It has to be one of the hardest things.
Your life has been turned upside down and you’re worried you might die. Then you have to tell the people you love that you have cancer.
The first time I was diagnosed it was a few days before Christmas. I decided not to tell anyone straightaway apart from a handful of people. I just couldn’t cope with all those conversations. Besides I didn’t want it to be the Christmas that cancer ruined.
Second time round it’s been slightly easier. It’s taken a while for the possibility that the pea might be filled with cancer to turn into a reality. This has meant that I’ve been able to come to terms with it gradually.
Even so, I still find it difficult every time I tell someone. And I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.
I haven’t had any really bad experiences unlike my friend, the flower girl. She’s one of a group of cancer survivors that I’ve known for years. We meet up regularly and celebrate still being alive.
It was Valentine’s Day when the flower girl told her useless ex-boyfriend that she had the disease. His reply, ”thanks for ruining my day.” That has to be one of the worst reactions.
Most people though are just so stunned by the news that they’re not sure how to respond. A few friends have suggested that I write about this as they were stuck for words.
So if someone reveals to you that they have cancer, what should you say?
To be honest for me, it really doesn’t matter that much. Just say something. Anything.
All I’d really like is for you to acknowledge that it’s a terrible situation. Be positive but not too optimistic. We don’t know how this will end.
I know you might be in shock but I need you to be strong so please try not to cry. Or at least, please don’t cry too much.
After all that a hug would be lovely. I’m sure we’d probably both need one.
I’m glad to say that I’ve been getting plenty of hugs. My friends, family and work colleagues have said it will be hard but I will beat it and they have held back the tears, well mostly. For this, thank you.
Something totally unexpected and amazing has also happened.
After starting this blog, I’ve had so much love and support here, on twitter and elsewhere. I really appreciate all the messages. It’s helped me to stay positive and has been overwhelming.
Now I’m the one who’s lost for words.