Now that you are about to have treatment for cancer, you may have concerns that you want to share. If you do want to talk, you may not know how to start. These ideas may help.
If you want to talk
Maybe you sense that the people in your life want to know more about what’s going on with you. Or maybe you feel that sharing your situation with others will help you to work through your own feelings. Find time to talk that is free from distractions, when both of you aren't rushed. Here are some tips that will help prepare you to talk.
Be open and honest
People will be more willing to help if they are aware of what you are going through. Talk openly and honestly about your condition, its treatment, and how you are feeling, both positive and negative. And if people offer, talk about how they can help you. Make a list of things you need help with. Some people may be able to drive you to see your healthcare provider or help with child care or work. Or maybe you need help with odd jobs around the house, yard work, housecleaning, or food shopping.
Ease their awkwardness
People may be afraid to say or do something wrong. Assure them that showing they care is helpful. And let them know that there may be no perfect thing to say. Tell your friends and family specific ways they can encourage and support you.
Expect different reactions
People will respond in different ways. Some may seem angry, fearful, or frustrated. Others may refuse to hear any more about your cancer. There are people who may seem too upbeat or use humor to cope. And some may share their own experiences with cancer, including advice and suggestions. Understand that each of them means well. People often don’t know what to say to someone with a serious illness.