Managing Issues related to Family & Friends
One of the first questions following a cancer diagnosis is what to tell other people. Perhaps you will want to keep the news strictly within the family until you have had time to absorb it yourself. Alternatively you may want to be open from the start. Whichever route you follow, you are going to be on the receiving end of attention which can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Your family and friends will react to the news of your diagnosis in different ways, some of which will be comforting and some surprising or at times even hurtful. Those closest to you will be fearful for you but may feel unsure how best to support you. For example, it can be hard for you as a patient to deal with someone who bursts into tears if you are doing your best to control your own emotions. On the other hand, friends who feel out of their depth can withdraw rather than say something inappropriate which can make you feel abandoned just when you need their warmth. It is also likely that you will be on the receiving end of an avalanche of anecdotal advice that may or may not be helpful.
Talking things through with a cancer counsellor can help you decide how best to handle breaking bad news to relatives, friends and work colleagues and also how to deal with their reactions, and ongoing concern so that you continue to have the level of privacy as well as support that you need.
IT’S NOT LIKE THAT ACTUALLY by Kate Carr
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? 75 PRACTICAL IDESA FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS by Deborah Hutton