Newly Diagnosed: Telling Your Loved Ones…
Working with The Breast Cancer Charities of America I have the absolute blessing of getting to meet so many amazing breast cancer thrivers. I’ve heard so many stories of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and their journeys and each one is unique, but also holds similarities. The common thread? The difficulty and importance of telling your loved ones about your new breast cancer diagnosis.
First and foremost there is no right and wrong way to share your breast cancer diagnosis and only you know when you are ready to confide in others about your diagnosis. Whether you are telling your spouse/partner, children, close family or friends, it can be overwhelming, but know that confiding in others you trust opens more hearts to support you on your journey.
It is important to know that when telling your loved ones about your diagnosisyou are in control of who you tell and are in control of the conversation. Here are some points that can help you when sharing your diagnosis with those who are close to you.
Telling your Spouse/Partner
- Be honest. Your partner can help you best when you open the lines of communication and offer information about what you need from them.
- Involve your partner in appointments.
- Ask you partner what they need as well. They may need time to process or recharge.
- Prepare for changes in your relationship and discuss adjustments
Telling your Children
- Be truthful about all aspects of your diagnosis and treatment.
- Explain possible changes they may notice and see.
- Make sure your children know it is not just okay but recommended that they keep up with their school and social lives.
- Reassure your children their needs will be met.
- Let them know it is okay to ask questions.
Telling Close Friends and Other Family
- Determine who you want to share your diagnosis with.
- Plan the conversation in advance.
- Understand that they may not handle the information well as everyone responds differently.
It can be difficult and overwhelming to share your new breast cancer diagnosis with those you love and care about. But with each person you share you are opening up doors for additional support on your journey.
For more information on how to talk about your diagnosis and all things breast cancer, download iGoPink’s Create Wellness booklet.