Cancer Fakers

I’ll never understand them. I came to the internet/world of social media, specifically starting on Tumblr, to connect with others who have my cranky views on cancer. Very early on I began interacting with someone who wound up being exposed as a fake. I was not particularly hurt by the incident, just kind of saddened.

Luckily, I did not interact with this most recent faker. I followed her for a time, but quit because her numerous inspirational posts were just not for me. So I am fortunate to not have the very hurt feelings I am seeing expressed by other cancer patients on Tumblr.

As my name, Cancer Curmudgeon, suggests, I am a cranky, socially awkward type who does not easily make friends—even on the interwebs. So the few I have met and love and call “friend”—both in CancerLand and in other areas in the wonderfully weird world of online fandoms—I value deeply. For me it is the best of this thing so derided and lauded: the internet; the way I can connect with others I would never have met IRL, because of distance. Having a faker mess that up, well, it just sucks.

It’s not that it is impossible to talk to people who do not have cancer, it’s just nice to connect with fellow patients who know exactly what I mean, who’ve been there. As much as I hate to say that those who’ve never had cancer don’t “get it”—because I think sometimes as a blogger it is my job to make others “get it”—sometimes it is true, and it’s nice to be with those who “get it”, without having to explain it. So at the risk of sounding exclusionary, to have a cancer faker run around in the midst, it just makes me want to retreat back into my shell. Naturally suspicious of others, I become even less trustful, less willing to share thoughts, to reach out.

I’ll never understand Munchausen’s, if that is the actual case with this faker, seegirllive. I do not even care to try. Why someone would pretend to have cancer when I’d give anything to not have had it, just baffles me and it is not worth my time to ponder it. I just hope this whole incident dies down, goes away. I need to get back to the business of keeping the beast of my upcoming scanxiety down, of my continued physical recovery, and trying to…well, I’ll never make sense or get around that WTF just happened feeling that happens when treatment ends, but at least I’m getting better at living with that feeling. So, forget about that cancer faker, and I hope all other fakers just stop it. I’ve got healing to do, so do others, get out of our way.

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Author: Cancer Curmudgeon

Oct 2010 diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2+ Breast Cancer. Completed treatment Jan 2012. Waaaaaay over pink. Applying punk rock sensibility to how I do cancer.

23 thoughts on “Cancer Fakers”

  1. Hey, girl, trust me I DO have cancer – stage II, lumpectomy, 4 nodes removed, chemo who almost KILLED me according to my doc, changed chemo routine, got better, radiation for 33 days, bad radiation, treatment over. Side effects start and continue to this day (started treatment in Oct 2012). Trust me, I’m in the same boat as you.

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    1. Amazing this weirdness, huh? Just found out from my buddy Greg over on Tumblr that someone else I’d lost touch with was a faker as well. I’d been afraid to try to reconnect with her, afraid she’d died, and then I find this out. Very sad. She’d had a WordPress blog too so I interacted with her a bit here as well. Sigh.

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  2. Cancer Curmudgeon, don’t you dare shrink back in your shell. I found you not long ago and I want to keep reading your words! You and others have inspired me to try and learn this wordpress thing. I’m chemobrain challenged, I think. I was diagnosed in 2010 with stage 3. I found out early in my treatment that someone had started a rumor that I was faking cancer. At that time there were several women “fakers” exposed in the news. The rumor about me had me so angry that a friend had to stop me from ripping off my shirt at a corner bar in South Philly. I lost my house and relocated to lower-slower. I was going to re-start my life in some new way. Unfortunately, I was just diagnosed with bone mets. Frankly, if I met a “faker” face to face, I’d punch her in the tit. And I’m not a violent person.

