Awkward questions about body changes and cancer
We are often curious about things that are different and that we haven’t experienced. People may want to talk to you to see how you are, but some may just want to know what has happened to you.
People ask questions like 'What have you done to your arm?'.
It can feel uncomfortable and awkward answering their questions. And you may worry about how they will react to your answers.
Sometimes you may be conscious of a change yourself, but it may not be noticeable to other people. What you want to tell others can depend on:
how you feel in general and about your body change
your relationship with the other person
where you are and whether other people are present.
It may be helpful to think in advance about possible questions that may make you feel awkward and possible ways of answering them.
There is no right or wrong thing to say. You can come up with different responses, which will help to prepare you for different situations. For example:
‘I had an operation.’
‘I had cancer and had an operation six weeks ago.’
‘I had my operation to remove the cancer and am getting used to the changes, but it will take a while.’
‘I had a cancer removed. I am going for more surgery in a few weeks. I can tell you more if you’re interested.’
'Thank you for asking, but I don’t want to talk about it.’
You can choose how much you want to say. Most people will be happy with a short explanation of what happened.