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In reading some of the posts the last few days, I couldnt help but wonder how everyone shares their diagnoses with their coworkers, etc...

When I was first diagnosed with possible lung cancer, I didn't share it with people at work, except for a few close friends. When I went in for surgery, I did tell quite a few people what was going on, but I downplayed it as much as I could. I told them because I was going to be out of work for awhile and I knew that they needed to know something...

Now that I'm almost a year out of surgery, alot of the people at work have come and gone and not everyone knows that I had lung cancer. In fact, a few weeks ago one of the employees was rubbing my shoulders and she kept telling me that I needed to take a deep breath and when I did, she said I wasn't breathing deep enough. I really see no need to be "in your face" with people and to tell her, well, thats because I have 2/3 of my lung gone! I don't want to do the shock value thing and there is no easy way to tell people sometimes. Honestly, I use humor the most to get the message out there.

I guess my cancer is a private thing for me and one that I don't care to share with everyone. In fact, I went to one Relay for Life meeting since my job is very active with it, and I was mortified. When I went in, someone told them I was a Survivor so I had to stand up during introductions and everyone applauded and smiled. Also, I found out the local Cancer Society gives you free basketball game tickets if you have cancer. I find something wierd with that, maybe I am not looking at things right, but I just don't get why they would give me free tickets because I'm unlucky enough to have cancer. There are alot of other diseases that aren't too pretty..do they get free tickets?? And if I were to go to the game, do I have to stand there too?? I didn't sign up to be some poster child for cancer!! I don't want to be applauded for saving myself... who wouldn't do whatever they could to live?? Its not like I ran into a building and saved a bunch of kids. I am saving my own *ss...thank you very much.. I will applaud myself....yeah me!! :?

Whew...didn't know that this is where my post was going :shock: ! I actually am so on the fence about sharing the fact that people can have lung cancer and live AND keeping my private space. Although I had never written about the Relay for Life luncheon, it really bothered me. I felt like a circus freak, being stared at by everyone while they all patted themselves on the back. I apologize if I am sounding rather warped... I am not sure why I feel the way that I do, just that I do and am throwing it all out there. I don't want to offend anyone....and hope that I havent..

Does anyone out there feel some of the same things or am I actually a circus freak after all? :lol: And do you feel that you need to tell everyone about your cancer or do you find the need to keep it close?

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Each person has to make their OWN decision about whom and when to tell people, it is a very personal decision.

I agree about being rewarded for having a disease. The people (not me yet) who volunteer big gobs of time and money to find cures or assist people with a disease should be the ones who get the back pats and the atta boys.

Each of us, in our own way, gotta do what we gotta do.


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You just remind me too much of me, but I am a few years ahead. I think it is part of the process of grieving (the disease) and healing. sometimes I wanted to talk about it, sometimes not. My work did know about it, but kids and parents did not. I do not tell my kids, but after 11 years with cancers (yikes!) I am starting to quietly tell some parents when I think it is beneficial to them.

I think we survivors do need to come out of the closet. My son is sick of me reminding him how dangerous smoking is. We here are doing that with this support group. And we are coming out to John Q Public at our own speeds.

It took me three cancers to become outspoken at work. I will remind coworkers that I am down a lung part if the situation arises.

Thanks for putting your thoughts down in words. It makes me think of my own feelings. Usually just the therapist hears them.


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I think every ones diff so you need to find out what your comfortable with.I also don't think it's wrong to tell others you have cancer.I sometimes feel like a circus freak too.Especially while having to drag or wear oxygen tank.Everyone stares and makes you wonder what the he-- they are thinking.MAbe the bball tickets are because you are a survivor and they are honoring your fight and determination.Any way I wish you the best and I'll watch for you on national TV while you address 8 million people.HA HA HA.....YOU CAN DO IT DEBI.RAH RAH RAH.


