How can I tell others about changes in my priorities since getting cancer?

Talking with others about your priorities may not have been part of your life before cancer. You may not want to talk about your priorities with others -- and that is okay. However, after cancer, it may become important to share current opinions about what is now important. It may be challenging to find the best way to talk about new priorities, especially when you are not certain how others will react.

The following are times when you may want to share your new priorities with others:
  • When the change affects another person's life
  • When someone notices that you are acting differently or doing different things
  • When you want to share how you have changed since your diagnosis
It may be more challenging to share your personal priorities if you feel your priorities are too personal to share or you are worried about how others will react. If others don't accept the changes in your priorities, you can:
  • Consider whether you want to make changes to your new priorities
  • Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor about how to work out your problems with that person
  • Stop spending time doing activities that you do not want to do
  • Choose to spend less or no time with those who conflict with your priorities
In certain cases, changes in priorities might cause you to end friendships with people you felt close to before your diagnosis. This can be hard, but many survivors experience this. Real friends will understand that your priorities have changed and will find the best ways to spend time with you. If others do not understand your changes in priorities, continue doing the things you enjoy. In some situations, you may think about making new friends who accept you for who you are now.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.