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‘I found it an enormous relief to be able to talk to someone about my feelings.’
about your cancer may be one of the most helpful and rewarding things
you choose to do. Putting fears and feelings into words helps us understand them better and leaves us
feeling more in control. Discussing important and personal things also creates
a bond between people. This
makes us feel appreciated and supported.
This week is Cancer
Talk Week, and in this blog we’re focusing on families: how they can be
the hardest people to talk to about your diagnosis, but also how they can be
your most important source of support.
Why it’s hard to talk
Many of us don’t
like talking about our problems because we don’t want to seem needy, demanding
or attention-seeking. Or we may want to protect people from being upset. But
many friends and relatives will want to help. And we show how much we value
someone when we ask for their support.
Talking to family and friends
It may be difficult,
but these tips can help start things off:
Our booklet Talking
about your cancer discusses common reactions to a cancer diagnosis,
how your family and friends may be feeling, and practical tips to help you talk
Talking to your partner
feelings, practical problems and the effect of cancer on your sexuality
can be an important way to help you and your partner cope. A simple discussion
can make a big difference and will help you understand how the other person is
Our leaflet Cancer,
you and your partner explains how cancer may affect your
relationship and discusses what can help you both.
Talking to children
cope with difficult news better than we think they will. Talking to them will
make them feel less anxious and more secure. It shows you trust them and it
gives them permission to ask questions and talk about their feelings. You may
also feel closer to your children if you let them support you.
Our booklet Talking
to children when an adult has cancer gives practical advice on
explaining cancer to children, ways to help them cope and how to deal with
changes to family life. It’s also available as an audiobook.
If a family member or friend has
Knowing what to
say when someone close to us has been diagnosed with cancer can be difficult.
But the most important thing is to be there and to listen. Lost
for words – how to talk to someone with cancer is a booklet for
family and friends. It gives advice on talking to someone with cancer, how to
be a good listener and finding the best way to support them.
Macmillan can help
community is a place where people affected by cancer can meet, make friends,
ask questions and talk to people going through the same.
For more advice
on talking to your family and friends, or to order any of our booklets and
audiobooks, call our helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (Mon–Fri, 9am–8pm)
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If you have any questions about Macmillan, or would like to talk to someone about cancer, we have a team of experts
who can help.
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