Breaking a bad diagnosis to family

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October 31, 2018 - 11:39 AM

Dear Carolyn: I’ve recently gotten a bad diagnosis. My doctors and husband are taking great care of me, but I have not shared this news with my adult children or my elderly mom. It grieves me that I am going to cause emotional upheaval. The fear they will feel is the main thing I wish I could avoid. What do I say to my loved ones? I think I’ll be OK in the long run; I’m going to do everything I can to get well. — Sharing Bad News

Answer: I’m sorry about your news.

You know your family’s emotional wiring and I don’t, but, going just on what I’ve experienced, I think the best approach is just to say what you know: You were diagnosed with X, your doctors and husband are being great, you’re going to do everything you can to get well, you think you’ll be OK in the long run.

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