What Do I Do Now? - 94

94
RELATIONSHIPS /// CHAPTER 60
Telling People
Who do you have to tell?
There are not many people who you really must tell but
sharing your diagnosis with some key people can be helpful
and even make things easier for you. It is your choice.
If you are a student, there is no legal obligation for you to
tell your school or college about it. But if you think your
cancer will affect your grades and ability to meet class
requirements, it is a good idea to tell your teachers or
access the student advisory services center, so they can
advise and even accommodate you as needed.
If you are working, you are not required to disclose your
diagnosis to your boss or HR manager. This is a personal
choice with some of the reasons for why to share or not
listed here. If you do choose to share your diagnosis with
them, they may be able to provide you with some schedule
flexibility and guide you toward available resources such as
FMLA. Triage Cancer can also provide legal, workplace, and
insurance assistance.
Reasons to tell:
» Trying to keep things a secret can take up a lot of
energy.
» Your friends and colleagues might feel hurt or left
out if you don't tell them about something so serious
happening to you. Your relationships with other people
might become stronger when they know more about
you.
» You may need time off study and work to attend
treatment. If you tell your teachers and boss the real
reason, they are more likely to accommodate you.
» Your energy and concentration levels might be affected
by treatment. It might be better for people to know
there is a reason for this instead of them making one
up or avoiding them.
» Friends from school, college and work can help tell
others if you don't feel like it. They might be less weird
around you if they know what to expect.
Reasons not to tell:
» You worry that people may act weird after you tell them
and treat you like you are fragile and vulnerable.
» You feel embarrassed talking about your cancer, as it
may relate to private parts of your body (such as your
breasts or testicles).
» You can't be bothered telling the same story and
answering the same questions over and over.
» You may feel your life is now being dominated by a
disease that you didn't ask to have.
» Maybe work, school or college is one of the only places
where you can still be you without being defined by
cancer.
» People may want to share their own cancer stories with
you - good, bad and ugly - and that can get pretty
annoying.
How do you tell people?
You can prepare yourself for telling others about your
cancer experience:
» Work out what you are prepared to share and what feels
right. Try writing it down first.
» Imagine yourself telling people. Practice saying it in
your head.
» Go online and check out some blogs or forums and see
how other people do it.
» Give permission to your friends, family or teachers to
tell other people if you want them to know, but don't
want to tell them yourself. Make sure they understand
if you want to keep the information private. Be prepared
to deal with insensitive or silly questions. Maybe refer
people to a website to learn more about your particular
kind of cancer.
» If you don't know your teachers, lecturers or bosses
very well, you may find it easier to call them or write an
email or letter.
You've Got
What?!?
https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

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What Do I Do Now? - 1
What Do I Do Now? - Contents
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