[MOL] Sexuality, Sex and Cancer Series-14 [00746] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Sexuality, Sex and Cancer Series-14



14

In an ideal world, each of us would have a close and confiding relationship with our spouse or partner and we would also have a reasonably wide circle of close and supportive friends with whom we could discuss our innermost feelings and apprehensions without fearing that we would be judged or rejected. That is the ideal -- and for a few lucky people, that is what they have. Most of us, however, have something a bit less than that -- and some of us seem (at first) to have no one we can talk to. So the first question is: if you want to talk, who is the best person to talk to? Well, the first part of the answer is: to whom did you speak about your biggest worries before this? If there is someone in whom you've always confided your most serious worries or problems, then of course, that person should be on the top of your list now. If it happens that you have not previously had a soul mate, then try to ask yourself this question: who is the person that I could imagine would make me feel most comfortable talking about difficult problems? It might be anyone -- your spouse, your closest friend, your mother, sister, brother or religious leader. It may even be somebody you quite like but haven't until now, been on close terms with. In fact, occasionally people with cancer find it rather intimidating to talk to close family about it, and find it easier to speak to someone relatively distant -- such as a business partner or an acquaintance. If you simply have no idea whom to talk to, discuss that with your doctor or nurse or someone else on your medical team. There may be counsellors or therapists within easy reach who can help you identify the most suitable person in your circle.

Also, there are support groups set up in most districts nowadays. Support groups consist of people with cancer, sometimes under the direction and leadership of a healthcare professional. The other members of the group may be in a similar position to you, or they may not. It is quite usual to have people with many different types of medical problems and at different stages attending the same group. You may find this useful in broadening your experience and helping you to see your own problems from a different perspective -- or you may not. Some people find groups extraordinarily helpful, and form bonds with other members that are deeper and more significant than almost anything in their past. But other people get embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about personal issues with strangers. If groups are not your style, don't worry.