There’s people I’d tell and people I wouldn’t, and the circle would get bigger as time went on.
Let’s say I find out as I’m in the middle of a project.
Is the cancer likely to kill me before we’re done? Can I start treatment in an unobstrusive way?
If the answers are “no” and “yes”, then I tell the team I’m seeing doctors but I don’t give more details. I want to finish the job, not distract everybody fretting about something they can’t fix.
My brothers and my mother knew Dad had cancer. They knew it had been declared cured. And came back. And been declared cured. And came back. And this is when I asked a question which made the doctors realize they’d been misdiagnosing it and therefore looked at the wrong indicators when they declared it cured :smack: - the lung cancer wasn’t the primary, it was metastatical from the pleural sac (the “waterbag” shielding the lungs). My mother hadn’t accepted Dad was dying until within 6h of the actual TOD; both of my brothers managed to be surprised (one still lived in the house, the other had until three months before). At least my SiL wasn’t surprised - halleluja, the doctor did understand… somewhat, she still insists that it was lung cancer from smoking and not mesothelioma from asbestos (which btw is the same type that’s killed Dad’s sister and their older brother: the smokers did not die from lung cancer and the alcoholic didn’t get killed by cirrhosis). The local protocols regarding cancer diagnosis got updated after that little question, from assuming that lung cancer would always be primary to making sure.
A week after his retirement as a GP and terror of lesser doctors, Dad’s uncle Julio walked into the office of the local hospital’s Chief of Oncology (the hospital is also a medical school and a very important research center). “Oh hello Don Julio, but what are you doing here, you’re retired now! Missing the job already? :D”
“I’m coming to tell you I have liver cancer, which as you know is incurable. I’ve got six months to live.”
“:eek:Uh, well, we cannot be sure until we’ve run some tests and…”
“Do you remember a patient whose plaques I asked you about, a José Javier Martínez?”
“José Javier Martínez my left buttcheek, those were my plaques. So don’t come sugarcoating now, you’re three months late. I’m here to tell you that if there’s any trials you’re running that I can be helpful for I’ll take part, but if you try to make me last longer just so I’ll look better in your statistics I’ll come back from the grave just to make your life impossible.”
He contacted the family that same day, once they’d set up the treatment protocols.