Family and friends
People who are close to you may find it difficult to discuss your illness. And you may be afraid that if you talk to people about how you really feel they will be upset, or disappointed at your lack of stoicism, or embarrassed because they don’t know what to say. But it is important to be able to express your feelings when you need to. It can also be difficult talking to children about cancer. How much should you tell them? How honest should you be? Macmillan Cancer Support, CancerHelp UK and Marie Curie have some useful advice.
Sometimes it can be easier to talk things through with someone outside the family. This could be a specialist adviser or someone who has gone through a similar situation and knows how you are feeling. You can ring the Kidney Cancer UK careline on 0330 111 2 333 to talk with another cancer patient or carer or you can join the patient and carer forum at www.jameswhalefund.org. You could also call a Macmillan nurse on 0808 808 0000 or a CancerHelp nurse on 0808 800 4040. If you leave a message out-of-hours someone will call you back.
Regular exercise can help you feel better, both physically and emotionally. Ask your doctor or nurse what kind of exercise would be best. Many people find that alternative therapies, such as massage, aromatherapy, meditation or visualisation, can also lift the spirits, ease tension, and restore a feeling of wellbeing.
You can find out if any of these therapies are available near you by contacting New Approaches to Cancer, a UK charity.