- Question from Kate: Is it better to talk individually to each family member about what is happening to me, or should I gather them all together and discuss it with the group?
Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W.
I think that's up to you. Every person knows her family, and each member is different. The way you speak to some may be different than with others. In that case, you need to do it individually. But if, historically, you do everything in groups, then do it in a group. Whichever way is comfortable for you is best. You should feel free to share as much or as little as you like. And that's a decision every woman should make for herself before she speaks to her family.
You don't want to be thrown by questions; you want to be prepared. If you choose, you certainly can answer all their questions and give details. Or if you prefer, you could explain to friends and relatives that there are a lot of things you'd rather not talk about. Just because a question is asked doesn't mean is has to be answered.
The same goes for husbands. Your friends and coworkers might ask all sorts of well-meaning but too intimate questions. You can choose to answer or choose to say that's something I don't want to talk about right now.
Editor's note: To find out more, see Breastcancer.org's section on Talking to Your Family and Friends about Breast Cancer.
On Wednesday, September 15, 2004, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Family and Loved Ones. Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W., author Marc Silver, and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about the issues surrounding family members and caregivers living with and caring for women affected by breast cancer.
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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