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Talking to family and friends

As hard as it may be to deal with your diagnosis, it is important to talk to others about what is happening and the uncertainty the future now brings. Your family and friends may worry about you and want to know how you are feeling and how they can help.

Discussing the progression of your illness and even end of life decisions may be draining, but avoiding the subject only makes it harder to cope. Indeed, talking about your feelings, hopes and dreams can be healing and comforting.

From a practical perspective, the people around you need to understand your needs, plans and wishes, especially if you are likely to get to a point where you cannot make decisions for yourself.

Regardless of their reaction, talking openly and honestly in an age-appropriate way will assist them to understand your illness.

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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015