Happy Cancer Girl

A Happy Girls Journey with Cancer

The Hardest Thing I’ve Had to Do

When the doctor said “It’s cancer”, I burst into tears. Once I pulled myself together and Owen and I left the hospital I realized I had to call my family. How do you tell a parent that their daughter has cancer? I decided to call my sister first and our conversation kind of went like this:

Me – So I went to the doctor today.

Rachel – Oh yeah, how did it go?

Me – Well, she told me I have cancer.

Rachel – What?

Me – She told me I have cancer.

Rachel – *tears

Renee – *tears

Rachel – Are you ok?

Renee – Yeah. I had to call you first and test out how to tell mom and dad.

Rachel – Thanks for that.

I have this way of dragging things out and trying to start from the beginning so that people know what’s going on, but usually by the time I get to my point the person is lost in my story. So I thought the best thing to do was just blurt it out. I don’t remember talking to my parents, Owen’s parents or his sisters that day. A part of me felt like I had to hurry and tell people about what was going on, but another part of me didn’t want to tell anyone. Cancer is a strange thing to talk about and I’m generally uncomfortable with crying in front of people.

What I didn’t realize was how bad I would feel when telling people that I have cancer. Almost everyone knows someone who has had cancer and I think people often remember the bad stuff and forget that maybe they too know a surviver. Unfortunately I have a few friends who have lost their parents to cancer and I had to make sure I talked to them before they found out some other way. It was difficult to know how to tell them because I didn’t want to bring up the bad memories and I didn’t want to cause them any more pain then they have already had to deal with.

It is also difficult not telling people, it feels like the elephant in the room to me. Right now cancer is a big part of my life and it’s often something I am thinking about…so it’s hard to be around people and not tell them. I have no reason to not tell people (I do have a blog and have put it out there for the world to read), but sometimes I just don’t know how to bring it up. I have a book club meeting to go to this week and some of the ladies who go are actually friends of mine so they already know, but the rest of the women I only know through book club. I know I have to tell them because in reality I will miss the next meeting because I will be just getting back from the hospital and the meeting after that I will probably be bald. I’m sure it will be awkward but I will be glad to tell them because I’m sure it would be a lot more awkward to show up to a meeting in a few months looking like Mr. Clean!