how do friends and family members introduce you

In considering the labels that people use to describe anyone with cancer, it occurs to me that I hope my friends don’t think of me as the cancer patient or, worse, victim. I hope they still consider me just me, for better or worse, and that the cancer that I have is a condition that I have and not one that makes me who I am.

One of the oncologists from the American Society of Clinical Oncology discusses this very issue in this article. I surely hope that when I visit the emergency room, the staff are not yet looking to execute a DNR (do not resuscitate) order when they see that I have metastatic cancer. After all, I think I will know when it’s time for end-of-life decisions, and I don’t want anyone else to be confused about this before that time. I am Donna Peach first, and I happen to have MBC. Whether the second part of that is even relevant to an introduction depends on the situation, but it should always be our choice.

Is it time for any discussions with family members or friends?

Is cancer an adjective? By Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP. In ASCO Connection 8-7-12

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© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

3 responses to “how do friends and family members introduce you

  1. I feel the same way. I have people who say wow you look great, I looked this way before MBC. I don’t want people to treat me as fragil. I am just me

  2. Donna,
    Thank you for sharing this link. I like the way this oncologist thinks. You know, I don’t have mets, but still I feel like some people see me as the cancer person in the room. I’m sure your friends see you first and foremost as Donna Peach, an amazing woman and friend. So do I! This post reminds me of one of Rachel’s posts (the Cancer Culture Chronicles) in which she “came out” using her real name. It was all about a hospital visit when she wanted to be recognized and called by her name, not just referred to as the mets cancer patient. I should dig that out. Thanks for reminding me of Rachel too.

  3. Donna, that was a great article and I am glad you brought it to our attention. I was impressed bu the way this oncologist thought and appreciated your point of view about having MBC but it not defining you. I read Nancy’s comment and totally agreed with her. I met Rachel at an NBCC Advocate Summit, but I also had a close friend that I blogged about named Li Bailey with MBC and she too was herself first. She loved the days that she could forget that she had MBC. Thanks for sharing this great post.-Susan

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