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    1. Wow, thank you, I’m honored! I’ll keep writing–in fact I meant to write something completely different today. Oh well, if I have time, I’ll get around to it.
      Hmm, interesting flip side you bring up–people who think patients are faking–I hope you write a post about that! Certainly, I’ve heard some things said (not about me, tho’ I’m sure they were said out of my earshot), she wants to be sick, she doesn’t look sick….when in fact the person discussed is very sick. Complicated matters, indeed!
      Ah, welcome to LSD–I don’t live here, but work here and was treated here. I grew up on Delmarva, and it is weird, good mostly, but it has drawbacks.
      Love your blog, love that pic!

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  3. This is such a bizarre phenomenon. But it’s even more weird to me that this person is a MEDICAL STUDENT. Faking an illness like this, especially since she’s done it before, has got to be an actionable violation of medical ethics. Would you want this woman as your healthcare provider? Yikes.

    And it seems like a really cruel thing to do to people who actually have cancer. I never ran into her online, but your description of her posts as “inspirational” makes it sound like she uses the conventions people are used to hearing (or the things people want to hear) to manipulate them. Such “inspiration” is pretty cheap, I guess.

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    1. Yeah, I was just having a chat on Tumblr about this, about the older faker I mentioned in my response to first comment. I did not know seegirllive was a med student until today, but I knew becomingfree, who I just learned was fake, was a med student. And apparently still is–so yeah, you are right, Yikes!
      Yes pretty quotes on pretty pictures are OK every once in a great while, but a steady diet of them turn me off. Nothing against those folks who like that–I just prefer conversations that challenge everything. But I bet you knew that my friend, ha ha!

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  4. I knew seegirllive. I think I followed her on Twitter, but rarely saw anything from her so I kinda forgot about her. So she was a fake? Well, then.

    I can post images of myself getting chemo, I can post a picture of my cancer rupturing through my skin, I can provide the phone number to my cancer center and ask them to at least confirm that I’m a patient there if someone calls. I’m transparent online, and part of what helped shape me into someone transparent is people like seegirllive and City_Gltitter and MsScribe and others who weave a load of bullshit into a tale, and people buy into it.

    I agree that this should be an actionable violation of ethics for people in the medical field. It’s disgusting.

    But don’t retreat. There’s enough of us out here who are legitimate, who enjoy your cranky company, and love interacting with you and would miss you if you stopped. I’ve actually been wondering if you were okay, maybe just busy over the holidays, because I haven’t checked Twitter much this last week and haven’t seen anything from you.

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    1. So she just disappeared on Twitter too? Been chatting with Greg on Tumblr today about knowing if disappearing acts mean death or hoax…
      You know that first person I ran into that was a fraud in 2012 had some pretty convincing photos. I remember reading how they were faked–I mean wow the lengths these folks to…this incident and the conversations made me realize how naive I am.
      I never thought about being transparent when I began; I was more interested in keeping my identity quiet. I did not want my online views to possibly impact my professional life, present or future. I was not, and am still not interested in letting some folks IRL know about my blog. I now realize how that may look. Hmm, will have to rethink.
      Yes, I have been absent due to being incredibly busy–holidays are always busy for a pet sitter–I’m honestly looking forward to January. In the process of making some changes to introduce stability and structure to my life, yay! I love interacting with you too–am so glad to have met you! Hugs!

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  5. OMG i followed her wordpress posts and on Treatment diaries and twitter… That is just awful … Why would people do that what do they gain from it … How deceitful … Trouble is it makes you wonder about genuine cases. And yes you are afaraid to say to much… A FB group i am in with people who have Chronic illness seems to have a couple if people who go from one crisis to another… I do wonder about them… Thank you for letting be know as I had not heard this before… Having had Uterine Cancer myself I felt so sorry for a young women going through this… I am quite shattered..

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    1. Yeah, you raise a good point, like one of the other comments here–people start to doubt real cancer patients! Conversations I’ve had here and on Tumblr today made me realize how naive I am–as curmudgeon-y and non-trusting as I am, it also does not occur to me that someone would fake a disease–it just does not cross my mind. Well, I guess I’m gonna suspect it more often now (grim laugh).

