- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Living with advanced cancer
- The others in your life
- When you don’t want to talk
When you don’t want to talk
You may find that you don’t want to talk about your fears and concerns with family and friends. This may be because you feel uncomfortable discussing private matters, you don’t have the words to describe how you feel, or you fear becoming upset. Sometimes putting things into words makes it seem more real, and you may not feel ready to discuss some of these concerns.
Everyone handles a cancer diagnosis in their own way. If you don’t want to talk, other people should respect your wishes.
Ways to share how you’re feeling
If you are having trouble talking to others about personal issues, you can share the experience in the following ways:
Let others help – Try to allow friends and family to provide support, as this can help you adjust to your situation and cope better with your own emotions.
Join a support group – Talking about your fears and concerns with people who are going through a similar experience can often be easier. Join a support group, talk to a health professional or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Express your feelings creatively – Explore your feelings by writing in a journal, creating artwork or composing a song.
Prof Nicholas Glasgow, Head, Calvary Palliative and End of Life Care Research Institute, ACT; Kathryn Bennett, Nurse Practitioner, Eastern Palliative Care Association Inc., VIC; Dr Maria Ftanou, Head, Clinical Psychology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, VIC; Erin Ireland, Legal Counsel, Cancer Council NSW; Nikki Johnston, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Clare Holland House, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, ACT; Judy Margolis, Consumer; Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia; Kate Reed- Cox, Nurse Practitioner, National Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia; Helena Rodi, Project Manager, Advance Care Planning Australia; Kaitlyn Thorne, Coordinator Cancer Support, 13 11 20, Cancer Council Queensland.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.