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telling people

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telling people

hi everyone

I have been diagnosed with cervical cancer 4 weeks ago. I see the Consultant tomorrow to know at what stage I am. He is a surgeon so that tells me something. But the thing i didnt expect was how difficult it is to tell people. Friends I have known for years didnt react how I thought they would. Either they get tearful or wont make eye contact. Dont get me wrong most have been great. It just feels so dramatic saying I have cancer. Is there any other way of saying it! I had to say it to myself out loud for a while before it didnt sound strange. Lots of emotional stuff whether its sad or happy I tend to burst into tears. Now I dont want to tell people cos I dont think I can cope with their reaction and then I feel guilty. God this sounds so unlike me. I seem to have got lost somewhere


Hi Jacquie,

Welcome to Jo's.... To answer your question, I don't think there is a right or wrong way to tell friends and family that you have Cancer, I was lucky, I only had to tell my Mum!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I also had people react differently, my so called best friend, hasn't been near me, stupid cow thinks it's contageous!! Everyone else has either been scared to mention the "BIG C" word or have been telling me about someone they knew, who had it and died.

You will soon find your true friends... Your family will treat you very carefully for a short while, that soon wears off!!!

I will be thinking of you tomorrow... let us know how you get on.

take care,
Caroline xxx


Dear Jacquie, firstly i,m so sorry to hear your news! please dont ever feel guilty or worry about anyone elses feelings youve got enough on your plate without worring about anyone else at the moment.Finding out you have cancer is an emotional rollercoaster so your bound to have all sorts different emotions but dont fight them. if you feel like crying, shouting, then just do it. theres plenty of people on here who have been through the same thing your going through were here to help in any way we can. i had cervical cancer 10 years ago now when i was 27, thought my life was over had a radical hysterectomy and touch wood! my smears have been clear ever since so there is always hope.if you need to talk then you now where i am take care love karen ps. let us no how you go on xxxx


Hi Jacqui
Can you get someone else to tell them for you? a Friend or partner?
I know it is hard. You can sometimes see the fear in other people's eyes. I think after a shock like a cancer diagnosis you become very aware. So many people are surviving cancer now though,

I told everyone when I was diagnosed. I think it was because I could not believe it myself. Most people were amazing but some I have never heard from again!!! However a friend of mine has told only a select few. I can see understand why she did this as people do treat you differently. It can be amusing. I have been offered help with bags and to help me out of the chair this was before my op!

This is your time to take of yourself so try not to worry about what other people think.

All the best with your treatment.



sam w

Hi Jaquie,
So sorry about your news, but it's great that you have found jo's.
I was diagnosed a month ago and I have found it really quite difficult to tell people. Whenever I go to say "i've got cancer" (still can't believe that I have) I want to (an sometimes do) burst into tears. It's such an emotional roller coaster isn't it?
I was also worried about making other people feel bad and a couple of people reacted by running screaming in the other direction (metaphorically!), but most people have been great. You need to think of you for a while. I have really appreciated the support that i've got because it can feel a bit lonely.
I got people to tell others for me which really helped, also I found it really hard in the beginning as it's so raw.
I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, take care

Love Sam W

Diagnosed 1b2 10/05 Lymph nodes removed, radical trachelectomy-all clear. Recurrence 5/06, chemo radiation, persistant disease, chemo starts 8/5/07

Sue M

Hi Jacquie

Welcome to Jo's. You will find lots of support here.

I found that everytime I told someone it was like me hearing it for the first time. In the end the select people I wanted to tell were told by writing to them as I couldn't cope with people's reactions. I have to say people were fantastic once they got over the shock.

Take care

Sue xxx


Hello Jacquie,

a big welcome to Jo's. I'm sorry to hear of your cancer diagnosis and all that you are going through.

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in December and found it difficult to tell people similar to yourself. I could hardly get used to the shocking news myself and it felt so weird to be telling someone that it was me with cancer. Take all the support from the friends and family who are being supportive to you and maybe ask them to tell other people who you would like to know. At at time like this people either seem to become fantastically supportive or, alternatively run for the hills never to be seen again (which has happened to us with our closest friends!!). People can be so strange at times!

You will get lots of support on Jo's....please keep in touch. I hope that your appointment goes ok with the Consultant. Please come back and let us know how it went.

