I'd usually just reply that my mother had undergone an operation, and ended there.
I usually evade giving the cancer answer because:
* it takes a lot of effort explaining it
* i want to free the recipient the burden of feeling sad for us
* because i'd also feel guilty for making others' feel sad
* which sometimes i'd end up consoling them and reassuring them that we're and we'll be owkei. And, it can sometimes take a lot of energy.
* it's just that We really did/do not know how to deliver that kind of information.
My mother's siblings knew days after the diagnosis, and it was totally a surprise to them, much as it's to us. It was awkward - I explaining about my mother's status and why they're not right away informed and then switching to being a counselor by consoling them we're going to be owkei.
Definitely, it does not feel at all owkei. But we're owkei with not being owkei.
My mother decides to no more further treatment, even before the diagnosis came. According to her, God will not give her any thing that she cannot handle. We're taking "this" as a gift.
And, I guess one of the reasons why I had not truthfully answer few people's question to avoid receiving wishes of "get well soon or long life to your mother."
Because we're welcoming death. We're not aftaid of death, it's the uncertain journey towards it that can really be scary. Call it heartless or dark, but we welcome wishes of smooth painless passing. (But don't get it wrong, we're not living like we're in a cave though it can feel like that at times but we have to carry on. :)) I mean a peaceful one is definitely a gift worth asking.
So I kindly ask you to please include in your prayer that the rest of my mother's journey will be smooth and painless.
Also, if you have any other idea of a washable / reusable colostomy plate/bag set, please let us know. It will be such a big help! A doctor suggested a DIY using a plastic cover of coffee glass canister cover but I don't feel confident about it. And the current ones we're using, those throwaway pieces from medical supplies, can't be easily replaced on a day-to-day basis.