Saturday, September 5, 2009

Telling others

So far, I'd kept this private from people not close to me.  Or so I thought.  I'd told only my boss (who I also consider a friend), my family, and a close friend or two and that's it.

Yet, suddenly, people at work started hugging me out of the blue, for no reason that I could see.  I'm not really that popular and am most definitely not a hugger, so this sudden display of affection was suspicious.  People were starting to ask me how I felt, even though as far as they knew, I was healthy as a cancer-free horse.

Clearly, word was getting out.

Schools are gossipy places.  I suppose all workplaces are, but for some reason, I think schools are worse.  All those teenage hormones floating in the air rub off on the staff, and the whispering begins.

Hey, I wonder if those extra hormones gave me cancer?  Somebody should look into that.

Anyway, I realized this was not going to be a secret much longer, if it even was now.  Plus, it'd be a really hard secret to keep if I had to come to work one day without breasts and hair.

I realized I had to take matters into my own hands and tell people myself.

But, how to do it?

I could go on the morning annoucements, but that might freak our new 6th graders out.  I could go into each classroom and interrupt lessons, but that news would really only fit into the science curriculum.

I decided to send an email to the entire staff at once, and get it over with. 

A detour back to gossip for a minute, just to explain the text of my email: .  I'm a tiny woman with relatively large breasts, and I'd been told over the years that some people in the school suspected my girls were fake.

Yes, my real/fake boobs had been the subject of discussion, that's what working in a middle school is like.

So, I decided to dispel two rumors at once:

Subject: Rumors
I know there have been rumors about my boobs since I started working at this school.  First, let me assure you - they are real and they are spectacular.  :)
So far.
I have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.   I will be seeing a surgeon and oncologist as soon as possible, so will be in and out in the coming weeks to discuss treatment plans.

Assuming I need a mastectomy, and it does appear that way, I was planning on having a “good-bye boob” party and inviting everybody for a final feel-up.  I figured $20.00 would be a bargain – $10.00 to me for tech goodies to keep me comfortable during chemo infusions and $10.00 for breast cancer research. :)

I’ll keep you all informed.  No worries.

I wonder how many got the Seinfeld reference? 


  1. Ann
    What a great way to break the ice to people. Your humor shines through the harshness of cancer.

    Continue to light your path to recovery!

  2. That's awesome! I wish I'd thought of it... then again, it would have been hard to feel up my ovaries. But I coulda used the cash!

    Keep laughing,
    The Carcinista

  3. Ann, I taught middle schoolers for 33 years!! Know that world, well! I did the exact same thing: sent one email to everyone.


Thank you for commenting. If the post is over 14 days old, the comment will be moderated and will approved later. This is a spam prevention technique - but I love to hear from you!