Love Rachel xx

Radical Hysterectomy, Lymphadectomy and ovary removed in Feb 2005 following cancer diagnosis. Further surgery in July 2005 to remove remaining ovary.


Hi Jacquie

I'm so sorry you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer. :( Its a bugger - isn't it. :shock:

I am nearly 18 months further down the road than you. I found it really difficult to tell people when I was first diagnosed. As I live in a relatively small village and have a 6 year old who goes to the local school, we decided to only tell family and close friends. They were fantastic.

What was really strange, though, was that I couldn't tell my oldest, closest friend. In fact I just "disappeared" from her life. I don't know why I couldn't tell her. Eventually, 5 months later, I wrote her a really long letter to tell her what was going on. Needless to say she was also fantastic - she seemed to understand why I couldn't tell her and she totally forgave me. In fact, she was relieved I hadn't fallen out with her!!!

I have to say not telling everyone was the best decision for us and our daughter. I still don't cope very well if someone asks how the "cancer situation" is. I just say "fine today" and try to change the subject. Some days I "forget" about it for a while and I find it hard when someone "reminds" me.

Anyway, I'm sorry to ramble on. I hope everything goes ok tomorrow. I'll be thinking about you. Remember - you'll be starting your journey tomorrow to getting better. Also, remember you are allowed to cry and scream and laugh at any time, if YOU feel like it!!!

Take care.

Love and wishes

Jacqui xxx


Hi Jacquie

My sister Helen to has struggled with this, she knows quite alot of people but chose not to say mainly to the fact of her 3 boys aged 8,12,16. In fact i think worse thing has been people's reactions (some people said some silly things in beggining "as they do") and this is why she hasn't told many people.

She was out on the weekend in the town and is currently using a wheel chair until her strength returns, loads of people stopped her to ask her why she was in the chair and she just said "oh I 've had a big operation".

I guess as everyone said, is to tell who you want to tell.

My sister has major surgery 4 weeks ago and is on the road to recovery.

Good luck for today


Brother of a cervical cancer patient


Hi Jacquie

I know exactly where you're at with telling people - it's the hardest news to deliver. I went through having to tell people in September and felt guilty and ackward for them and I found myself consolling them. People who I expected to handle it well didn't and others were bricks. Sometimes I was treated like an invalid which was very frustrating because I actually felt fine, and I was overrun with visitors. This worried my teenage children who were very subdued so I found I was having to play it down as much as possible as I didn't want to worry them further, so my well wishes actually made things a bit difficult at times. In the end I was delivering the news like a news reel (I suppose I detached myself emotionally at times) and letting people deal with it. Remember, how they deal with it is not your first concern - you need to start thinking about yourself and your feelings. You will get used to saying it and I hope it becomes easier for you. Your real friends and family will come up trumps for you and although it's such a devasting thing for you to be told, there is always something positive lurking amongst the news to draw from - for me it was how much people cared.

Take care

Love Tina


Hi Jacquie
I was diagnosed with cervical cancer September 2004 and found it really strange the reactions i had.
I didnt really know how to tell people so to start with i didnt. When i did start to tell people i could see fear and pity in there eyes. I noticed friends and family used to avoid conversations about children and cancer while i was around and apologised if the subject came up, which made be feel even worse.
I think the best thing to do is only tell the people you need and want to.
Like the others have said there is no easy way to tell people we still hear the word cancer and think death which thankfully is not the case so much anymore.
I hope your meeting with the surgeon goes well tomorrow. I am sure it will. Let us know how you get on. There is a lot of support on the website. You know where to find us if you need us.


Hi Jacquie a big welcome to Jo's

I only told a few people in the begining, I couldn't deal with people "feeling sorry for me" and like Kevin's sister Helen, on my first outings I just said I'd had a stomach operation, only now do I tell people but still not everyone, I guess what I'm trying to say is do what feels right for you, if it feels right it IS right, this is happening to you afterall and if others can't deal with it DON'T feel guilty it's there problem!

The girls here are a fantastic bunch, we understand where each other's coming from, there is always someone here to offer support or answer any question, however daft it may seem, that you may have. Come back let us know how you get onxxxx

Survivor of 1b1 cervical cancer, Radical Hysterectomy 13th April 2005

Ten years and counting :D