Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My friends don’t come around much since my diagnosis. I think they probably don’t know what to say but I just want them to hang out like we used to. How can I get them to understand I am still the same old Brianna?
Helen L. Coons, PhD, ABPP, Clinical Health Psychologist, responds:
It sure is hard when friends stop calling during and/or after cancer treatment. Consider breaking the ice. Call, text or email one or two friends whom you really enjoy and let them know you would love to see them, hang out, go out, see a movie, go for a walk or whatever. Feel free to say that you miss talking to them, wonder how they are doing with X (work, dating, sports, hobbies, etc), let them know you are dealing with your cancer but that it only one part of your life and you want to get back to hanging out with friends. Your breaking the ice usually helps - especially when others do not know what to say! You can take control and make it easier for them - and yourself!
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Issues Facing Young Adults After Cancer. View the entire transcript.