In March of 2013, I found out about my diagnosis. Besides sharing the news with my immediate family (husband and young adult kids) I only shared it with two trust people at work. People I needed to know the reasons why I would be missing some work. I swore everyone involved to secrecy. Why? I think this was one way I could control people’s reactions to me. If they didn’t know, then everything would remain the same in my relationship with them. Right? In hindsight, it added a lot more pressure on me. Hiding the changes in my body as I went through surgeries. Hiding the lack of energy after surgeries. Hiding the changes the medication caused in how I felt. Even though I took on this additional load, what I didn’t get was unending sympathy that was unwelcome. I was down enough and didn’t need (seemingly well intended) was people asking me how I was 50 times a day. THIS is what I wanted to control. You always hear people going through some major medical problem say they want to be treated normal. I guess my way of handling it was making sure I got the normal treatment. I’m not saying this is right for everybody. I’m not saying it was easy. It was a year after all my treatment and surgeries that I finally was able to talk to everyone about this. Why do I tell you this now? Because I want you to remember this as you interact with others going through something. Use a little empathy. Use a bit of compassion, but not too much. Am I clear?
My Breast Choice
Sheila Taheri, Diane Taheri, Julianna Lee