Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Who was the most difficult to tell?

Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Sep 9, 2020 12:28 pm

Talking about cancer isn’t easy. It’s hard to know what to say. And it’s hard to predict how others will react to news of a diagnosis. 

Who was the most difficult person to tell?
How did you go about sharing the news? what tips do you have for others?

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by CentralAB on Sep 9, 2020 4:11 pm

It was very difficult for me to tell my wife's children just how sick their Mom actually was. I didn't know them very well because they were in another province, and it really wasnt easy to have those conversations. Telling the kids/children that their parent or other loved one is going to die is really hard, no matter how many times its done or how much training one has. I also found that because of the long distance of them being in another province, it was hard to inform them how serious their Mom's illness was because they couldn't see her physically, and I was trying to be careful and not over-state things because as I said before on this forum, we didnt know for sure how long she actually had...it ended up 5 years instead of just one. I felt a bit like "the boy who cried wolf" because there had been a couple of previous announcements over that 5 years that she was going to "go any day" and then she would rally, and make a liar out of me. She was such a sweet heart, such a fighter. But what made it all extra hard was that each time a time line had come and gone, it would make some family think there was less urgency that there actually was
________________ "there is always a little Light"

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Wendy Tea on Sep 9, 2020 11:05 pm

Who was the most difficult person to tell I had cancer? It was the first person. Have you noticed this? The more people you told, the less power cancer had. The less power that cancer had, the more I felt in control.  This allowed me to have more faith in my decisions.  It allowed me to have more faith in my medical team. It allowed more faith in the treatment plan. The more people that I shared my news with, the more powerful I became. 
I did make it easy on myself and I told many people by email because many of my family and friends do not live close to me. I found I could still type an email while crying. The final way I took away cancer's power was to write a blog or a record of my experience.  Today there are still extended family members with whom I have not shared my cancer news.
Healing takes time and opportunity. Wendy Tea

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Kims1961 on Sep 9, 2020 11:20 pm

Very good question...almost as hard as hearing the diagnosis was telling our adult children - who each lived away from home.  I wanted to tell them both at the same time, so set up a FaceTime call.  I knew it was important to be as honest as we could be with them - the same way, i would want it, if they had difficult news.  As a family, you can read body language before they even say a word...Very difficult but also very bonding.  I think by telling them the information that we had, it meant that we felt we could trust them with the truth , that as a family we could get through this together.

Since then, updates and progress with my treatment was much easier to share.

Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Boby1511 on Sep 10, 2020 10:12 am

My niece actually knew before me. She spoke with the surgeon while I was still in icu. Then when the call came in about the pathology report my niece took the call with me. I cried a little and then we didn’t discuss again for awhile. 
the call about the second tumor and terminal diagnosis was a bit tougher. I was in the car with my mom bringing home pizza. I was noticeably upset so had no choice but to share the news to my mom and sister. Rest found out without me.
work bought me a get well gift basket so I decided to share the news then by text. I did most of my crazy talk here. I am a very private person in real life. I my mom moved in after my surgery to help take care of me and is refusing to leave till the end. I kinda wish she’d go for a while. Feels like she’s wachting me die. I definitely do not want to need her physically. But ostomy poses some issues for me. First months were very difficult. I haven’t to this day ever dumped it or changed it.

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Boby1511 on Sep 10, 2020 10:16 am

Probably depresses me the most that I’m going die with the ostomy. The original plan was 6 months chemo then a clear scan then they would reverse it. With the new tumor now, that won’t happen

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Whitelilies on Sep 10, 2020 10:26 am

Boby1511‍ Hello
May I offer you any Ostomy-changing ideas?
Is anything in particular difficult?  The seal? Which products? Seeing it all, when bag/ring are removed?

Please post, nothing makes me blush !


quick tips:  Keep area DRY when changing....if moist, the adhesive will not stick well.  I "loved" the blue liquid product you put IN the new bag, sort of a pre-deodorizer....smelled like lilacs....lol....stoma size can change....generally shrink...even 1-2 mm....so measuring the area/circumference is important....get better seal when ring is correct size.....convex? concave?  too many choices......

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Boby1511 on Sep 10, 2020 10:34 am


you have ostomy?
i hate mine... can never walk away from it. Can never pretend I’m well. I hate everything about it.
we had a nurse everyday for first couple months. They taught my sister how to change. Only issues I’ve had is the constipation and Mucosistis. Had sores even there. It’s mostly healed.

i just don’t want to do it.. if I could lose my mom for a while I would consider doing the cleaning but she’s not leaving so I don’t bother. Don’t think I could change it... how you see the bottom? And I’m not fat.

what is your experience with this? 
was a shock for me after a woke after surgery. I have accepted it but it still depresses me. I don’t think that will change for me.

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Sep 10, 2020 11:47 am

Whitelilies‍ and Boby1511‍ - Important info about ostomy being shared here. May I suggest starting a new topic here in the colorectal forum: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewcategory/64 so others don't miss it. 

Re: Who was the most difficult to tell?

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Sep 10, 2020 11:52 am

Some great perspectives shared thank you!

CentralAB‍ - It can be equally as difficult to be the caregiver updating or telling other people. I'm so glad you brought that up.

Wendy Tea‍ - I love how you shared that each time it got easier and the cancer lost it's power. Also e-mailing can be a good solution, people can't see your tears and you can communicate effectively the details. 

Kims1961‍ - Your perspective of telling your adult kids is one that many face and it is not easy. As an adult kid that heard that news I respect that you went into it being open and honest. I think that really helps.

Boby1511‍ - Thanks for sharing your experience of your family knowing first. It must have been difficult to tell your Mom and Sister about the advanced diagnosis. I'm so glad you have their support. I also hope you are able to get more of the alone time you mention. I hope you and whitelilies continue to connect about ostomy care.