There is no doubt that cancer has a major effect on those close to the person with the actual disease. They will have many of the same reactions as the person with cancer, including fear, anger, hopelessness and guilt. They will want to know how to help, but at the same time may often feel powerless to do so.
Many people report being very upset by friends and family who are aware of their cancer but seem reluctant to want to talk about it with them, or even seem to be staying away from them. When this happens, it’s usually not because people don’t care. It’s usually because they don’t know what to say or do and are afraid of upsetting the person with cancer. Open communication of what your are willing to talk about and what people can do to help you can help with this situation. Remember your energy is finite and you do not need to fix how other people are feeling about your cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Other people report that help and support sometimes comes from unexpected places or even from complete strangers. It is both surprising and a huge lift to one’s spirits when it does happen.
Having the support of those around you is a critical part of your cancer journey.