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Thread: Seeking honest opinion

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2017

    Seeking honest opinion

    My Uncle told me that he had Pancreatic Cancer and made me promise not to tell anyone as he didn't want "anyone to worry". I made him promise that he would tell people. During this time I was going through a psychotic event and had several problems of my own. In the end he decided to kill himself and I told my parents I knew about their brothers condition (whether he had cancer or not no one knows). My family has long been a benefactor of 'white lies' and it's hard to gauge how exactly they feel. However I caught my mother saying "F*** you" to my back and several other little things that make me feel guilty at my decision. Depressed, just wondering what other people thought. I mean I know there are only two answers: "He was secretly asking for help" or "You did your best". Just looking for feedback, I don't know.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User HighlanderCFH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    It was your uncle's wish that people not be told of his cancer (assuming that he had it) -- thus it was your obligation to respect his wishes. You did the right thing.

    You also did the right thing in urging him to let people know about his condition.

    The fact that he decided to take his own life is HIS responsibility and certainly not yours. If he had the emotional capacity to end his life, it was something that had always been within him. There was no way that you could have prevented it, nor was there any way for you to suspect that he would do such a thing, especially when dealing with your own problems.

    Hopefully your mother will come to understand all of this in the future after she has processed all of this.

    So there is no reason for you to be depressed. Feeling sad, though, is a natural and understandable thing.

    But, as I see it, you did nothing wrong at all.

    Good luck!
    July 2011 local PSA lab reading 6.41 (from 4.1 in 2009). Mayo Clinic PSA 9/ 2011 = 5.7.
    Local uro DRE revealed significant BPH, no lumps.
    PCa Dx Aug. 2011 age of 61.
    Biopsy DXd adenocarcinoma in 3/20 cores (one 5%, two 20%). T2C.
    Gleason 3+3=6. CT abdomen, bone scan negative.
    DaVinci prostatectomy 11/1/11 at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), nerve sparing, age 62.
    Surgeon was Dr. Matthew Tollefson, who I highly recommend.
    Final pathology shows tumor confined to prostate.
    5 lymph nodes, seminal vesicules, extraprostatic soft tissue all negative.
    1.0 x 0.6 x 0.6 cm mass involving right posterior inferior, right posterior apex & left
    mid posterior prostate. Right posterior apex margin involved by tumor over 0.2 cm length,
    doctor says this is insignificant.
    Prostate 98 grams, tumor 2 grams.
    Catheter out in 7 days. No incontinence, minor dripping for a few weeks.
    Six annual post-op exams 2012 through 2017: PSA <0.1
    Semi-firm erections 5 years post-op whenever the moon turns into blue cheese.
    NOTE: ED caused by BPH, not the surgery.

  3. #3
    Moderator Senior User IndyLou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    This is a tough situation, Brian. May I ask, why do you think your uncle told you about his condition? Did he have any other nieces or nephews, or perhaps siblings?

    It's hard to say whether or not he took his own life because he didn't want to face cancer, or if there was other motivation. This is a very complex situation, and you allude to some deep-seated issues for yourself and your family. I don't think you did anything wrong--I think you were just trying to share, but perhaps a group counseling session with your immediate family might help.

    Best wishes.
    Age 52 Male
    early Feb, 2013 - Noticed almond-sized lump in shaving area, right side of neck. No other "classic" cancer symptoms
    late Feb, 2013 - Visited PCP for check-up, PCP advised as lymphoma. Did blood work, orders for CT-scan, referred to ENT
    3/7/13 - CT-scan inconclusive, endoscopy negative
    3/9/13 - FNA of neck mass
    3/14/13 - Received dx of squamous-cell carcinoma, unknown primary
    3/25/13 - CT-PET scan reveals no other active tumors
    3/26/13 - work/up for IMRT
    4/1/13 - W1, D1 of weekly cetuximab
    4/8/13 - W1, D1 of IMRT
    5/20/13 - complete 8 week regimen of weekly cetuximab
    5/24/13 - Complete 35-day regimen of daily IMRT
    mid-July 2013 - CT-PET scan reveals no active tumors, but shows necrotic tissue at site of original tumor
    early Sept 2013 - partial neck dissection to remove necrotic tissue. Assay shows no cancer present.
    Spring 2014 - No signs of cancer
    Spring 2015 - NED
    Spring 2016 - NED
    Spring 2017 - NED


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