Tips for Talking With Others

It can be difficult to talk about the intense emotions and changes that come with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. This section provides resources where you can find practical ideas for talking with your spouse, partner, children, and others. It also provides ideas for coping with family conflict, too.

Tips for Listening to Yourself

Tips for Listening to Yourself

It’s important to listen to yourself during your pancreatic cancer experience. Have you checked in with yourself lately about your relationship with your healthcare team? Have you asked yourself whether you’re comfortable with your healthcare team?

Visit pancreatic.org, the website of the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research for a short list of questions you should regularly ask yourself. You’ll find suggested questions for your doctor there, too.

Communicating Effectively With Your Healthcare Team

Communicating Effectively With Your Healthcare Team

You may have many questions when you learn that you have pancreatic cancer. A good relationship with your healthcare team can make it easier to get the information you need. When you talk with members of the team, it’s important that you understand:

  • What you need to do
  • When you need to do it
  • Why these things may help you

But first, you should decide how much information you want to know. Some people want all the details. This helps them feel in control. Others don’t. They want only a little information. Everyone is different. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor how much information you are comfortable with.

A variety of websites have good suggestions for communicating effectively with your healthcare team. Take a look.

Read more at pancan.orgThis link is to a third-party website.

Read more at cancer.govThis link is to a third-party website.

Read more at cancer.orgThis link is to a third-party website.

Talking With Your Spouse or Partner About Your Cancer

Talking With Your Spouse or Partner About Your Cancer

Even couples who typically communicate well may have trouble talking about pancreatic cancer because it involves intense emotions, while at the same time challenges them with many practical issues and details. Talking about pancreatic cancer may also involve subjects that some couples may be uncomfortable speaking about: sexual problems, fertility concerns, physical limitations, financial worries, and even the possibility of death.

For tips, guidelines, and suggestions for talking with your spouse or partner, visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute. You may also wish to read our short article on intimacy.

Read more at cancer.gov This link is to a third-party website.

Talking With Children and Grandchildren About Your Cancer

Talking With Children and Grandchildren About Your Cancer

Talking with your children or grandchildren about a pancreatic cancer diagnosis should take into account their ages (young, teenager, or adult) and your relationship with them. Keep in mind that children talk to each other, too. It’s best for adults to decide what and how much to say to children so that they don’t misunderstand or get confused.

For tips, guidelines, and suggestions for talking with children and grandchildren, visit cancer.net, the website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). For ideas on talking with teenagers and adult children, visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute.

Read more at cancer.netThis link is to a third-party website.

Talking With Family and Friends About Your Cancer

Talking With Family and Friends About Your Cancer

Friends and family may have difficulty talking with someone with pancreatic cancer. The patient with the diagnosis may be unsure how to talk with them. It can be hard to get started, but talking with friends and family can have both emotional and practical benefits. Some people find that talking helps them to solve problems or to think about issues.

For suggestions and tips for how to speak with family and friends, see cancer.org, the website of the American Cancer Society. You can also find tips and suggestions on cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute.

Read more at cancer.orgThis link is to a third-party website.

Communicating With Coworkers About Your Cancer

Communicating With Coworkers About Your Cancer

Managers and coworkers may differ in how they respond to a colleague with cancer. Some will be supportive, while others may feel anxious or even threatened. Others simply don’t know how to say what they might want to say, or may seem awkward around you.

For tips on talking with coworkers and others in the workplace, including tips for returning to work after being away, visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute. Also, check out this site’s section on “Cancer and Your Workplace.

Read more at cancer.gov This link is to a third-party website.

Questions to Discuss With Hospice Providers

Questions to Discuss With Hospice Providers

At some point, a patient and caregiver may want to add hospice to their healthcare team. However, they may be unfamiliar with, or misunderstand, hospice services. It’s a good idea to prepare in advance any questions or thoughts you may have about hospice or a hospice provider you are considering.

For a list of questions to discuss with hospice providers, including some about staff, services, and medical credentials, check out pancan.org, the website of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

You may also want to visit this site’s page about hospice.

Read more at pancan.org This link is to a third-party website.