Topic: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

I often have wondered about this.  This disease does not discriminate.  It affects men and women equally, and yet it appears that the conversations mainly are lead by women.  Is it because us women are more open with our feelings and therefore have a tendency to reach out more freely?

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

My Dad is the one with CC, and he has been very private about discussing his feelings, symptoms and with showing his emotions.  If asked he will answer questions with regards to how he's feeling, but he will never mention it first. Mom and I  think this is his way with dealing with it.  If it's not discussed it will not get any worse.  He has shed a few tears lately though in front of my Mom, tears of frustration that he can't physically do the jobs he used to.  His mind is telling him he can but  his body that he can't.

Mom and I, plus my female friends seem to be able to talk openly about everything, something that my husband finds strange, so I think it could be a male thing.

Devoted Daughter to the most wonderful Dad a girl could ask for.  Sadly lost his battle on 19.02.11, peacefully in the arms of Mom and I.  As requested by Dad "we will keep on smiling".

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

I agree with Andrea - my Dad doesn't actually have a problem talking about, but usually doesn't too much unless he's asked something.  You would never find him on here discussing it with other people though.  I think he probably doesn't want it staring him in the face more then it already does on a daily basis.  He doesn't even ask the doctor questions that he should, Mom has to do it.  His motto is quite literally "it is what it is".  In his mind, he has the disease, he's eventually going to die from it, and although he'll do whatever he's told to survive a bit longer, there is no point sitting and trying to "figure it out", since it won't change anything.  Maybe men tend to internalize what they are feeling rather than discussing it, and we tend to discuss rather than internalize?

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

I'm a chap (thank God) - I've been a member of this site for the past year and I've also wondered why so few men contribute to discussions.  Its certainly true that we hesitate when it comes to sharing problems but you can become a member here and remain anonymous, so that reason does't stack-up. Men seem to be slow to educate themselves about their condition, we tend to be more fatalistic about the outcome and we are reluctant when it comes to challenging medical advice.  I'm cancer-free now but I have found this site to be a great resource not just because it arms me with information about CC, but also because its so theraputic talking to others with similar problems.

Or maybe I'm a "big girl".........................Gerry

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

I feel that women are more inclined to speak freely and openly regarding issues, concerns, etc regarding illness and their feelings.  And also that many of the men that we are talking about are the CC patients and almost all of them have spouses (female) as their caretakers.

Men typically do not discuss illness in an open forum and they typically do not even like to go to a doctor even when they are ill. 

Whereas women are nurturers by nature and women bear the children therefore we have no choice but to go to doctors for that 9 month period.  Women like to get feedback and learn and we also seek support from our peer groups (as we learned to do at a very young age).

Most men are taught by their parents that they need to 'hold their feeling inside' rather than to let others know their feelings. 

Take for instance, a baby girl falls down and get hurt and starts crying.  She is picked up and cuddled and soothed almost instantly by both father and mother....so we learn at an early age that it' ok to cry and it's ok to seek comfort....

a baby boy falls down and gets hurt and starts crying....the parents may pick him up but he does not get treated the same as a baby girl.  At times he is even told to 'shake it off' and that he is a boy and he is strong...therefore boys learn at a young age to not cry and to not show their feelings.

This does not amaze me at all that most of the posts on this site are from women.  Remember we are the nurturers! 

Margaret

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Gerry.... I am hoping for more men to join us.  Certainly, you gave them a big " welcome aboard."  And, nothing girlish about that.  Thanks much.
Best wishes,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

In my dads case he didn't really hide away from talking about his CC, his thoughts on it or how he was feeling in general, but I did have to slightlypush him a bit to open up. He would always answer my questions, albeit sometimes quite vaguely but if I asked him again in a follow up question on the same issue then he would open up a bit more. But he was this way quite a bit with quite a lot of things and not just his illness, and he never really talked much at all about his emotions etc. I guess I just put that down to the Scottish male way from his generation!

