Expressing Your Emotions
Having cancer can be an overwhelmingly emotional and physical experience. It may, at times, even make you feel alone, closed off, or hesitant to be in social settings. But, remember that these feelings are normal. Here are some ways to help you connect with people who care for you.
Talking With Loved Ones & Friends
Making the decision to tell people about your lung cancer is deeply personal, and figuring out the best way to share this information can be stressful. Here are some helpful steps to guide you through this process:
- Step 1: Figure out who you want to talk to.
If this is the first time you’re sharing information about your lung cancer diagnosis, think about who you’d like to tell. Whether it’s a friend or loved one, remember that the people that you care about will want to be there to comfort you.
- Step 2: Decide how much to share.
A lung cancer diagnosis can be complex, overwhelming, and difficult to understand. Consider how much information you’d like to share at first so your loved ones can slowly digest the news.
- Step 3: Find a time and place that feels right.
There’s never a perfect time or place to share this type of news, but being in a comfortable space, like your home, could help ease any nerves.
Talking With Children & Teens
Depending on the child’s age, it may be difficult to know what to tell them about your cancer, and how to explain it in terms he or she can understand. Pretending that everything is the same as it was before the diagnosis may make children feel like they have to keep their worries to themselves. Consider having separate discussions if you have children that are far apart in age, since older and younger children may process the news differently. To start, ask them what they know about cancer. Be honest, open, and prepared to repeat any information and answer any questions they may have. Tell them how much you love them, remind them that they aren't to blame, and that they should remain hopeful.
Working On Your Relationships
Often family and friends may not know how to react when they are told someone close to them has cancer. Relationships may change once you’ve told them. Some of your relationships may become stronger, while sadly, other relationships may become strained. Much of this depends on what kind of relationship you’ve had with someone before cancer, and their experience with the disease.
If a relationship becomes strained, you could consider trying individual or family counseling to help. Be open and honest with your loved ones about your cancer and give them time to sort through their thoughts and feelings.
During this time, consider connecting with others who are going through similar experiences by joining a support group or online community. The LVNG With community gives you the opportunity to learn more about living with lung cancer while also meeting others who can understand what you’re truly going through.
Learn about the support and resources offered by the LVNG With community.
Discussing Cancer With Your Doctor
Talking to your doctor about your diagnosis and potential treatment options is a good way to understand what to expect and what next steps make the most sense for you. It’s important to have good relationships with your doctors and nurses not only because this will make it easier to discuss the details with them, but because they can learn about how you’re feeling and what treatments will make the most sense based on your unique situation and preferences.