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

Who to Talk to First

This decision will be different for each person. Many women will want to share the news with their spouse or partner first, if they are not there with them at the time of the diagnosis.
 
If you find that trying to tell anyone right now is out of the question, maybe there is a counselor or pastor you can talk to first and ask them for help and guidance in how to tell your family and friends. Sometimes having someone there with you when you tell your family the news can help give you the strength and emotional support that you need to get through it.
 
Telling others that you have cancer is a very vulnerable feeling, so try to take it easy on yourself. Don't rush yourself. Talk to the people you choose to talk to when you feel comfortable doing so.
 
Each woman's situation will be different. Don't feel like you have to share the news with everyone. If some of your family and friends don't normally like to talk about certain personal issues, then it's okay if you don't feel like discussing ovarian cancer with them.
 
It's okay to be careful about who you want to talk with and what you want to say. This is a very vulnerable situation for women, so think about who you want to talk to. You may want to start with people whom you can trust, knowing in general that they will respond to the news with love and support.
 
It is also important to talk to your children. This may require a little more preparation and help from their father and/or other key people in your life (see Talking to Your Children About Your Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis).
 
You may need to talk to your supervisor or human resources manager when your medical appointments start interfering with your work schedule. Coworkers and other acquaintances often find out later, when you feel more comfortable telling them.
 
Remember that once you tell someone that you have cancer, it will help ease your burden. Although you may feel extremely vulnerable and it may be difficult for you to ask for help, the people who care about you can give you the emotional, physical, and spiritual support when you need it. You will find strength in their strength and confidence in their encouragement. You will not be alone in fighting cancer -- your friends, family, and support system will be by your side to fight with you.
 
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