After being diagnosed with a serious illness, you may find it very difficult to talk about what’s happening to you and how you feel. Many people can find it awkward and embarrassing (or uncomfortable and even painful) to talk about their illness with their family and friends. Talking to the nurses, doctors and other professionals can also be difficult.

This section offers some simple advice that will make you feel more comfortable about asking what you want and need to know. It will help you to talk about what you are feeling, if you want to.

It can also help you to understand why your friends, family and even your doctors and nurses may find talking awkward. It gives tips on how you can help them – even though you may feel that they should be helping you! This section aims to help you:

  • understand the most common reactions to being told you have a serious illness
  • understand what your friends and family may be feeling
  • find a sensible and practical approach that will help you to talk about your illness more freely and easily

In this way you can get the emotional support that you need.