Finding out that you have cancer is probably one of the worst things to happen to a person. The news of any illness is very discomforting news. However, the word cancer alone holds a great deal of power if you will. In terms of diseases based on common knowledge, cancer is at the top of the worst. Getting a diagnosis and hearing the word cancer would automatically make anyone petrified.
While all cancers are horrible, for you as a woman to hear that you have breast cancer is a bit different than when someone is being diagnosed with another form of cancer. Without factoring in the severity of the cancer, there are some differences to look at. When you as a woman hear the words “breast cancer” being uttered, you would probably be thinking far more than just the word cancer. The way society and women are taught to view breasts will unfortunately have an immediate impact on a patient being diagnosed with breast cancer. While it might not be your first thought and many things such as your age will affect your reaction, most women might automatically imagine losing their breasts. This can be terrifying and might make you very overwhelmed. It's such hard news to process, and then you might realize that you have to tell your family and friends and that might just make things a lot worse.
The realization alone that you have breast cancer is enough to make anyone very overwhelmed. For most people, having to tell their family could be a lot worse. This can prove to be true if you're a mother. The thought of having to tell your kids that you have breast cancer and not being able to tell them that everything will be ok, is a terrible thought. As horrible as it may be, once you're ready, it is very important to tell your friends and family of your diagnosis. It’s not only important because of all the support you'll need, but because not knowing what you're going through would be a lot worse for them. There are different ways to tell your family and friends. The important thing is that you do what feels natural to you and what you need to do for yourself. Of course you need to think of your family as well, but in this situation the most important person is you and they will see it this way too.
The way you tell your family depends on the way you are and it's also important for you to keep in mind the way your friends and family are. For example, if you have a sick grandparent who might not be able to handle bad news as well as another person, you might wait until you are calm and understand your diagnosis better before revealing the news to them. Going back to the way you are, your personality will play a key role in how you reveal the news. You might be leaving the doctor’s office in a panic and need to tell your closest family member. Maybe it's your mom or your husband. The closest person to you will most likely know what you need to process this news. While they of course might be devastated, at least you'll both be able to process the news together. Once you have told this person, then you can both make a plan for telling the rest of your family.
When telling the rest of your family you should factor in everyone who's in your family and their ages and personalities. You might have a different talk with small children than you would if you had older children. The important thing is to plan according to how your family is made up. This is why it's important to tell the closest person to you first, so that they may help you plan and tell the rest of your family and friends. Once you decide who you will tell, there are different ways to tell them as well.
One way is to have a family event. It's good to do this at home and not in a public place, as everyone might react differently to the news and you want them to feel comfortable. You can have the closest person to you be the one to tell the news if you feel like you can't do it. You can gather everyone and just explain what is going on. This will be hard, but it is the right thing and it is what you need. Your loved ones will want to support you through this and their support will help you tremendously on your road to recovery.
While telling everyone at once at a family event is an option, you could also do things another way. You know everyone's personality and some might react different than others. You can decide to tell different people at different times. For example, you might choose to gather your best friends and go out and tell them all together. Then, you might choose to tell your children in private. Most people need time to process, but you know your loved ones and that's why it's important to keep in mind how they might react before telling them the news. The most important person in this is you and that's why it's important to tell one person who you trust and is the closest to you before telling anyone else. This way you have support when telling your loved ones. You don't know how you'll react to their reaction to the news.
There is one very important thing to do before revealing the news to all your friends and family. You need to be well informed on what is really going on with you. There are many different factors to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Before you leave your doctor’s office, make sure that you ask questions and that you are able to answer them for some of your family members. When a person hears the word cancer as mentioned above, they might assume the worst. This is why it's so important to educate yourself on your diagnosis before telling your loved ones. They will have many questions and your answers might help to put their minds at ease.
It is very important to know the severity of the cancer, what kind of breast cancer you were diagnosed with and many other things to be able to inform your loved ones without confusing them. It is also important to know what your treatment plan will be. When you tell your loved ones that you have cancer and then you tell them that you will be starting a form of treatment that might ease their minds a little because they'll know that the cancer is being fought. Information is very important and helps a lot when telling such news to loved ones. They won't just hear the words “I have breast cancer”. You'll tell them “I have breast cancer and my doctor already has a treatment plan” and then once you explain everything their minds will be more prepared to process the news.
Family and friends are very important and having a plan on how you'll tell them is very important as well. However, keep in mind that the most important person in this is you. Your loved ones will understand if you just blurt out the news and cry in their arms. They love you and they want to support you no matter what. Bear in mind that if you can't plan anything and you just need to tell them, it's okay. They'll understand and you'll have their support for sure. When being told by your doctor that you have breast cancer you might not have the time to process how you'll tell your loved ones. If what you need is to call them one by one the instant you find out, that's okay too.
Remember that being educated on your diagnosis will not only help them but you as well. Before getting overwhelmed and assuming the worst because of the word cancer, make sure that you ask your doctor all the questions you have. Also, make sure to have an easy way to reach your doctor in case a question comes up after your visit. Write down your questions before you call, so that you won't forget once you're on the phone.
To recap, it is important to have the information before telling your loved ones about your breast cancer diagnosis. It's a good idea to have someone close to you to tell before anyone else. This person can help you in the process of telling everyone else. While all that is great and it's wonderful to have a plan, also remember that it's okay if things don't go according to plan. Your family and friends will love and support you and that is what you need to fight the cancer. They will be there for you no matter what way you tell them. If what you need is to blurt it out and have them love you and cry with you about it, that it's okay. They are your loved ones for a reason.