Cancer changes everything. From the moment of diagnosis, life is forever altered. Not only for the patient but for their friends and family, too. Friends may be unsure of what to do and what to say. Family members may move into the role of carer often changing the relationship dynamic as carers deal with high levels of stress and anxiety.

As you emerge from your treatment, your relationship with friends and family is prone to change again. People closest to you may feel relieved and happy that you beat cancer. Carers may feel exhausted, confused and worried. You might not feel like the same person you were before treatment. Everyone reacts differently.

Some may expect that life will resume the same as it was before diagnosis, and this may be true for you. In other cases, your outlook on life may have changed, and your friends and family may be left confused, worried and disappointed as they adjust to the new you.

Friends and family may have the best of intentions in wanting the distress and disruption of cancer to be behind you. However, you might not feel quite ready and you may find their reactions difficult to handle which is why you should communicate your feelings to them. It is perfectly normal to view relationships in a different light after your treatment.

The best way to nurture your relationships is to speak to your friends and family. If you feel that you can’t talk to them, then you should consider seeing a professional therapist to assist you. A therapist can help you through the post-treatment adjustment process and provide advice about dealing with your friends and family.

There will be friends and family who stick with you through all of this but there may be friendships and relationships that are probably best left behind.

About Our Author

Karlene Latimer

I am a successful lawyer and writer whose own mother battled cancer of the cervix for most of my childhood. She suffered three further relapses but I am pleased to say that she is still with us today. My experience growing up through this, losing five aunts and uncles to cancer as well as my mother-in-law, propels me to help others and join in the fight against cancer.

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