I did indeed have stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma and what we were going to do about it then I called my parents, family and friends to tell them.

I have gotten some very positive responses and I have one "friend" who insisted on telling me how horrible of a friend I had been the past few months while I was dealing with this on my own because I hadn't been returning phone calls and things of that nature. Has anyone else run into odd responses like this from people?
4 Responses
962875 tn?1314210036
Hi and welcome to purcommunity!

I'm very sorry this happened to you. However, you can expect  many weird responses  to sharing that you have been diagnosed with BC, or any cancer for that matter.

Some of the all-time "greats:"

1. Insisting on telling you all the details about their friend or relative who suffered terribly and then died from the same, or a different, type of cancer.

2.Telling you how terrible chemotherapy is, and how sick and miserable you're going to be. (And sometimes, that they'd rather just die than go through all that.)

3..Telling you, "You shouldn't have let them cut on you. Once they open you up cancer spreads all through you!"

4.Telling you it is God's plan, to make you appreciate life more.

3.Telling you that you would not have gotten it if your faith was stronger.

4.Telling you it is a punishment for something you did (abortion, etc.) or didn't do (visit your mother more ofetn, etc.).

5. Asking, "Why do you think you got it? You look so healthy."

6. Bringing  you a bag of brown rice and telling  you that you should only eat a  macrobiotic diet.

7. Saying, "Don't worry, it's probably not as bad as they're saying." or "You'll be just fine!" (They have no way of knowing this, esp. if they don't know the details of your case...)

8. Asking "How do you think you'll feel about losing a breast?" (Whether that is part of your tx plan or not!)

These have ALL really happened to people, by the way . And I bet some of our members have heard even "better" ones.

About all you can do is laugh, cry, share the comments with you BC support group, avoid the worst offenders, or if you get fed up enough, tell them off.  The thing not to do is waste too much time dwelling on such comments, because they aren't worth it, and you have much more important things in which to invest your time and energy.

Best wishes...
Avatar universal
I know what you are talking about. Some times i thought to my self i would be better off if no one knew. I was asked from my sister in law '' and how did you get that'' what a stupid question to ask. A friend told me she did not believe me that i was only ''making it up''. after my second op she told me this . Why on earth would any one say they have cancer if they had not.Amost every one else kept saying to me ''dont worry its nothing'' how were they to know more than me and i was the one to have it but ,you take it like a pinch of salt. I think my self that they just dont know what to say or how to approach you. Even my partner found it hard to approach me and said because that it was something he could not fix and felt usless. So chin up and tell that friend you had enough to think about in your mind. I'm sure she will feel bad over it. Best wishes to you.
757137 tn?1347196453
Your friend's response was odd. It is perfectly natural not to upset people based on the possibility that something unfortunate might be taking place with you. Once you knew the results of the test, you told people. Is your friend thinking more of herself than of you? It is not as though you were holding back a juicy piece of gossip.
1492829 tn?1288633962
I have heard several of those. The most common and my least favorite are some variation on the below. In my case it usually involves if you were a christian... as if there is something wrong with being wiccan and believing in the awesome power of nature.

- It is God's plan, to make you appreciate life more.
- You would not have gotten it if your faith was stronger.
- God is testing you (I love this one as if life is one big SAT exam)

Has anyone else run into the extremely personal questions everyone thinks they have a right to ask once they find out? I guess now I know how pregnant women in the mall feel when everyone wants to touch their bellys and ask what they are having :)  It is ironic really that people who didn't want to know a thing about you before now want to know every last detail of your life.

I completely agree why would anyone fake cancer and who in their right mind would accuse someone of doing so... I would be telling that person off in 5 seconds personally then again I am too honest for my own good so I hate being called a liar. I can't understand how anyone would think that is ok. And why would anyone as "How did you get that" it reminds me of the blue collar comedian that is always saying here's your sign I think your sister in law needs one :)
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