- Cancer Information
- Supporting someone with cancer
- Caring for someone with cancer
- Your role as a carer
- Communicating with others
Communicating with others
As the main carer, you’ll usually be the person family and friends contact for information. You may find keeping others up to date on the condition of the person with cancer time-consuming and tiring. Some carers find it stressful dealing with other people’s reactions to the latest news. It’s also important to ask the person you are caring for how much information they would like you to share.
Ways to keep family and friends up to date
- Leave a message on your answering machine. You could say something like: “Bill is doing okay with the chemo. He’s mainly feeling tired. Thanks for your concern.” This will cut down on the time needed to answer or return calls.
- Use technology such as text messages or emails to send group messages. You may want to include a statement such as: “We are not able to reply to everyone individually, but we are reading your messages and appreciate your support.”
- Start an online diary, blog, or Facebook group or other social media group to share news and coordinate offers of help. You can set up a protected online community at Gather My Crew.
- Let family and friends know how you’ll keep them up to date. You may want to ask a family member or friend to update others.
- If you need to explain the situation to children, see Talking to kids about cancer and listen to the podcast below.
Podcast: Explaining Cancer to Kids
Dr Laura Kirsten, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Nepean Cancer Care Centre, NSW; Mary Bairstow, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Centre, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Anne Booms, Nurse Practitioner – Supportive and Palliative Care, Icon Cancer Centre Midland, WA; Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor, Staff Specialist, Department of Palliative Care, Mercy Hospice, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Tracey Gardner, Senior Psychologist, Cancer Counselling Service, Cancer Council Queensland; Louise Good, Cancer Nurse Consultant, WA; Verity Jausnik, Senior Policy Officer, Carers Australia; David Larkin, Cancer Supportive Care Manager, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital and Health Service, ACT; Kate Martin, Consumer; John McMath, Consumer; Simone Noelker, Physiotherapist and Wellness Centre Coordinator, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer Care, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dean Rowe, Consumer; Chris Sibthorpe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.