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I can't identify personally, but I sure can with my husband. He is so private, he won't let me use his name on here. He doesn't want anybody to know anything. He doesn't want any attention drawn to himself. None. Ever. Not even family. He doesn't want anybody asking him how he's feeling or how he's doing (but he's getting a little better with that now). I think at first he didn't want people asking or knowing because he was very angry. He was angry because he hadn't smoked for 30 years, angry because he is never sick, and just angry about everything. Now, he's much better, back to work, smiling more, feeling good, and if people ask how he's doing or feeling, he gives a pleasant answer. I'm sure he would never go to any kind of cancer survivor's function, but he would anonymously give money. That's just the way he is. Very, very private.


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It seems like I've been in every one of the boats described here at one time or another.

When I was first diagnosed, I was totally in a foggy daze and told only my principal at work. When it was time for surgery, the whole staff needed to know as I would be gone from work for a long period of time (and previously was rarely sick :roll: ). That turned out to be a blessing as friends and co-workers rallied with food and cheerful small gifts to lift my spirits. When I recovered from the surgery and reentered social life, I held my condition VERY close to me. Now, 2 years post-surgery, I feel more comfortable (in situations of my choosing) sharing about my LC, because I hope I can somehow raise awareness that ANYONE at ANY AGE can be susceptible to this devastating disease. However, I, too, would not like to be made the focus of attention or singled out in any way in a social setting. My preference, like Peggy's husband, is to contribute more anonymously. I'm still evolving.

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I can relate to this.

I don't want to be defined entirely by this disease, either. It isn't WHO we are. And it is only part of what we have. For instance, I have green eyes, 3 children, fingernails so strong they can substitute for screwdrivers or weapons if needed, an out of control collection of chicken stuff, and a past and present history of Lung Cancer. That's only part of what I have, but it's a big part.

Free basketball tickets, huh? No, but if they were season tickets for the Celtics it would be harder than not to turn them down. I would hope that folks understood that the intent is for someone who enjoys Basketball who can't afford the tickets (maybe because cancer treatments are expensive) to be able to go to a few games.

I don't want to be a poster child, either. So I won't be. But what I WILL be is a persistent, just short of "in your face" reminder that Lung Cancer is out there. I don't want to do this, because the truth is that I encounter far more rejection and condemnation because of this than I do acceptance and understanding. But here is why I keep letting people know it is Lung Cancer that I have: If it can happen to me it can happen to them.....and knowing that just might save their life. It really is that simple.

I don't do well with applause. Embarrasses me. (If I do something and it makes you happy, lets keep it between us, okay?)

Debi, is it possible that the lady doing the neck rub had heard about the Lung Cancer and that was her way of giving you an opening to talk about it? Just wondering....

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I think this time around with a cancer diagnosis, I was much more willing to ask for help, talk about it with people, and let them know what I was going through.

The first time, with the breast cancer, I was paralyzed with fear--couldn't go to work till I knew the results of the biopsy, wanted to know what I was facing, withdrew from my friends, and just could not even talk about it. Turns out that the breast cancer was an early stage one, mostly in situ as a matter of fact, with less than 2 mm of invasive tissue. I recovered from that surgery in days (lumpectomy is nothing, and I mean nothing, compared to a lobectomy) and then after radiation I was done except for follow-up appts.

This last time, with the lung issue, I was also paralyzed with fear. Again I wouldn't go to work till I had a plan in place--appointment with thoracic surgeon, PET results, surgery date. I really, really believed that the surgeon would not find cancer this time and felt that way till I woke up after surgery and he gave me the news. Although that wasn't good news, I was overjoyed that my lymph nodes were clear--he took and tested 15, but no one found anything and they didn't light up for the PET either.

It was after all that that I fell apart. I don't know what happened, but I needed to see a psychiatrist and get some help. I knew I didn't want to spend my life crying over cancer. But I also knew I wasn't going to get out of that hole on my own. I just couldn't figure out how to carry on from being someone who would sometimes have perfect attendance at work for years running to someone with a very fragile state of health.

Co-workers, most of whom I have worked with for the 25 years that I have been employed there, are people I consider family/friends for the most part. They saw me through this twice now, and while they know, we really don't talk much about it unless I bring it up. That's ok too. My girlfriends are mostly my golfing buddies and they've been great. Again, it doesn't really come up much unless I bring it up. Meanwhile, one of our golf friends, in her 40's, is dealing with stage IV colon cancer. Guess she had been having problems for about a year but didn't get any medical treatment till about December--she was diagnosed at stage IV.....really, really a sad event for all of us.

