There’s no easy way to let those you know and love that you’re facing something as life-threatening and shocking as your very own breast cancer.  There’s only one thing harder than hearing the godawful news yourself and that’s witnessing the pain of those you love as you repeatedly drop the C bomb.

This itself is exhausting and draining at a time when you need all your resources to hold it together.  If you can, get a cascade going where family members and friends tell each other on the phone or face to face.  Don’t try to tell everyone yourself or all at once – you’ve got other things to attend to.

A hierarchy of communications will eventually emerge of those you tell straight away face to face, those you tell straight away on the phone, those you work up to telling face to face and on the phone and those you tell by group email, Facebook or Twitter.  Every time will bring back the pain and fear to some extent and while it gets easier to tell your story it never gets easier to hear the silence on the end of the phone or read the shock between the lines.