Breaking The Cancer News
One of the biggest challenges in receiving a cancer diagnosis is relaying this information to your spouse, children, relatives and friends. No rules govern how to tell your loved ones this unfortunate news, but the following tips may make it a little easier.
give your loved ones the facts
Providing the factual information about your cancer diagnosis will allow you to present the news in a straightforward manner. Repeat what the doctor said to you during your meeting(s) with her, especially if you found her words helpful or consoling. This way, you can plan precisely how to vocalize the news to your family and friends.
"I have undergone some testing at the doctor's office, and I tested positive for breast cancer. There's a plan of action that has been very effective for others in my position…"
"As you know, I have had some medical challenges lately. Unfortunately, the doctors did detect a malignant tumor. However, I have some options…"
"I have some news that I want to share with you that may be a bit shocking, but I need your full support. The doctors have diagnosed me with breast cancer. I am still looking into treatments that will be best for me, and I would like for you the help me with this journey..."
Tell several people at once
If appropriate, tell multiple people about your diagnosis at the same time. This saves you the stress of repeating the same information over and over. Of course, sometimes this isn't feasible or comfortable.
Tell them how they can help
When your family and friends learn of your diagnosis, they will be shocked, but they will also wonder what they can do to help and might be nervous about asking. Likewise, you may be hesitant to ask for help. Don't be. Assistance with meals, childcare and transportation to doctor's appointments, for example, will be a source of relief for you. So will some good company. Being honest about your needs will not only benefit you, but it also will help your loved ones feel better that they can relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling.
There are no rules for telling your loved ones that you have cancer. These are just some general guidelines. The key is to surround yourself with loving people who can create a support system for you at a time when you need it most.