Relay for Life--this is something I don't know how it will play out for me this year. I have been asked to captain a team, and have lots of people to be on my team--how I feel about the survivor's dinner and the survivor's lap, I really don't know yet. I have even thought about not participating in the survivor stuff, and just acting like a team captain.

You're right though Debi, I don't want to be known as "cancer victim". I don't want to take advantage of my health misfortunes in any way--free basketball game tickets--yikes! No way!

It is a private issue with me too--I belong to some professional associations and I sure wouldn't think about giving any of them the blow by blow of my ailments.

I think that I desperately want for my old life--I sure did take excellent health for granted. Saw a doc once a year for routine checkup and that was it. Now, doctors are a part-time job for me--way too many of them and too many appointments, but I know that's keeping me healthy.

I guess that "old life" is gone, and I will have to get used to the "new normal." I suppose that's why I like to keep most of all this to myself--I don't want any special treatment because of my health history, and if I can keep people around me from thinking about it, I can get my life closer to the normal that I know.

Sorry to go on for so long--this post really touched on something I've been thinking about for long time and haven't quite figured out how to handle.

I guess we learn as we go along.

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Darn it, it is too hard for me to stay quiet even though I said I was taking a small break. If only my work interested me as much as this website, I'd be so much more efficient and not as much at a loss of words when I sit at my computer and try to write a motion ;)

I just think everyone is different. My dad apparently had skin cancer when I was 10 years old and went through 6 rounds of radiation. This was over 20 years ago. He told no one, not even my mom!!! We just fo und out when my mom was diagnosed :) He finally confessed . My grandmother never told anyone she had breast cancer, she was private. My mom on the other hand does not mind who knows and who does not know. I like telling people for awareness, I like telling people to give them hope b/c my mom looks great.

I have found that I mention lung cancer and everyone has a story on how it effected them and a few have told me they wonder if they should get tested b/c their dad had it, they stopped smoking awhile back , etc. I tell them that in NY they did yearly chest xrays on my parents as part of physical. In CA they don't. Had they, would my mom's cancer been seen sonner? She moved to CA 3 years ago. Probably not, early stage is usually not seen on xray so ct scans are good. I feel good sharing what I learned. I also understand the need for normalcy and privacy. I don't think there is a right or wrong, I just think we are all different. Sort of like Republicans and Democrats :) We are all different, but if we were the same, we'd be boring ;) And there is no right or w rong, it is what is best f or you.

As for the basketball tickets, here is my view. It makes others feel good to do something nice for someone sick. My mom's office put together a basket of fun stuff to try to cheer her up, etc. A cancer patient who is a sports fan might not even think or feel like b uying tickets, but if the cancer society offers it, it just makes them feel good to get out. I would take the tickets and then give a donation back to the cancer society :) I would not look at it as free, I would look at it as a perk or reward for being involved and an opportunity to donate if I could afford it.

Speaking of which, my mother in law said something STUPID on vacation and meant well. She wanted our little shampoos and lotions, she said she likes to give them to cancer patients, they like it. I said my mom would not like that little sample :) She said well I mean those who are struggling and cannot afford it b/c treatment can be expensive. I said ok, you want to give the shampoo and lotion to women who are having a hard time in their lives and cannot afford things. That makes sense. It just bothers me when the term cancer is thrown around I think : ) Although you know, I am sure I did the same thing until it hit me personally.

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I was diagnosed with cancer December 3d last year and even before I got the definite diagnosis I called all my friends and family to tell them the news. Since my treatment and subsequent tests were done at MD Anderson in Houston and I lived in New Mexico, I am glad that I had a long distance support network during the difficult times while waiting for surgery and during even more difficult post surgerytime.

