Benefits of talking about your cancer
It can feel so difficult to talk about cancer that you may think, ‘Should I bother?’ or, ’Is it worth talking about what’s going on if it makes my friends feel uncomfortable?’ But talking can help you cope with any uncertainties or difficulties that may lie ahead.
Talking about your cancer can give you support and help you have some control over your situation.
How talking can give you support
Putting things into words helps us make sense of events and leaves us feeling more in control of them. Generally speaking, people take comfort in talking to others. Discussing fears or concerns often helps us understand them better and put them into perspective. Talking about our feelings can also make us feel less anxious.
After I was diagnosed with cancer, I found it an enormous relief to be able to talk to someone about my feelings.
For example, you may have unanswered questions and find it difficult to make up your mind about some issues. But by talking the situation through, you may realise that you can find the answer or make a particular decision.
If the person you’re talking to hears your concerns and understands you, this can also help reassure you that your feelings are normal.
Talking about a fear or worry often stops it from growing bigger in our minds. Often when we’re thinking about something all the time, we worry about it more and more. Once the fear is out in the open and is being discussed, this process often stops.
Finally, talking about something important or personal creates a bond between people and this can make you feel appreciated and supported.
When Paul was diagnosed with bladder cancer he joined Macmillan's Online Community. He talks about how the Community supported him through this difficult time.