Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

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Cancer Council NSW

Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

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The Webinar topic was: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?

 

Thanks to our panel members for this webinar!

  • Mick Miller - Throat & Neck Cancer Survivor
  • Gabrielle Asprey - Counsellor
  • Sophia Wooldridge - Senior Clinical Psychologist

We welcome everyone to chat about things that came up in the webinar and how you think you could use some of the strategies provided, particularly in the lead up to the festive season.

 

View the Webinar

 

More about this Webinar

It seems everyone has an opinion on cancer and they aren’t afraid to share it with you. But how do you manage and respond to these comments?

 

Having cancer can affect your relationships with family, friends and colleagues. This may be because cancer is stressful, tiring and upsetting, or as a result of more positive changes to your values, priorities, or outlook on life. People close to you may deal with cancer in different ways, for example, by being overly positive, playing down fears, or keeping a distance. Friends and family may say things like “but you look fine”, “your treatment has finished now” and “the cancer has gone, hasn’t it?” They may have difficulty accepting that you may still need support or that some symptoms can persist for long periods of time or may never go away. It’s natural for family and friends to want the distress and disruption of cancer to be behind you. They care about you and want you to be well. However, if you find their reactions difficult to handle, you may need some strategies to help you manage. This webinar aims to provide strategies to help you manage social relationships, particularly in the lead up to the festive season which can be a very challenging time.

7 REPLIES
Cancer Council NSW

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

Hi everyone and welcome!

 

My name is Kate and I am the Online Community Manager with Cancer Council, working in the Peer Support team.

 

If you want to chat here, you just need to hit the big blue "Join" button and sign up with a username, or sign in if you already have an account.

This site is a safe place for anyone affected by cancer, so please don't hesitate to jump in!

Cancer Council NSW

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

I can see that there a few people logged in, how exciting! Smiley Happy

 

What did you all think of tonight's Webinar and our guests?

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Occasional Visitor

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

Thank you for that excellent webinar. Some really helpful hints on how to deal with some of the stuff people say. People mean well but sometimes say very unhelpful things!!!  For some people I am now  “ cured” and should just get on with my life and not talk about it!!!!!!   I am glad they talked about the “be positive “ stuff. Where did that come from? It’s as bad as the battling terminology.  We need to challenge that especially in the media. If you lose your battle with cancer Is it your fault. ? I even read about a two year old who won his battle!!!!  Tough kid!! Can we just deal with cancer as best we can and follow the wonderful advice and treatment we get from our medical teams. They are the ones who deserve all the accolades!

Cancer Council NSW

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

Hello @Helenclare and welcome to our community!

 

You raise some excellent points, I think we should always talk about it!

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Occasional Visitor

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

I really enjoyed hearing all the practical advice the presenters gave us all. Such a tricky time of year when people you may not have seen all year are suddenly 'around' and saying all the things you might not want to hear and then have to deal with in some way.

Cancer Council NSW

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

Hello and welcome to you also @jillupthehill!

 

It is indeed a tricky time of year, everyone comes out of the woodwork it seems for various festivities or gatherings. It can be extra hard to avoid some people.

 

Here's a question for you all: What strategies do you think would work best with some of your extended friends and family?

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RJG
Contributor

Re: Communication – “How do I deal with the ‘stuff’ people say?”

I didn't catch the webinar, and I am in the fortunate position of being 12 months since receiving the last of the successful "curative treatment" for my stomach (actually gastro-oesophageal) cancer.

 

And my response below is more about "first contact" with family and friends, but I think that the idea about choosing your attitude is always good for yourself as well as other people...

 

In my opinion, the most important thing in discussing cancer is your attitude - be positive and informative and, where ever possible, throw in a little humour.

 

I try to talk about my journey in a way that encourages questions so that it becomes more of a learning experience for them. In particular, I believe that the more that we talk about the events leading up to our diagnoses, the more that other people might think about their own situations and seek assessment when something is not quite right. And hopefully it will be "nothing", but if it isn't then they can get the appropriate treatment before it gets "too late".

 

For me, I usually start discussions about my situation with "Apples saved my life!" or "I really can't stomach that!" followed by "No, I actually don't have a stomech!" and it just goes on from there.

 

Best wishes to all,

Rick

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