My husband e-mailed everyone with all the news periodically and the prayers and good messages I receivved were so important to me. I am still only 2 1/2 months from surgery (removal of the lower R lobe and lymph nodes) and still away from home and living in temporary places, I am so happy when i get a call or mail from a friend or a relative. There were some people who just could not handle the LC issue at all but a lot of others were so generous with their attention, good wishes and prayers that it made my recovery that much easier to take.

I still feel like a freak when I go out in public and just am surrounded with "normal" people and I feel really depressed about what is happening to me. I don't want strangers to shun me because of what I had but I do crave and appreciate the support I received from my friends.

Nothing is easy or clear now.

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I was like Gyongy! I told everyone! I considered each person and how they would react, and then I told them as much as I thought they could handle. I openly asked for prayers on a couple of private forums I am a member of. The results were, that I had a constant stream of well wishers and a constant flow of prayers going up to support me through this. I wore bandanas on my bald head and as a consequence, when I went out people would come up to me and tell me "I am a survivor too! Hang in there, you can do it"

For me the gift from lc is finally knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that my family loves me (yes, I held this in doubt)and also finding out that a lot of other people care about me as well and that I have touched their lives in a positive way!

Each person handles this issue in their own way, there is no right or wrong way. I needed to share, 'Tony" needs to hold it secret and close, both methods work!



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Boy today this post sure got a lot of attention. The ribbon is so long I have to admit I have not read every line. I agree, do what is comfortable. I did walk and wear a LUNG CANCER SURVIVOR shirt and I enjoyed those cheers at the Relay for Life. Lung cancer was the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. I think we survivors are really gutsy, and if we can come out the other side of this , we can do most anything!. I don't hide my disease , I guess I talk about it nearly every day. Before this happened to me I know even though I was a nurse I really was ignorant about it, about what people went through when told they had cancer, how screening is needed etc. I have at least 3 shirts they say I am a lung cancer survivor. I talked about cancer, lung cancer today with some nurses, we were working on maternity, post partem. But thats me, Donna G

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Debi,

My Brother also is sort of private about this. When I asked him about letting friends know who he has always been near and dear to but dont live close to him anymore, he said No. I have respected his wishes. As far as the tickets ... this is my feeling... Instead of giving out tickets and such, take that money and put it where it will work and that is in lung cancer research!!! I am sure all that have this dreaded BEAST would rather see a cure someday than attend a basketball game. No, I dont think your weird or any such thing. This is your decision and I do understand it. I think if it were me, I would feel the same way. Prayers for you Deb

God Bless You,


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  • 4 weeks later...

I know what you mean, Debbie. I was very upset with one of my sisters for blabbing about my lung cancer. She told her friends, cousin I haven't seen for forty years and many others. I feel its my personal business and I'll share it with who I wish to. I can tell just by the way some of them look at me that they know about it. I just want to be treated like anybody else. I don't want pity.Hugs and best wishes!


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To be honest, I told the people at work...I told my relatives...I told my friends...because I had done NO research and figured "Oh, cancer...they take it out, end of story" :roll: Uh, yeah, right...

Had I known the dire statistics, how personal the battle is and how sh*tty some of my co-workers would become due to my many absences (doctor appointments, side effects, AND being a "Mom" and taking care of a sick child when needed) and would grade my performance with "Needs to work on attendance issue" and "Everyone is worried about her health problems but she needs to be here"...well, I may have exercised my right of "Ain't LEGALLY none of ya'lls business why I'm not here!"...

BUT, what REALLY p*ssed me off was when hubby's EX-WIFE starts telling everyone about my "problem" - and I NEVER discussed it with her! I felt it none of HER business and am really upset with the step-kids for feeding her details, etc. We went in to get our taxes done for 2002 and my dear husband began the conversation with the taxman of "we're wondering if we can claim medical expenses.." and was told by the taxman that he KNEW Mark's wife had lung cancer, the EX had discussed it with him! WHAT THE *%*$#?? I was LIVID!

