How Do I Tell My Family and Friends I Have Ovarian Cancer?

Preparing Yourself

Before talking with those closest to you, it may help to take some time to consider what you are feeling and what you want to say. You may automatically jump to conclusions on how they may respond to your news, which may affect how to tell them in the first place. Thinking through what you want to say and how you want to say it can help lessen the blow and the response they may have.
It may help to research some online support groups or blogs to see how others have broken the news to their family and friends. This may help you determine how to go about it in your own personal way. You may want to start with just a couple of core people who you know will be strong and encouraging for you, and then have them help you tell other family members and friends. Having someone there to support you while you share the news with others can help give you that confidence and strength you need.
The people you talk to first will probably be the key people in your source of support and encouragement during your cancer treatment. Being honest and open about what your diagnosis is and the treatment options you have allows these people closest to you to help you along the way. They can be a great source of help when you have medical appointments or need to make decisions regarding what treatment plan may be best for your particular situation. This can also be an opportunity for you to grow even closer to these important people in your life.
If you have tried to hide your diagnosis from others, they may be starting to become suspicious that something is going on. Hiding a diagnosis of cancer is a difficult thing to do, as symptoms will start to become apparent. If this is the case, your loved ones may already be preparing for the worst, so keep that in mind when you decide to talk to them.
Before sitting down to tell your family you have ovarian cancer, take the time to think about how you are feeling and the reasons you want to tell your loved ones. Also, think about what you expect of them. Try to prepare yourself for a variety of reactions.
Although you may think you know how someone might react, they may surprise you -- for better or worse. This will be a shock for them as well, and they may not know how to respond initially. They will also need some time to process what you have told them and figure out how best to help support you.
If this is the first time you are telling anyone, be prepared for hearing the words "I have cancer" come out of your mouth. It can be a very difficult and emotional thing to say, especially to people you love and don't want to see hurting. It is a very vulnerable time, as you are opening yourself up to an unknown response. But starting with those closest to you will help in breaking the ice, as these are the people who care about you and are willing to help you and build you up. This is a great first step in building the support system that will be so crucial during your cancer treatment.
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