Communicating with others

After treatment is over, your family and friends may also need time to adjust. Research shows that carers often experience high levels of distress, even when treatment has finished.

Your cancer diagnosis may make people around you question their own priorities and goals. Like you, they may be concerned about the cancer coming back. Let your family and friends know that you understand it is hard for them as well. Tell them how much you appreciate all they have already done to help you and let them know if you still need their support.

How family and friends may feel after treatment  ends

People close to you can have a range of reactions when your cancer treatment ends.

They may feel:

  • relieved that you’re okay
  • happy to focus on others and themselves
  • exhausted
  • confused, especially if your relationship has changed
  • pleased they can catch up with family and friends without cancer dominating the conversation
  • worried about what the future holds.

When others don’t understand

When treatment finishes, your family and friends may expect you to act the same as before the cancer. If you have changed, people close to you may be disappointed, worried or frustrated.

  • Friends and family may say things like “but you look fine”, “your treatment has finished now” and “the cancer has gone, hasn’t it?”.
  • They may have difficulty accepting that some symptoms, such as tiredness, persist for long periods of time, and you may need allowances to be made.
  • You may feel you’re expected to be grateful you’re still alive, no matter the side effects.

It’s natural for family and friends to want the distress and disruption of cancer to be behind you. They care for you and want you to be well. However, if you find their reactions difficult to handle, you might need to talk to them about how you’re feeling. You may need to tell them that your recovery is ongoing, and you need time to think about what you’ve been through. You might not be able to just “˜get on with it’ as quickly as they might want you to.

Will my family inherit my cancer?

If you’ve had cancer, it doesn’t automatically mean that your children will get it too.

If you are concerned the cancer is inherited, talk to your doctor about any risk factors and whether your family needs regular screening. Your doctor may refer you to a family cancer clinic or to a genetic counselling service.

Coping with children’s needs

If you have children or grandchildren, they may have seen less of you during treatment. It’s common for young people to worry that the person with cancer will die.

Like many adults, children may find it difficult to understand why life can’t go back to the way it was before the cancer. Children’s reactions and needs will vary depending on their age. Try to be as open and honest as possible. This will make them feel safe.


  • Acknowledge the temporary or permanent changes that your family has made to deal with the cancer. This is particularly important for teenagers.
  • Be open about how you feel emotionally and physically, so the children understand if you’re not bouncing back.
  • Talk about your fears, such as if you’re feeling anxious before a follow-up visit. This may encourage children to talk about their fears when you go for a check-up.
  • Spend time together doing something they enjoy.
  • Explain any changes made to your family’s lifestyle, and let them know if they are permanent.
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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

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To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
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Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

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Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
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Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.