Of course, she would ask all about it when she'd call to get her doctor and tell me that she has a cousin with the disease and she knows JUST HOW I FEEL... EXCUSE ME??? I don't think so... But I didn't get into a p*ssin' match with her - didn't want her to REALLY know how big that ol' brass set is that I tote around...LOL

I guess, looking back, I'da kept it a little more low key - AND I woulda chewed her *ss the first time I EVER heard of HER spreading MY news.. C'MON! I guess her point was that "HER" hubby had gone from one with hardcore mental illness to one with great physical issues...and he thought he was trading UP... (Well, yeah...I can still take her with one hand behind my back and one lung in a jar... :roll: )

Geez, THAT was a rant! My apologies, been a long day and somehow, what I just read hit one heckuva nerve! Bet ya couldn't tell...

Guess I need to go to bed since I can't be nice...

Take care,


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Not sure why this post suddenly popped up again, but just wanted to confess that I'm one of those blabber mouths. I've told just about everybody I know about my husband's disease. Maybe I shouldn't have, but of course, he doesn't know any of them, and the ones he does know, he wouldn't care if they did know. (That last sentence really does make sense, but you might have to re-read it.)

I guess it's because I'm a very compassionate person and if I know that someone I love or care about is sick, I want to have the opportunity to offer to help them or encourage them, do it's "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." You know? Like I said, most of the people I've told don't know my husband, but they do know me and care about me, and if I had held it back, they would have been just like all of you did when I held back on the progression of my husband's disease. Also, most of the people I've told share with me in my faith in Christ and they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, so they are family. I wouldn't intentionally do anything to hurt my husband, or upset him. As most of you know, I won't even use his name on this website because he's so private. I guess I feel like I know who to tell and who not to tell. Our neighbors are great friends and they know about the cancer, but they don't know the latest news. Because they are also my husband's friends, it's his place to tell them if he wants to.

Oh well, I'm beginning to ramble, so I'll stop, but just wanted you to know that all of us blabber mouths aren't all bad, and we mean well even if we do talk too much. Try not to be too mad at us. Also, thank you for making me a little more aware of your side of this issue.



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This post has made me think.....I told close friends and family about my diagnoses at the time and was grateful for their support. And my direct co-workers (the 5 in my dept.) knew about it, as did some administrative members, but the general "masses" at work were not aware (I work in a large lawfirm with over 750 employees).

I was HORRIFIED when my boss called me at home after surgery and said she had told all 10 of our "First Year Associates" (that we work with often) in case they wanted to send me a card and asked if there was anyone else I wanted her to tell. Uhhh.....NO! (and not one of those little brats sent me a card....)

I have been back at work for close to a year now since treatment, and not a week passes that some unsuspecting co-worker who hasn't seen me in a while will say "have you lost weight?" or "did you cut your hair?". The short hair seems to surprise many, and I don't usually explain, I just smile and nod and say yes, I cut it.....

I have often wondered why I don't say anything when they comment in different ways.....I think I am trying to spare THEM. I have no problem saying "It was a chemo haircut" or something silly, but I don't want them to get that panicky dumstruck look. I hear lots of comments about my healthy eating and they say they wish they were as disciplined as me....and I want to say "if you had the scare I had, you would eat like you were eating to save your life too!" But again, I just smile.

They will all know soon enough. I am still planning my benefit walk for this November and plan to post a notice on our In-office internet message board, sharing my story and asking for donations/participants in walk. I'm sure this will create quite a buzz.....and hopefully create quite an outpuring of donations for a cure!

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It was just a month ago today that I got the dx. A couple of very close friends already knew the likelihood of a cancer dx, as she is a nurse and I needed to pick her brain. But based on what my internist had told me, we sort of expected it to be lymphoma....not lung cancer.

Once we got the actual dx....there were those people I knew would probably think I'd done this to myself by smoking....as well as some who would take in the news as if it was all about them. In other words, "Omigod....she has cancer....I can't believe this is happening TO ME!!!" :roll:

Initially, I just couldn't deal with any of that...so chose not to tell anyone but those I KNEW could and would offer support without judgment OR by imposing their emotions on things. Of course I told my hubby, kids and my best friend right away. Later, I sort of hand picked the people I was okay with telling. There are still some we've not told who don't live in this area.

