Responding to other people
It can be very difficult to acknowledge you have cancer. It’s natural for anyone who has recently been told they have cancer to feel overwhelmed by their emotional reactions.
It can also be difficult to deal with other people’s emotions and reactions to your situation. Some people can’t cope with their own emotions and may tend to avoid difficult situations. So people might prefer to stay away from you, rather than accept that they have strong emotions they can’t deal with. Here are some tips for dealing with this situation:
Always try to respond to your relative or friend’s feelings. If you’re good at recognising how people might feel, it can help to identify your friend’s emotion and what caused it. This can be quite simple, such as, ‘When I talk about the cancer you look really upset’ or, ‘It looks as though you get very scared when you come here.’
Don’t be afraid to say how you feel too. For example, ‘I think both of us are finding this awful’ or, ‘I know you’re worried about what could happen and so am I.’ The more aware you both are of each other’s feelings, the better the communication will be. Arguments are common. If you get into an argument, see our section about resolving conflict.