Telling Loved Ones about Your Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
Dealing with a diagnosis of prostate cancer on your own can be quite difficult. There are many important decisions to consider, and much to contemplate in order to take the necessary steps you need to get the best treatment for you. Having the support of family and friends can help throughout your prostate cancer journey. Sharing your diagnosis with those closest to you can help you deal with the reality of what’s happening, and can help you get the support and encouragement you need.
When and how to share
There really isn’t a right or wrong way of sharing this news with those close to you, it truly is whatever you’re comfortable with. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to be content with who you tell, and how much you want to share with them. Sharing and talking can help everyone accept the journey ahead, and prepare your loved ones for the support you need in the future.
When telling family and friends about your diagnosis, you may want to think about how you want to approach the subject. Making a list ahead of time of who you want to share your news with and how much you’d like to tell them can be a great place to start. You may want to consider sharing more information with some people and less with others. When communicating with those closest to you, it may be a great idea to share resources with them such as websites for information, support groups, and communities like ours. This is a great way to help them understand further, without putting additional stress on you to explain and answer tons of questions.
Put your needs first
When sharing your news with those close to you, you may want to tell them what you need or want from them right now. Take time to think about how others can help you, whether it’s at home, with chores, with family details, or even just as an extra set of ears at appointments. Getting others involved and informed can help ease your burden, especially when you lay out what you specifically need.
Try to remember this is about you and focus on yourself instead of worrying about family and friends and how they are going to handle your diagnosis. Do what you need to do to help yourself get through this journey; you do not need to be spending extra energy worrying about how others are going to handle your path.
If you work, consider letting your co-workers know what’s going on. You may want to share with your supervisor or HR person first, and they may help with communicating to your co-workers. Be sure to remember you have certain rights in the workplace. It may get tiring telling people continuously about the details of your journey, and there may be times you might not want to talk at all, which is perfectly understandable. You may want to ask a family member to be your “spokesperson” during those times when you are emotionally exhausted and not up to fielding questions or conversations.
You're not alone
Prepare yourself to go through many emotions on this journey, keeping in mind that those close to you will as well. You may become angry at times, and some of those around you may too, but remember, it’s not you the anger is pointed at, but rather, the situation. As overwhelming as your diagnosis may be for both you and your loved ones, sharing and talking can help everyone get through this journey together.
Did you experience any of the following side effects post prostate cancer treatment? (choose all that apply)