People with cancer and their families are often distressed and confused about how cancer will affect their lives and family relationships. Most people think of cancer as something that happens to someone else. When your diagnosis was made, you probably felt like you were in shock and that your whole world had just turned upside down. These feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger are a common reaction to any crisis. Your family may also have similar reactions. No one comes into this world knowing how to deal with serious illness; this is something that must be learned. Everyone has different ways of coping. Those ways of coping may be effective in dealing with a new diagnosis or you may find that they don't work at all. Counseling can help you figure out how you are going to cope with a new and frightening situation -- in other words, how to get your life back on track.
It is often helpful to talk with a cancer counselor about how to talk about your illness with family members, friends, and employers, and, especially, how to organize family life around treatment and its side effects. Talking with a counselor who is experienced about how other families have coped with cancer may help you avoid problems. If you wait until problems develop, they will be harder to overcome.
Counseling services are always confidential. Taking advantage of counseling services at any point during treatment does not mean you are a weak person who is unable to cope. It simply means you are dealing with a new problem in a new way.