Monday, July 2, 2012


I'm an over-sharer.  Whenever I'm nervous in a social setting, I tend to ramble on and on, even trying to make jokes.  When I interviewed for a Red Cross internship back when I was in college, I spent most of the interview cracking jokes and hearing my inner voice scream, "SHUT UP, LARA.  STOP MAKING JOKES.  JUST LISTEN." 

I walked out of that interview thinking I had blown it.  Much to my surprise, I got the internship but I felt like I lucked out.

Lately, since I've been on leave, I have been over-sharing to people who really didn't need or want to hear the whole explanation.  I've been telling people that I had a double mastectomy, but then I feel awkward because I obviously have boobs.  

The husband of a friend of a friend came over to take a look at my roof because it needs some work on it.  I said that I was off work because of a double mastectomy but then I felt compelled to explain why I still had boobs.  Then my awkward nervous tic kicked in even more and I started talking about how soon I'll have real fake boobs.  The dude, a happily married husband and father of a cute baby, did not need to hear any of it and looked obviously uncomfortable.  (I learned later from his wife that he was very uncomfortable and "just wanted to get out of there."  Sigh....)   I probably traumatized him, which I hope isn't the case.  I really need someone to fix my roof.  If I have to, I'll promise to never say a single word about anything related to my cancer and its surgeries.

Hearing that someone was so uncomfortable that he just wanted to get away from me is completely embarrassing.  He wasn't embarrassed to be next to someone who had breast cancer and a double mastectomy; he was embarrassed to hear way too much information about her boobs.  I learned the hard way that I just need to say that I had a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.  That's it.  I don't need to go into detail about what reconstruction entails because that just opens up an awkward can of worms.  

Ever since my surgery, I haven't really interacted with other people like I normally do.  It's been me and Boomer and then my boyfriend at night.  All I have in my life seems to be cancer and well, that's about it.  My friends are going through amazing changes in their lives, like new relationships, getting married and/or having babies.  Me... I've been dealing with breast cancer for almost two years.  But you know, I created this awkward, all-cancer all-the-time mindset of mine.

To anyone who I have made uncomfortable talking about my cancer, surgery and then body post cancer, I'm really sorry.  I speak before I really think about what I'm saying.  I need to control that nervous tic of mine where I over share, tell jokes and turn into TMI girl because if I keep this up, no one is going to want to hang out with me.  



  1. That is a great battle and sometimes it is hard to keep things in. People seem to avoid me, at times when I share too much. I understand.

  2. I think there is definitely something to learn, as a person, about how to manage the urge to share personal information, but sometimes it's a blurry line because as people we have an urge to reach out, communicate and perhaps keep comfort in advice, company and understanding. I think you are being too hard on yourself. You are going through something extremely stressful and you are trying to cope. That is part of your coping strategy and you need to remind yourself of that. "oh, I said this and this because I have not been feeling well. Oh well, it's alright"
    perhaps you are reaching out to people, maybe to make them feel more comfortable, if they know your condition, or perhaps you are doing it for yourself. You should forgive yourself for saying things you regret and not worry about what people think or how they may judge you. Too F-in bad if they don't like it. He had no sympathy to say those things about you. Very poor form. I think, in general, it's ok not to say anything to people that don't matter in your life and if you do say something you later regret, they don't matter, remember. You need to accept that at the present this is your coping strategy and that you would simply like to change it. It won't happen all at once but when you hold back several times and begin to get good at it you will probably find that something else will take its place for you. Perhaps you'll write in a journal or read a book or go for a walk. Perhaps you will feel that you are on the road to recovery and stop feeling stressed and broken.
    I wish you much health and peace and love.