When others don’t understand

When treatment finishes, your family and friends may expect you to act the same as you did before the cancer. If your outlook and priorities have changed, people close to you may be confused, 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 you may still need support or that some symptoms, such as tiredness or memory problems, can persist for long periods of time. Other effects from treatment may never go away.

It’s natural for family and friends to want the distress and disruption of cancer to be behind you. They care about you and want you to be well. However, if you find their reactions difficult to handle, you might like to talk to them about how you’re feeling. It may help to tell them that your recovery is ongoing, and that you need time to adjust and think about what you’ve been through.

  — Dani


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This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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