• For the breast cancer patients/survivors, how often does this happen to you?

    Asked by Julesmom on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

    For the breast cancer patients/survivors, how often does this happen to you?

    You're talking with someone and maybe the conversation turns to your cancer. The person doesn't know you had cancer, asks you "what kind"? When you say breast cancer you see their eyes drop from your face to your breasts. It's like they are thinking, "but they are right there". It seems everyone thinks that all BC patients lose them. It's frustrating that still today with soooo much "awareness" that people are still so clueless.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      Now, being blind I don't notice that, nor have I had people assume I lost he entire breast. I did have a friend ask me if I had my breast "amputated or just have a lump taken out" in her own words. I know she meant no harm, so I just said it was a lumpectomy and they wanted to save as much of the breast as they could. Merry Christmas; Happy Hanukkah; or happy whatever holiday you celebrate! HUGS and God bless.

      4 months ago
    • cak61's Avatar

      Yep, has happened many times. And hate to say it but more men than women.

      4 months ago
    • 2943's Avatar

      Part of the reason I only have a handful of people who know I have breast cancer in addition to two others.

      4 months ago
    • Dawsonsmom's Avatar

      I surprisingly have not noticed this and I had double mastectomy and go flat most of the time. I have wondered if it’s bc prior to mastectomy I was small breasted and often wore “flowy” clothes.

      4 months ago
    • Jouska's Avatar

      I had reconstruction, but I hadn't noticed that, but will pay attention. The most difficult question I find related to someone hearing that I had breast cancer is the comment "but you are fine now, right?". I don't even know how to answer that. Yes, in that I am not currently undergoing active treatment such as chemo. No, in that the fear of recurrence is always a concern. My response is usually something like "so good, so far". Anyone with any better responses?

      4 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I haven't particularly noticed that but, of coursr, now I'll be hyper-aware! What I notice more is when someone asks me what type of cancer I have (had) and I say Breast many people immediately want to end that conversation and talk about anything else or just be anywhere else. Unless it's someone who has had BC themselves and then they're ready to talk.

      Another phenomenon I've noticed is when I try to explain to people I'm not at 100% they're like, "but you're not in treatment anymore, right?". When I attempt to talk about lingering side effects they quickly lose interest in the conversation.

      4 months ago
    • Maryflier's Avatar

      Jouska, I usually say the same thing. 2nd time with the diagnosis so it seems like the best response. Julesmom, I noticed the glance at the breasts also. To be honest, before I had any diagnosis, surgery or reconstruction I was unaware of the options so I probably “glanced” a few times too. I don’t think people are aware that they’re doing it, I don’t take it personally.
      Happy holidays everyone.

      4 months ago
    • Horselady46's Avatar

      I haven't had any problems and I had a double mastectomy. Most of the time I go flat. I don't worry what other people think or say anyway.

      4 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar

      Ever since high school I've had men sometimes "look me in the chest" instead of the eyes, because I've been "well-endowed" most of my post-puberty life. (And it ain't what it's cracked up to be--especially the upper backaches and gaping blouse buttons). So it's really nothing new.

      My post-bc experience has been more along the lines of, when the subject comes up (usually in the context of medication, compression-wear or osteopenia isues), the response is "Oh, I'm so sorry." (Sometimes when I'm wearing a patterned sleeve in-flight, people will compliment me on my "ink"). I appreciate the concern & empathy, but what does anyone else have to be "sorry" about when it comes to OUR cancers? Sometimes I'm asked who my plastic surgeon was (having had a small tumor removed from a large breast, I didn't need oncoplasty), or they marvel "gee, your hair grew back really fast!" (I didn't have chemo either).

      I always end up having to reassure THEM I'm fine!

      4 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I guess I’ve never had that reaction (or never noticed it) because I tend to preempt it by saying, “I still have my breasts,” immediately after telling someone that I had breast cancer.

      4 months ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar

      I keep expecting to have that reaction because I don’t have breasts but haven’t noticed any glances. The lack of glances at my chest has been empowering. I really learned to be comfortable with my post-mastectomy body.

      3 months ago

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