I told most people via text message. Overall, I wasn’t ready to verbally discuss this whole endeavor with most people. I wanted to stay strong for others, as to not worry them, and a text allowed me to keep it fairly emotionless on my end. I kept messages straightforward and hopeful. I have cancer, and it is treatable. At this point, I didn’t know the extent of the staging or spreading, so it was easy to keep it positive.
|My Google Keep system.|
Somehow, I still haven't
ironed those shirts.
Despite all of this, throughout the entire ordeal, I refused to get down about having cancer, and often made light of the situation or joked around about it. To this end, sometimes I would tell a few select people in more joking ways. Obviously, not everyone can handle hearing it like that, so I usually didn’t use this tactic. However, I knew one of my online friends could take it. I messaged him and said, “Let’s play a game called ‘Who has testicular cancer?’” and sent him a gif of Barney Stinson raising his hand. Was that the most reverent way to tell someone? No. Did it help me cope? Yes. Was my friend shocked, yet amused? Absolutely.
|To be fair, some people joked back|
These are also my own personal views on what I want to hear. I am 25 and will almost definitely pull through this. This is in contrast to the 68 year old woman diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer who is given two months to live. I never went through the supposed five stages of grief. I was told I had cancer, and accepted that. I wanted to know what was ahead so that I could look forward to to putting this behind me.
Sure, I was angry and sad at times, but on the whole my attitude was, “This sucks, but whining won’t do anything. I don’t want pity, I want tangible support. I want answers and I want this to be over.” Each person is different in their level of acceptance of cancer, so it’s important to keep that in mind when talking to any cancer patient. This is just my way.