Telling People

Cancer is a big freaking deal. It’s something that creates fear, panic, worry, sadness, and pity. For me, it wasn’t something I wanted to blab to anyone who would listen. When JP first showed up, I didn’t want to create unnecessary worry, so I carefully picked who I was going to tell.

I started with my husband, for obvious reasons (who practically started planning my funeral before I even had a diagnosis – hence the reason I waited to tell even him, he’s such a worrier).

Then I told my boss because if I did receive bad news, I didn’t want to blind side her. I do ABA therapy and I work with six different families across ten sessions Monday through Thursday. It’s a pretty big deal and if impacts a lot of people if I need to take a leave of absence. She was super understanding and supportive, still is.

Then, after the “concerning” mammogram and the biopsy, I told my mom. She told my dad and one sister who was in town, who told my other two sisters (which is good, because my mom may have emailed the news otherwise, har-har-har – sorry, Ma). And Brad told his family.

Then, after the diagnosis came in, I started telling close friends, and I told my boss it was OK to tell the consultants and lead therapists on the teams I belonged to, since it was likely I’d have to miss a few sessions here and there and I wanted them to know why. And I notified the program director (who is also my adviser) at my school, and my professors in case I needed to miss class in the future.

At the moment I’m typing this post, there are still a lot of people who don’t know (though the cat may be out of the bag by the time I publish it). I’m not hiding it at this point, but what do you say? How do you say it? A Facebook status that says “Hey everyone, I have cancer!”? It’s probably the quickest way to communicate the info. Not very tactful though. The information is seeping out though, so I know it’s only a matter of time before more and more people know. And that’s OK. I don’t mind people knowing and I don’t mind talking about it (clearly). I’m not ashamed; I have nothing to be ashamed about. It’s just hard to break the news. There’s no subtle way to drop a bomb, you know?

So the people who know have been super supportive. They’re sad for me, but they’re happy I’m positive and in a good place. And I am in a good place. Will I always be in this place? Ask me again when/if I’m feeling nauseated. I guaran-damn-tee that is when I’ll be pissed the F off and crying my eyes out.

I like to eat, OK?


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