It’s the word that weighs down any sentence it’s mentioned in. It’s the discussion that no one is ever prepared for. It’s cancer, and if you have recently been diagnosed, you may feel remiss as to how to have this discussion with loved ones. Although there are no ‘tried and true’ ways to talk about a cancer diagnosis, the following are a few strategies in which you can approach the discussion.
Take Your Time
This process is based solely on how you are feeling. Take your time to process your own emotions, and approach the subject only when you feel ready.
Use Support Resources
If you feel as though you cannot manage this conversation by yourself, you can always reach out for support. There are support groups and mental health counselors that can be there to help facilitate the conversation. This resource can bolster you through the process and provide support for both you and your loved ones.
Convey the Facts
When you don’t know where to start, sometimes it’s best to start with the simple truth. Let them know that you have cancer. Explain the type that you have and let them know the treatment regimen. Explain why you are using that treatment and how it will help the situation.
If your diagnosis means that you will be operating in a different capacity than before, you should let your loved ones know. This could be a difference in mobility, work capability, or any other lifestyle change.
If you are so called, you can talk about how you are feeling. A diagnosis is a heavy burden and sharing with others can aid in the process of healing. When we discuss our emotions, we allow others to provide their support, perspective, and strategies to help.
Say What You Need
One of the best things you can do during this cancer conversation is tell the people in your life what you need. Diagnoses are life-interrupting events. They create gaps in the spaces that allow for a day to day life to function. Talk with your loved one’s about these gaps and see how they can help. Do you need someone to sit with you during treatments? Do you need someone to walk the dog or get groceries? Would you like someone to help hire a home health aide? Contact a home health aide for help today.