Talking cancer

TELLING OTHERS
This is never easy.

FAMILY: TWO STEPS
I found it the hardest thing to pick up the phone and tell my family I have cancer. I couldn’t do it straight away, so I sent them all a text, knowing I’d have a bit of time to prepare myself for the follow-up calls. To some, this might seem cold. But for me, it was the only way to stay in control (more on that later!).

WORK
I found out about my cancer the week before going back to work after the summer break. What to do? Wear a badge, maybe? I told a few friends, but stuck to the usual script for everyone else. I was expecting the call for surgery within days, so it was difficult to face my students and explain what was going on. I leaked the truth in stages.

dealing_telling

HOW TO TALK TO SOMEONE WITH CANCER
Some people were supportive when dealing with my new circumstances. They said how sorry they were, and listened when needed. Top marks to them.

Some were fine but well-meaning, and did that thing where you tell someone a story about a relative/friend who had cancer and survived. That’s OK, but doesn’t really help. It’s a cliché, but everyone is different, and this is happening to you. You alone. You’re probably still processing, and maybe don’t know whether you’ll survive.

Others just avoided the subject. Not a major problem, but not helpful either.

Dealing with cancer

dealing_cancerThis blog is about living with Cancer. Not how to fight it, but how to deal with it. How it feels, and how to cope with those feelings.

YOU NEED FAMILY AND FRIENDS
A lot of the time, you’ll feel like you’re on your own. Only you have the cancer. But you’ll need others to get you through.

LOSE CONTROL
In the past, you might have been self-reliant. Now you’ll need to give up control, and that’s not easy.

cropped-wake-winters.jpgIt certainly wasn’t for me. Family and friends want to help, and the new you needs that help.