It’s MY Cancer and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Not that I’m crying. I haven’t yet and I may never. Or I might. It depends on what happens and how I feel about it. Or just plain how I feel.

The point is, this is my cancer experience and I should be allowed to get through it the way I want to, assuming that what I want isn’t illegal or doesn’t hurt anyone. And when I say doesn’t hurt anyone, I mean physically. Because here’s how I plan to handle this:

I’m not answering questions. That doesn’t mean you can’t say you’re sorry to hear about this or that you’re praying for me (pray for me!!) or any of the other things you might say/write to someone who’s having a difficult time. But if you don’t already know the details (and few people do), I don’t plan to tell you. If this hurts your feelings, I’m sorry, but not sorry enough to answer your questions. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Health is a private matter for me and I’m not comfortable sharing the details of mine.
  2. I don’t have the time. Answering one question brings on a slew of others. What kind is it? Where is it located? What kind of treatment are you getting? Can it/has it metastasized? What’s the prognosis? How did you find out? How do you feel? Etc. And I’ll get the same set of questions over and over. This will stress me out majorly. Like everyone else, I have things to do. I love my day job and I’m busy from the minute I get there until the minute I leave. In addition, I would dearly love to self-publish the books I have written (and am writing), and I’m busy the rest of the hours trying to pull that together.
  3. I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, or wondering if I’m going to beat the odds. If they don’t know the details, they have less information to ponder. In fact, they won’t even know the odds.
  4. I’m a little bit scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen or how well I’ll deal with it. We all hope we’ll deal with upsets gracefully, but grace under pressure is not something I’m known for. I suspect there’s little chance of a personality change now, and it’s just better for all of us (really) if people aren’t asking me for updates. Besides, I don’t want my life to be about this cancer. If I become cancer-free, I’ll let you know. If I die, you’ll hear about it. For everything in between, life goes on, and I plan to keep living mine.

For those of you who know the details, that part I wrote above about this being my cancer experience and I should be allowed to get through it the way I want to, still goes. I should be able to express my fears without being told that I have to be positive every minute of the day, without being told that everything will be fine because God would never let anything happen to me. I believe in God and I believe in being positive. But I also believe that sometimes you just need to talk about what you’re feeling and what you’re fearing, and when people love you, they let you do that.


  1. This is the most liberating attitude I’ve every heard. You go, girl! Don’t let anyone tell you all the horror stories and give you unwanted advice. When you want to share, do it on your terms. And if you want to cry, or don’t want to cry, that’s your decision. I’m standing with you.

  2. Thank you, Joyce!! I feel better knowing that some people understand. Some people probably don’t, and some may take my unwillingness to share personally, but they shouldn’t. It’s not about them, it’s about ME. And that’s the point.

  3. Stephie, I just saw this post. Please know that Valerie and I will pray for you daily. If we can do anything in addition to that please let us know.

  4. Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate that very much.

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