Talking to Your Loved Ones
Talking to your family and friends may be challenging. Start by letting those around you know that you welcome their questions and concerns. Let them know what you do—and don’t—feel comfortable sharing.
Some topics to consider discussing include—
- Changing roles and responsibilities. The relationship and roles between you and your care partners may have changed during treatment. They may even change after treatment as well. It’s a good idea to talk together about feelings and changes.
- How friends and family can offer support. Those closest to you may not know how to support you after treatment. Be open, honest, and specific about how they can help (or not help) in your new normal.
- Patience. It’s important to discuss expectations for recovery and to be patient throughout the process. Everything may not go back to “normal” right away, and that’s OK.
You may find that family support groups or counseling are a great way to start the conversation. A professional can ask questions to guide you and your family.
When you talk with your family and friends, be honest about your feelings. It is important to share how you’re feeling, accept help, and let others know what to expect from you.
Be Kind to Yourself
“I wouldn’t have come this far without a great group of people around me. No matter how hard I tried to push them away, they wouldn’t go away,” says Mark, who survived Hodgkin lymphoma.
Getting back to normal may take time. When your cancer treatment ends, you may feel relieved or empowered. You may also have a new set of goals or worry about what’s next. You may find that it takes time before you can do some of the things you did before. You may depend on other people for help more than you are used to, and you may worry about money and about your cancer coming back.
Try to be patient and open-minded about what your “new normal” looks like—and talk to someone about it.