How Do You Tell People You Have Cancer?

This cancer thing is not good. It was bad enough to be diagnosed with it. Then I had to figure out who to tell and when to tell them.

My first reaction was to not tell anyone except Kathy. Then I quickly came around to believing the kids needed to know. In fact, I wanted them to know. So I told them, and that went pretty well.

When I got to church, I was wondering who I might run into and if I would say anything about the diagnosis. Kathy went to church earlier as she had a Stephen Ministries meeting to attend.

I met up with Kathy.

She was talking to a lady named Janet who lost her husband five years ago from pancreatic cancer. Janet said to me, “It’s going to be all right.” I didn’t know what this meant or why she said it, but she did.

I said to Janet, “I know it will be all right because you are praying for me. You have always been praying for me. I need you to continue.”

She said, “I was reading one of your blogs and felt I needed to call and ask you what specifically I should be praying for. Now I know.”

Kathy and I said goodbye and found a pew.

I asked Kathy, “What happened at your meeting?”

She said, “I felt like I needed to tell the other people in the ministry about your diagnosis. So I did. It was a relief, and they all prayed for you and me.”

I should tell my sister in Florida.

I will be visiting her later in the week and thought it would be better if I told her face to face. She is a bit older, and I wanted to be sure we had a chance to talk through her concerns. We’ll be meeting over a three day period, so she’ll have time to think about it and we can discuss it.

But I decided it was best to call before I visit. So I did.

I was also thinking, What about my close friends? Do I send an email announcement? Do I call them? I really don’t want to do this.

I don’t want to talk about it. The more I talk about it, the more real it becomes to me. I spent all day yesterday thinking, researching, and reading about prostate cancer just like the doctor told me to do. I know this may sound crazy, but I am still in a bit of shock about the diagnosis. Is it real?

That’s why talking to more people will actually make it real. I am not fearful this will kill me. I am anxious about what it will mean to Kathy and me and how our lives will change.

Some thoughts I am having.

What will my son’s wedding be like with people knowing? Should I make the final deposit on a trip to Europe and Dubai we have planned for February? Can we sneak away for our annual five-day ski trip? Will I go to Uganda again? Do I keep my same work schedule? Do I free myself from anything stressful? Do I change my diet? Do I continue to write and speak?

I know this. My family wanted to know. I know my friends will want to know. They love me and want to pray for me and help me in any way they can. These are my friends. How great is it to have friends like this? God has blessed me greatly with these relationships.

I came to this conclusion on sharing.

I would want to know so I could pray for the person. If the friend shared his diagnosis with me, it would bring us closer. I would appreciate that he trusts me enough to let me into his life after hearing this bad news.

Please pray for me. First and foremost, to trust in Jesus. He holds all our lives in His hands. Next, for peace for me and all who love me, for discernment to make the right decisions, for courage to face the medical procedures, and for healing. Yes, healing.

Finally, pray Kathy and I will glorify God through this disruption in our lives. I know it will bring us even closer to Him and all our relationships.

Thank you.

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2 thoughts on “How Do You Tell People You Have Cancer?

  1. Praying that the process of being healed will be an incredibly powerful spiritual growth experience for you, Kathy and all who love you. There’s nothing like witnessing miracles to bring people closer to God. Believing in healing miracles in and around your life Charlie!

  2. May God continue to bless you. God pour out his mercy on you and fill you with faith and wisdom. God let his face shine on you. God bless you with Peace.