Me, I think I'm different from my dad in that respect in that I can talk about pretty much about anything, especially so if someone asked me a direct question. A lot of it could indeed be down to that male thing that Andrea talks about, but I also think that a lot of it is down to the generation thing between male age ranges.

Again in my case, as soon as my dad was diagnosed I wanted to find out as much as I could information wise so I started googling and ended up here. I knew what my dad was like and that he wouldn't ask too many questions or would just do as the docs said. So I ended up here and how thankful I am for that.

Hugs to you all,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

My husband doesn't have the desire to learn more about something that he thinks is robbing him of his future. He is very private and doesn't share his feelings much outside of our family. I have often teased him about being avoidant of relationships. I am thankful for the men who do contribute on this site as I find their contributions valuable. I am so thankful that we have a place to share what is going on with others who "get it." Thanks to all of you for sharing. Blessings, Susan.

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

I think my dad would be here if I hadn't got here first.  But he'd probably reply only to posts that he had a direct answer to, or felt he could help someone.  My brother would probably do so too, except I'm the one who reached out to the computer for answers, where my brother would rather talk face to face or discuss it as a family.

Perhaps men don't need as much reassurance and validation of their feelings and worries?  I think the men that we do have contribute such a lot, but not in a vastly different way than the women.  I wonder if all cancer discussion boards are populated by women?  Are there places like this for other rare cancers?

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

I think men tend to avoid conversations and situations which cause them to feel vulnerable. During the time of my chemo and radiation treatments, what caused me the most mental anguish was that sense of weakness and vulnerability. It caused me to tend to shut out my wife without knowing I was doing it. She later said that it was if I had built a wall and wouldn't let others in. So it doesn't surprise me that there are few guys posting here. There's my two cents...

Blessings on All,
bob

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Bob, how are you doing????? You and T didn't have a problem at all talking in person about your CC. I must tell you all there is no feeling like that of meeting with someone else from this Board. WOW!

I really think if Teddy was a computer person he would be on here but he has never been so inclined with computers. But, if you would meet him in person he would go on and on about CC. Also, he was in the hospital for almost a month after his Whipple and I was the one who found the CC site. Perhaos too, men see black or white we see the gray as well.

Bob, Hollanddg, Gavin, Tom (Ben) and Raye are exceptional contributers. Guess we have quality not quantity.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Maybe they can't get a word in edgewise! I mean, we DO have a lot of chatty Cathys here! Not that I am one of them, of course. I only have 574 posts so clearly I am NOT the problem.

Patty

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Dear Bob - Thanks for your 2 cents. It helps me understand my husband better.
Dear Patty - I love your posts and appreciate your humor.

Blessings, Susan

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Ha Patty....574 postings including some very informative ones put your right up there. (For those who don't know, Patty is our favorite librarian.)  And we are better off because of it.
Hugs
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Wow, the more I read the more I learn.  I never knew this site has a librarian.  You guys really stay busy and it really does help those of us who are battling along, feeling like one against a giant.  Thank you, one and all.

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

Lainy,
Meeting Teddy was like meeting a long lost brother of sorts. He was the first person I had ever run across with CC. Him and I have a shared experience which gave us instant rapport so of course conversation flowed. And I was awed by his bravery in his approach to his final days. You and Teddy are exceptional...

Peace over your household,

bob

Re: Why do you think we have so few men involved in the discussions?

My dad isn't programmed to share his battle. He just cannot do it. Unfortunately, he cannot even share the real story with his brother, his only living relative besides my sister and myself (his daughter)...and my sister gets the majority of her info from me. I think some of it is denial. If I miss the doctors on early morning rounds, my dad tells me "it was inconclusive" even if the answer doesn't fit! I have never missed a doctor appt. and I always stay until evening rounds or if my dad is not doing well, so I am not missing any good news! smile

My sister and I (used to joke) that we may read about our grandparents obituaries in the newspaper because the information flow in our family is painful! Maybe the generation? My dad is 62 and his parents were 23 years older than him...but my husband is, mostly, the same and he is 38. I think is is innate! I wish I knew the secret to the reasons!!!!

Stacey