- 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 are likely to change during and after cancer treatment. It may be hard to let your friends and family know how you’re feeling, and they may find it hard to ask.
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Decide how much to share
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.
Choose a key contact
Repeating the same information to everyone in your network can be draining, and you may not always feel up to phone calls or visitors. It can be helpful for one carer, family member or friend to act as the main point of contact. They can answer inquiries, monitor calls, or keep visits to more suitable times.
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.
You could leave a message on your voicemail or answering machine giving a quick update; send text messages or emails; or share the latest news through social media, such as a closed Facebook group or apps.
Podcast: Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis
A/Prof Anne Burke, Co-Director, Psychology and Allied Health Lead, Cancer, Central Adelaide Local Health Network and The University of Adelaide, SA; Hannah Chen, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland; Hazel Everett, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cancer Services, St John of God Subiaco Hospital, WA; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, TAS; Dr Jemma Gilchrist, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Mind My Health and Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead, NSW; Sandra Hodge, Consumer; Dr Michael Murphy, Psychiatrist and Clinician Researcher, Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Alesha Thai, Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Alan White, Consumer.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.