Avoid opinionated sister?


Question from Chrissy: My sister had a mastectomy three years ago, and she seems to feel like she is the expert on everything breast cancer. She's so opinionated about my doctors, my treatment, my side effects — everything. I love her, but I can't talk to her anymore.
Answers - Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. I think you need to be clear with your sister that you understand how she's trying to be caring and supportive, but she needs to take a step back and allow you to have your own experience. You're listening to your physician, and you need to make your own decisions in consultation with him.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Many of us have very complicated relationships with our siblings. If your brother or sister gives you unsolicited advice, this may just be another opportunity to express their concern in their usual way. Of course, you might not find that beneficial. Caller ID is particularly helpful here. If you do get into a discussion, and it's distressing you, you have to be able to stop somebody in the midst of it. You can thank your relative for their concern but just let them know that additional advice is not what you need at this time.

On Wednesday, September 15, 2004, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Family and Loved OnesRosalind 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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