Family's reaction to cancer unusual?


Question from Diana: My husband and adult kids act as though nothing has happened, that I'm cured and I should get back to things the way I used to. For me, everything has changed. Am I expecting too much from my family?
Answers - David Spiegel First of all, make sure that what is going on is not just a misunderstanding. There are some families who just focus on their own needs more than the person who has cancer, and view the cancer as a nuisance that interferes with clean laundry and meals. The only way to set limits with others is to get your own limits. Things have changed and that's the way it is. Just be clear about it and don't feel guilty.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. It is very important for kids to fold their own laundry and figure out how to take care of themselves, and your illness may be a jolt in that direction.
David Spiegel I think the other thing is giving them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don't know what to do. Sit down and talk to them and tell them that cancer affects everyone, and tell them that you would appreciate their help. Become a good manager if you can't be a good doer anymore.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2000, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Feelings about Breast Cancer. David Spiegel, Ph.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about the emotional effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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