And I also knew just exactly who would spread the word locally, once we did sort of let it out.....or I thought I did. I ended up telling someone who kept asking if I was okay, because the incision from my biopsy didn't escape her attention. (It sure seemed to escape the attention of a lot of other people, though...even though it was red and still healing, right at the base of my neck. It was and still is highly visible!!)

When I told this person, I did NOT specifically ask her not to say anything....but I DID say, "Very few people know about this". Well...she chose to tell the ONE person who's husband is like the town crier at our golf club. This guy LOVES to have this kind of news so he can tell everyone who doesn't know. I think it makes him feel important somehow, to spread around news (or gossip) that nobody else seems to know. :roll: And of course, next thing I know...the word is I have throat cancer, so this guy doesn't always get his facts straight either....but it doesn't keep him from talking!!! :roll:

And you know...by now, I really don't care who knows. I've gotten my own emotional foothold and am prepared to NOT to take in whatever will impact my sense of stability (much as it's possible to have that, this early after a cancer dx!) But what gets my goat is that this guy who took such pleasure in spreading the word has not acknowledged the cancer to either my husband or me!! He's simply not said one dang word.....other than to say hello in passing and pretend that he HASN'T been spreading the word to anyone who will listen!

People can be odd sometimes. I mean, I understand that for some...they simply don't know WHAT to say....so they say nothing or very little and look at you with sadness, or give you a hug. Others think they have to just say how sorry they are....and while I appreciate the sentiment, the sorrow of others does me no good. I have no energy to deal with the sorrow of others right now, because I need my energy to focus on the fight ahead...the fight to get well. The truth is, they can save their sorrow for when I'm someday GONE or near the end. As long as I'm still here....then simply wish me well....wish me the good fight....send me POSITIVE thoughts and energy and table the sorrow for when it might be more appropriate, you know?

That's how I feel about it, anyway. And I still say, if all this is such great fodder for the gossip mill....then the guy who is spreading the word could also say something to me or my hubby. It's pretty hard to use the excuse of not knowing WHAT to say...when he's surely not having any trouble saying what he knows to other people, eh? :?

More important than that, though.....is that aside from people in my real life....I have a solid group of internet buddies that I "met" thru a now-defunct message board. We've all stayed in touch. There are 14 women....all strong, wise and wonderful women....who know about my cancer and who have become my cyber-support "team". We do group emails....they are enormously supportive and positive, caring and giving....and I feel SO terribly blessed to have them in my corner. They are keeping me grounded and focused and when I stumble or falter or get scared....they are my flashlight in the dark! They are my Hard Hatters.....the hard hat being my mental symbol for this fight. :wink: They are incredible, loving women and I just know in my heart, that they will be like a secret weapon for me in the battle ahead! A willing source of strength for me to draw from. How lucky can you get, huh?

I don't guess there is any right or wrong in telling people or not telling people. It's all about comfort level AND one's emotional needs. I know my hubby told people without my knowing, rather early on. He had his own emotional needs in this, too....so I had no problem with who he felt comfortable in sharing this news. He has the right too, I think....to select those who he knows will support HIM thru all this and it may not be the same people from whom I seek support, you know?

I also know that he asked those he told to keep it confidential...and I'm very assured that they did....until the word otherwise got out.

Anyway....nobody asked us if we wanted cancer in the first place....so whether or not we choose to share the fact that we have it, isn't something that anyone else has a right to question! The notion of feeling like some sort of freak over ANY illness....well, that just shouldn't EVER happen.

So much personal privacy goes by the wayside when one fights a serious illness....that whatever degree of privacy we CAN or NEED to maintain for ourselves....is our right, not just our privelege. That's how I see it. We know, with something like cancer, that we're going to get poked, prodded, stuck, viewed, scanned, xrayed and investigated in ways that will make us feel totally exposed and vulnerable.

In the face of all that....maintaining a little privacy and dignity can become so important, can't it? To each his own, I say. We each have the right to take care of our needs in this matter...in our own way.

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I can understand how you want to keep the facts to yourself. My dad on the other hand was somewhat dissapointed because he didnt lose his hair, cause he said hed wear it like a badge. ( I think he would have just liked the attention! :lol: ) But I get it. You tell who you feel comfortable with, and by the way,,, I dont get the basketball tickets either!


