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Talking about it

You may hesitate to speak your mind for fear of causing pain, but honest discussions foster connection and engagement with life. At the same time, you don’t want to get stuck in a pattern of reminiscing about “the way things were.” Rather than dwelling on what you miss, keep the focus on the here and now. If a sensitive issue arises, deal with it sooner rather than later to prevent resentment from settling in. Perhaps most important of all is to open the door for your loved one to talk, while listening without judgment.

Speaking to Other People

If you are the one to inform other people about the diagnosis, it may be best to keep the initial conversation short and simple, while stating that you’ll be happy to answer questions at a later date. You can also give people a copy of the Caregiver Handbook or the Multiple Myeloma Patient Handbook to review. And remember, it goes both ways: family and friends can help comfort you and serve as a sounding board for some of your own concerns.

Speaking to Children

If you and your loved one have children, you may wonder what to tell them. While your first instinct may be to shield them from pain, they will surely sense that something is wrong. Saying nothing may leave them scared and confused. In general, children cope better with some information than with none at all. Keep it simple and age-appropriate, and always leave children with hope. The hospital or cancer centre’s social worker can also help by providing suggestions and strategies on how to speak with children.