The word cancer evokes a sense of fear in almost everyone when they hear it. However, with today's advancements in medicine, a cancer diagnosis does not mean what it use to mean. This article will offer straight forward tips on how to talk about your diagnosis with friends and family.
The first thing that must be done is to talk openly and honestly with everyone. Your friends and family will want to know a lot of information such as what type of cancer you have, what your prognosis is and what are your treatment options. It is easier on everyone to know it is acceptable to discuss the diagnosis with you. You may want to set guidelines on how often they inquire about your cancer and what information you are unwilling to share. Remember, it is your body and you have the right to tell only the information that you deem necessary.
Any type of treatment for cancer is difficult, and you will need help. It is advisable that you discuss what help you may need and the expectations you have for your caregivers. For example, most treatments require you to have someone transport you to and from treatments. This is because many treatments cause drowsiness.
There may be some things that you do not wish to discuss with friends or extended family such as how your treatment is affecting your bowel movements, the amount of nausea you are experiencing, etc. It is okay to keep private things private.
When discussing treatments, let your immediate family and close friends know how it may affect you. You may lose your hair, you may need to sleep more than usual, and you may experience nausea. It is also important that both friends and family understand the importance of you staying well. Be very straightforward about your expectations of visiting times, frequency of visits and how important it is that your visitors be well.
You will go through many emotions after the initial diagnosis of cancer. It is important that you surround yourself with friends and loved ones. You may experience anger; however, it is important to know that you are angry at the cancer, not at yourself or others. Many people also experience fear, sadness and even a feeling that it is not real. To help you avoid falling in to the trap of depression, talk about your feelings with those closest to you.
You should also be aware how a cancer diagnosis affects your loved ones. If you have children, it is important to remember that they may automatically think a cancer diagnosis means death. You need to explain that the doctors will do everything they can to cure your cancer, and you hope to be around for many years to come. A spouse may feel overwhelmed trying to take care of you, take care of the household and hold down a job. Realize that your spouse needs an outlet as much as you do.
There are many advancements in medicine concerning cancer. It is important to remember that you cannot go through this journey alone; therefore, be open and honest with family members and friends. Use the methods listed above when discussing your cancer diagnosis, your treatment plans and your prognosis with friends and family.