1. the act or process of covering something with sugar.

2. a coating or layer of sugar or a sugary substance.

3. a thing used to make something else considered unpleasant or disagreeable seem attractive or palatable.

I’m going to be discussing definition number 3, although coating or covering something with sugar reminds me of cider donuts and sugar cookies which makes me happy and hungry.

I am a firm believer in telling the truth, the hard truth. I always have. When I was teaching and conducting parent/teacher conferences, I told it like it was. If little Penelope was getting up and walking around the classroom kicking things during circle time, Penelope’s mom and dad would certainly be advised of this disruptive behavior. No sugarcoating about Penelope’s  behavior!

Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about how breast cancer is discussed and portrayed. There is a lot of taboo over discussion of metastatic breast cancer; often times it seems people don’t want to talk about death and dying. There even seems to be cautious or tentative discussion when talking about breast cancer generally. I’ve also noticed discussion of cancer can be clouded by hope; I always talk about finding the silver lining, but I never want that silver lining to sugarcoat reality.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to spread awareness and educate others on metastatic breast cancer. I’ll admit, even as a patient with Stage IIIC breast cancer I didn’t really understand metastatic breast cancer. Now I do. The medical field has a long way to go in developing treatments. 113 women and men die a day from metastatic breast cancer and one day I’ll be one of them.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • Cancer should not be a taboo topic.
  • Metastatic breast cancer is progressive and terminal.
  • There are many new treatments available and being developed. This allows metsters like myself to receive treatments at our disposal for the rest of our lives…until those treatments stop working and there is no more.

So let’s not sugarcoat breast cancer. The reality is that too many women and men are dying everyday from  metastatic breast cancer. 

7 thoughts on “Sugarcoating

  1. Hi Susan,
    I very much despise how breast cancer has been and continues too often to be sugarcoated. People deserve truth even when it’s messy and downright ugly, maybe especially then. I believe truth telling is inspirational, too, not just the rah-rah, I am now a better person since diagnosis sort of truth telling. Honoring all cancer experiences helps everyone better understand the full spectrum of this disease. Doing otherwise is missing the mark on so many levels. Sharing harsh realities is necessary. Sharing about metastatic disease should be a priority. Doing so needn’t strip anyone of hope, nor does it mean we’re being negative. Apologies for getting on my soap box, but this topic is one I care deeply about. So thank you for writing about it. Sugarcoating works on cookies and doughnuts, on breast cancer, not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: Honoring Our Stories | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  3. Excellent post on an important topic. I believe the sugar coating comes from the fact that so many people want to feel hopeful and are uncomfortable with death and discussing dying and death. Cancer should not be sugarcoated. There are no positives to this disease. Cancer is a killer, and if someone is lucky enough not to die from it, he/she is forever maimed, emotionally and physically.

    Liked by 1 person

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