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  6. There are a lot of ‘fakers’ out there, so I’m not that surprised. It’s sad though for sure. I’m like you a little I guess, as I don’t make friends easily either and I am always wary… As that old saying goes, there are plenty of bad apples out there. Geez, I can’t even remember exactly how that old saying goes. But you know what I mean. I am thankful for my real cyber friends out there and I count you as one of mine for sure. One time I had a “faker” actually copy a post of mine word for word. Scary. I had forgotten about that. Thanks for this important reminder to stay alert about such things.

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    1. I am glad you consider me a friend, as I do you! I confess myself a bit naive about all this, so when it happens I always kind of get the wind knocked out of my sails in shock. But, I will not let it interrupt me–I’ll just keep on with it all–with a healthy dose of being careful of course!

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  7. Please don’t retreat! I & so many others would be so sad. I hate that someone has the damn audacity to fake cancer. I wouldn’t give two shits for her karma. I have retreated a bit myself for the holidays, but hope to get back into the swing of things soon. I need your crankiness in my feed.

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  8. Hey CC, what a dumb-ass woman this faker is, just like all the others. As you know cancer runs in my family in the same inescapable way that blood runs in my veins. I don’t like it, definitely didn’t want it and certainly would never wish for it for me or anyone else.

    I guess faking something she didn’t have gave this woman some kind of kick – maybe from the sympathy, the attention, or perhaps she was planning on asking people for cash to support her ‘treatment.’ She isn’t the first and sadly won’t be the last I’m sure. Who knows what goes through these peoples minds?!

    What I do know is that anyone who really experienced cancer close up and personal would never in a million years think about faking it because the truth it’s too damned horrible, life-changing and disruptive to contemplate unless you’re forced to live it. So don’t let these charlatans deter you from blogging, curmudgeoning or maintaining your inter-web long distance friendships. Life is too short for us to be closed down ever further by selfish idiots. Without blogs like yours I’d have been completely alone in dealing with my HER2 and chemo fears.

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    1. You know I’m not sure if she did get money–there was some discussion about donations but I’m unsure if it was for seegirllive or this other person exposed sometime earlier, tho’ I just found out about it now. At any rate, the sympathy and cheers from seegirllive’s many followers must have been a motivating factor. Oh well, best not to dwell on it I guess.
      Yep, I’ll keep on grumping in the new year. And if anything is to be gained from this it is to remind us to value each other–those of us who’ve met and helped our loneliness by communicating this way. I value your friendship so much, and likewise, it was soooo good to find you early on, the first person also HER2 positive. And forget the fakers!

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  9. You know, I won’t even accept too much change from a cashier for fear karma will kick me in the ass and I would have money problems, so why people think faking cancer is a good thing I will never know. Hey if they want it so bad, they can have mine! I had followed her too. I feel quite naïve actually.

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  10. *Sigh* I’m with you in not understanding what motivates these people. I have not, to my knowledge, interacted with any of the people who have been called out as fakes, but I was taken down that path by someone with another “disease” and DID donate money. Munchausen? Perhaps, though it’s an awful lot of Munchausen for such a rare condition. And those who do it for the money – they are thiefs, pure and simply – and should be prosecuted. For me, I’d rather be who I am in the world, which is perhaps too trusting, than to look over my shoulder with suspicion. I’m profoundly sad for someone who is in such dire need of attention but shame on them for their deceptions.

    PS Don’t stop blogging!!

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    1. Thank you very much Lori! I almost cannot begin to think about those who fake disease to get money–it is just such a horrible idea, And yes, feeling sad for the fakers is probably all we can do…
      Thanks for checking out my blog!!

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  11. This makes me sick to my stomach to think that other people have actually faked having cancer. And she had a blog too? Insane sick individual. Maybe not too surprised after all.

    But hey, if anyone wants my cancer, I am giving it away for free. Just ask.

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