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96
RELATIONSHIPS /// CHAPTER 61
Tips for talking:
» It may help to think about what you want to ask and what you want to
say before you start.
» It may be really hard to start with and there may be lots of silent
moments. That's OK.
» Try not to freak out if you or other people get upset - keep going or
try again later.
» Talking can be easier if you are doing something else at the same
time - like driving in the car or cleaning up in the kitchen - when the
focus of attention isn't directly on you.
» Doing something together, like watching a movie or playing a game,
can give you a chance to share what's going on when you are
relaxed.
» Don't put too much pressure on yourself - this whole thing is strange
and scary and it may take time to work out the best way to talk to
each other.
» It's OK to still have the odd argument with your parents, siblings,
partners and friends. It doesn't make you ungrateful for their
support. In fact, it might be nice that things feel like " normal " again.
» Talk about it in small pieces, not all at once.
If talking is too hard
Sometimes talking is too hard but you still want your parents, siblings,
partners, or friends to know what is happening and how you are feeling.
You could also:
» Write a letter, email, or blog
» Find cards, quotations, and songs that say it for you
» Send a text or Facebook message
» Leave signs on your bedroom door
» Draw pictures
» Keep a journal. You can choose to keep it private or share it with your
family or friends
» If you are having difficulty talking about cancer with others, it may
help to speak to a counselor or social worker. They can give you
ideas on how to communicate with each other or even be there if you
need them.
As much as it's important to identify the individuals with whom you
feel closest to be able to share your struggles and to also just relax
with during this stressful time, what about everyone else? A common
experience of cancer patients is that they often feel bombarded
with friends, family and acquaintances asking, " How are you? " and
saying, " Let me know how I can help. " Sometimes it may be difficult to
communicate your needs when so many individuals are approaching you
at once to provide support.
» Create a short response to be able to
easily repeat and move conversation
along to another topic so that you
are not always focused on talking
about cancer. An example of such a
response might be, " I'm doing well
thank you, treatment is going well,
how are you? "
» Update all friends and family at one
time through social media, email
or large text message groups to
help reduce having to review this
information repeatedly. Several apps
can help with this, like mylifeline.org
or caringbridge.org
» Consider appointing a friend or
family member as a " support
manager " to organize helping
efforts. For example, when friends
or family offer their assistance,
you can refer them to your " support
manager " to help organize meals,
rides to appointments, etc. You can
also use a web-based platform like
carecalendar.org.
» You may need to learn how to
provide direction to those who are
wanting to help you most. During
treatment in particular, it will be
important to communicate directly
with others how you are feeling.
» Inform friends and family when
you feel comfortable hanging out
or doing an activity, but you may
also need to become comfortable
with observing your limits, setting
boundaries and saying " no. "
SOME
SUGGESTIONS
https://www.mylifeline.org/ https://www.caringbridge.org/ https://www.carecalendar.org/ https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

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