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My brother was dx in 1993. He was a private person. I took care of his financial affairs etc because Social Sec felt he would blow his check. Anyway, I was the one that would help him with things etc. Our mother was alive at the time also. He had part of a lung removed in 1993. I never knew much about his medical affairs. He told no one. I felt he told mom tho. Anyway, as the years passed, everytime he went to the doctor or I saw he was feeling bad I'd ask what the doctor said and he would tell me that everything was normal. Normal to me then had a different meaning than now. What was normal to him? Cancer progressing at "normal pace" or "nothing wrong normal?" As I watched him loose weight and use inhalers I knew he was looking bad. Yet, his reply...nothing wrong...normal.

Last time he was in hosp he did tell his doctor he wanted him to talk to me (his choice) and that I was going to call. The conversation was that

he had cancer in the medistien (sp) area and that he was not as lucky as before. He just did surgery on his stomach area a few days before. It was prob a met I don't know. The surgeon told me he saw a small spot on his liver also. When I ask if he removed it while there he said he was not concerned about it. The lung cancer would take him before that spot could grow.

Anyway, while he was in hosp, the reason my brother wanted me to talk to doctor was to get my opinion on chemo and radiation. The doctor told me he could give him little chemo and/or radiation but that we were talking of adding days not years to his life. Didn't know if he would make it out of hosp or not. This was an option to get him through Christmas. This was Dec 4. I left it to my brother and he wanted the extra days for his daughter at Christmas. He wanted to go home and not the hosp. He went to mom's house but I took him to my house. She was 80 years old and I knew if something happened she coild not handle it.

He never got the chemo or radiation. He passed away 3 days later at my house.

This turned out long and a little off your orig post Debi but my point here is that as close as we were I never knew his real condition. Often wonder now what type cancer he had etc. I wonder if I could use some of his medical history for my self. I had no clue that a few years later I would be fighting cancer.

Also my mom passed about 9 months after he did. You know what the cause was...you guessed it Lung Cancer. She never was staged or really dx except for doctor saying he felt like it was LC. At her age he said if he done some poking and probing and all, what could he do at her age. She had fluid that kept coming back. Test on fluid showed no cancer but he felt it was. Wish I knew of a board like this back then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just found this topic and thought I would add my experience.

When my husband was going through his initial tests and was being scheduled for surgery, he was telling his sister that he was going in for a ‘biopsy’ and that there was a possibility that he may also have surgery. He yelled at me and said he didn’t want me worrying her, because he did not want her to call him and start crying. He also told the same story to his office. He also told this story to our 21-year old daughter. He and I were both under tremendous anxiety; I was with him on all the doctors consult visits, getting the MRIs, PET scans, etc. Both his pulmonary doctor and thoracic surgeon wanted to be very aggressive. The pulmonary dr was the one who first mentioned ‘remove the entire lung’ scenario. It was hard for me to confirm his story of ‘going in for a biopsy’ with his sister. I told her that he was trying to give her the best picture, but that I would be grateful for her support and keeping in touch on surgery day. My husband had thoughts that he was not going to make it through surgery. He even postponed surgery by a month so that he could sign up for more life insurance and get more affairs in order for his family…After a 6-hr surgery, the dr came out and told me they took his right lung. After surgery and only 4 days in the hospital, he explained his surgery to his office/partners, as “they carved me up like a turkey and took out a little something they found”. He was back at the office within a week coming home from the hospital, on a partial basis.

Our extended families and friends now know everything, including the chemotherapy. His office co-workers and partners do not know the extent of the surgery he had and that he also had chemo treatments for 3 months, as he continued on an almost normal schedule at the office. Even though the extended family and friends know what he has been through, they have no idea of how this disease is always with you, that you are always waiting ‘til that next scan time, that next dr visit and wondering.

I have shared more details of what was going on with my co-workers. My boss is a pediatrician and was very supportive. He knew the surgeon and confirmed his celebrated expertise. He even called me in the ICU after surgery to see how everything went. I am hoping to talk my husband into participating in the Relay for Life Survivor’s Walk in our area in August, but don’t know if he will be ready to go that ‘public’. I will wait on that one ‘til the end of July.

