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How do you tell someone you have cancer?

I was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Cervical Cancer. Although I am worried about how this is going to affect my immediate family, how do you tell other family members what you are going through? I'm having issues with telling my family because usually when I mention a health issue, they give me the "you'll get over it" speech. It's especially hard with my father as he attempts to minimize any injury or illness any of my siblings and I have had. My mother does the same. My fiance' knows about what is going on but has refrained from even telling his family as we really don't know what to do or what to say to them. His mother, whom I adore, has been worried about me as of late but I told her that I would be fine.

And I am posting this anon due to the fact that many of my CafeMom friends read these and, honestly, I'd rather just keep it from them for now until I've told my family. I hope you ladies understand.


Asked by Anonymous at 3:16 AM on Apr. 5, 2009 in Health

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • okay my mom had stage 2 cervical cancer and they found it out on her first pap smear when she was pregnant with me, they told her to have an abortion and get her uterus removed. well she kept me, and she said she never had much of a cervix and that i was born at 38 weeks as soon as i dropped but thats besides the point. the point is if you have your uterus removed it goes away right? unless its metastasized? either way, i would just sit then all down and tell them, you have proof that you have cancer, they are the ones who will have to 'get over it' (my family is the same way so i understand)

    Answer by aliciatron at 3:22 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I'm sorry. I don't have cancer but I've had gyn problems and thought I had uterine cancer a while back. I found the Gilda Radner Centers, just google it, very very helpful even though what I had was not gyn cancer of any kind. Also try . They have incredible support programs for cancer patients of specific and general cancers. Probably you can join at least an online community. Oh also the for the M. D. Anderson Medical Center (Texas ?) I've gone to for research too. And OncoLink through the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania next to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has good gyn info and care. Maybe having your parents or inlaws' ministers with you when you tell them would help them process and pray. I beleive strongly in prayer for strength to cope and understanding. Prayers for you. Write again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:44 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • oh gosh anon244 here again... The Wellness Community website is actually with only one letter o in the word community. My mother is very difficult herself. She believes doctors should not be questioned ever simply because they're doctors nothing more than that as her reason. If a minister isn't available have your husband or some one else handle the relatives and friends you're not up to dealing with. Stay calm stay firm in your thoughts for strength. With my third baby we thought for several months I had breast cancer plus my pregnancy started shortly after severe gyn problems. Maybe frequent Healing Blessings from your minister would help you. Laying On Of Hands by loved ones has incredible strength in helping to continue with strength.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:51 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I wish I knew what to say here besides sorry. My mother in law and my sister have a tendency to minimize other people's issues or find ways to make them about themselves. It drives me crazy. I would just say..Okay. This is going to be hard, but this is real. I have cervical cancer. Hopefully, the reality of it will be enough to keep them from trivializing you and your personal suffering. Good luck, and way to go Anon, with all of the resources for her to draw support from.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 4:19 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Well, no matter what, they need to be told and what they do with the information is on them, not you. You never know what can happen at times like this.It may be your mom and dads wakeup call and they will see you can't "just get over it"I think as parents we try and say that so it will be easier on us, because no matter what in life we want our children to grow old and be happy.Once the truth hits them, it will be completely different.You need a clear mind when you start everything. Like I said, tell them ,plain and simple, and what they do after that will be on them. At least you have been honest with them.Your future MIL may be your best friend after this. tell her, so you can do what needs to be done. I think you should tell her first, and then get her to go with you to your parents.My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the best☺

    Answer by Kat122 at 7:32 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Hi, Just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know sometimes families can be difficult. Thought I would give you this website and let you read   Click on C for cancer. Let me know if i can help  or you  need a friend to talk to.


    Answer by jmcan at 8:33 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • What are the treatment options? I had a bad pap that was a class3 several years ago, that would've turned to cancer had it not been found early (I was 17), they did the freezing thing on it and had me to come in 3 or 4 times a year for pap. I am very thankful that I had so many paps because of female problems so it was caught in time. I'd tell the family straight up and then tell them that you're not trying to scare them, but it CAN happen to you, so if you've not had your pap, get one because early detection is the key to survival.
    I'm wishing you so very much lucky and I hope the prognosis is good, and whatever treatments you have are quick and easy for you. Go online and read all you can, there's got to be some answers for you somewhere.

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 8:38 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

    At the moment, the only treatment options they have offered are hystorectomy and radiation therapy. We did tell my MIL this morning about what is going on and she was upset that we didn't tell her earlier. Then she kept hugging me and telling me that I would be all right. I told her what the doctors were offering to do and she asked if we've decided on a treatment option yet. I did let her know that we weren't 100% decided but her input would be appreciated. I still haven't told my parents yet but I will be going to my doctor's office on Monday and collecting the documentation from him before heading over there. It's not going to be easy but it still has to be done.

    I do appreciate all the advice you ladies have given me and I am glad to know that there are women out there willing to help others. Thank you all!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:21 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I am so sorry you have to go through this, hang in there!! You just have to tell them and let them deal with their emotions. Don't let them get you down or anything else. It sounds like you have the support of a wonderful mother in law and husband, lean on them and whatever friends you have. You do not need negativity at this time. You will have enough to go through. Tell your family that if they can't be supportive and stay positive, then they need to say nothing at all.Stay strong, stay positive, you can do this and you can fight this.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:22 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Hey, ladies. It's the OP again. Well, I finally told my parents this morning. I decided the best way to tell them was at a local park during a time when there weren't a lot of people around. We went into the gardens and sat down. I pulled out the paperwork and showed it to my parents without saying a word. My father was actually the first one to speak up. He asked me exactly what he was looking at and I informed him that I had cancer. The next thing I know, my father is crying and my mother is just staring at me. Honestly, I thought she had a stroke or something because she was very quiet for a while but then when she did talk, I could tell she was upset. She hugged me and didn't let go for a while. She kept telling me that I was too strong to let it get to me and that she would be there if I needed her. Granted, my father was sobbing like a child next to her but I knew that they would be behind me 100%. We left the park and

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:29 PM on Apr. 7, 2009