- Cancer Information
- Coping with a diagnosis
- Emotions and cancer
- The others in your life
- Ways to share how you’re feeling
Ways to share how you’re feeling
Your own physical health and emotions could change during and after your treatment. It may be hard to let your friends and family know how you’re feeling, and they may find it hard to ask. Sometimes you will switch between wanting to talk about what’s going on and wanting to avoid difficult thoughts and feelings. It is okay to say no – whether it is about discussing your personal concerns or in response to an offer of help.
Repeating the same information to everyone in your network can be draining, and you may not always feel up to taking phone calls or seeing visitors. It can be helpful for one family member or friend to act as the main point of contact. They can answer enquiries, monitor calls, or keep visits to more suitable times. You could also leave a message on your voicemail or answering machine giving a quick update; send text messages or emails; or share updates through social media, such as a closed Facebook group or apps.
If you are having trouble expressing how you are feeling, you could try keeping a journal or blog, or you may prefer to make music, draw, paint or craft. You can choose whether to share your writing or artworks with those close to you or to keep them for yourself.
Dr Anna Hughes, Liaison Psychiatrist and Psycho-oncologist, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital, ACT; Mary Bairstow, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Centre, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Anita Bamert, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria, VIC; Sally Carveth, Assistant Coordinator, Cancer Support Leader Program, Cancer Council NSW; Matt Featherstone, Consumer; Dr Charlotte Tottman, Clinical Psychologist, Allied Consultant Psychologists and Flinders University, SA; Shirley Witko, Senior Social Worker, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA.
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