So, I guess what I am saying, it seems it is a ‘guy thing’ not to want to talk about themselves. We are now going to a nearby Wellness Community for a support group for each of us. Even though the people in our groups have other types of cancers and all of them currently are experiencing more devastating issues, it does help to have a group to talk to about cancer related personal stuff. It has been helpful. I do not think he would ‘discuss’ this stuff on-line, but the group setting seems to be helpful to him.

Thanks for letting me vent on this. :lol:

Donna B

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  • 1 month later...

I am new here, only been in a couple of times. But reading these posts tonight I wanted to respond. I still have not been staged, but have lung cancer. My husbands family are very close people so they all know. My family and I are not close. Last June my sister died from breast cancer, by the time she found out it was in her spine and spreading. When she told our family she started getting calls of sibblings looking for absolution. I emailed one of my sisters last week and told her, I also pointed out what happened to our sister, was not going to happen to me. I am going to fight and win this battle, so planning a funeral is not acceptable. I haven't heard back from her yet.

I am close to a couple of my neighbours, and have told them. And I have come on the internet to 2 cancer support groups and told you. Support is what we need. Right now I am in limbo I guess, no definate answers except I have a tumour in my left lung.

I did think today, what about the whispers when they see me losing weight or whatever else may or may not happen as a result of my fighting this monster. I think the stigma is " I asked for this, I smoke"

Anyways, just wanted to respond . thanks for letting me spout off a little


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Cathy, so sorry you had to find us but so glad you are here. I like your fighting attitude. I am a 4-year survivor of a tumor in my left lung. You will find lots of support and very caring people here. Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.


Nancy B

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I am not sure if I have already welcomed you to the board, but if not, welcome!!

I think a big part of any battle is knowing that other people feel the same way as you do. Keep spouting..its what makes this all work for all of us...

Please keep us updated!!

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Guest waiting_wondering

In my case I decided to tell only a handful of people that I know. For a few reasons - first being that I am an occupational health nurse. I have approximately 350 employees. I know all of their aches and pains and their families aches and pains. I couldn't imagine letting everyone at work know I have the big C for a couple of reasons. I'm not into pity parties. I don't need the LOOKS or the lack of eye contact or the tears. Second, I don't need an employee out in the production area getting a headache or a stomach ache and not come to me for a remedy thinking that their illness is minute compared to mine. "Oh, don't bother the nurse with your headache - she has cancer you know!". I couldn't stand it.

My illness is just that - mine. I will handle it as well as I can. I will "hunker" down and "muddle" through with pride and dignity. If you haven't guessed already I am a proud person. I share very little even with the folks that do know about my illness because I don't want them to worry or feel sorry for me. Whatever happens is what happens. All the worrying in the world isn't going to change the path that God has chosen for me.

There are two types of people in the world that handle this disease, one with mostly silence and the other without silence. I think that those of us who are "in the closet" need our privacy to deal with it the best we can and make the best decisions we can based on fact and not emotion. We are private people and don't need the pity parties or emotional support as we are our own best support when it comes down to it. Those that do wish to tell everyone I believe - and this is only my opinion - and I know opinons are like *ssholes - everyones got one!! But they are in need of lots of emotional support. Support from their friends, peers and anyone who will listen. Maybe even get needed or unwanted advice and sort through all the information and make their decisions based upon that. Not that this is a bad thing its just that people are different and we must respect that.

I have made it a point to let my immediate family know. That consists of my mother and sister and brother-in-law. That's it. I went over to my sisters the other day and her mother-in-law looked at me with the "poor patty" look in her eyes and said "How are you feeling?" I knew right then and there she knew. I pulled my mom and sister aside and reminded them that my disease is just that - mine. No one else's and I would appreciate it if they would stop and think about my decision and not their need to blab. If they wanted to have a pity party they could do it together at her house but not in mine.

So there you have my two cents worth - it may not be much but its MINE.

Take Care and Godspeed to all, you're in my prayers.


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