Three ways to tell your friends you have cancer
What your friends should know about blood cancer
Life’s changed, but you’re still the same person. Cancer doesn’t mean the end of your friendships – in fact, you’ll probably need your friends’ support more than ever.
I’m still the same person as before. I just have a new perspective on life.Emily
I said to my friends, things are going to change. I’m going to look and feel different, I’m not going to be able to do the same sorts of things as before. But it’s still important for me to maintain this friendship.Jamie
Cancer makes it harder to socialise
Cancer has a big impact on both body and mind. You’ll often feel very tired and this fatigue can last for a few months after treatment has finished. You might not be able to handle as much alcohol as before or stay up to the early hours. Try to explain this to your friends so they don’t feel disappointed if you’re not the party animal you once were.
I have a chronic condition which means I’ll have blood cancer for the rest of my life. If I drink, I’m sick for days, because I have to take chemo every day.Leanne
Cancer messes with your social diary
After being diagnosed, you may struggle to be as spontaneous as before. You’ll now need to slot nights out around chemotherapy and hospital check-ups. Let your friends know you need to pace yourself to make sure you’re not too tired, and that you might have to cancel things at the last minute.
If you don’t feel like staying out for long, it’s useful to let your friends know. Set the expectation early on, so it’s not like you’re letting them down.Jamie
You still want to keep in touch
Cancer is a life-altering thing. At times, it can totally take over your life, and leave little time or head space to think about anything else. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only topic you want to talk about. In fact, you’ll probably be glad to talk about anything but cancer for a change.
At first, a lot of my friends didn’t speak to me. I think they didn’t know what to do. I had to tell them, you’re still my friends and I still need you.Leanne
Just because I’ve got an illness doesn’t mean I’m not your friend. I still want to know if you boyfriend breaks up with you, or whatever else happens in your life. I don’t want to talk about cancer every day.Hinna