• How do you explain to your family that you can make your own decisions for your body. Without losing your patience

    Asked by nightsky on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    How do you explain to your family that you can make your own decisions for your body. Without losing your patience

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      you take them to dr appointments with you. youtell themhow you feel and why you feel they may not understand espicallyif you choose not to have treatment . they want u to live and fight but in the end it is your body my family has supported all of my decission weather they liked it or not but they knew the risk and odds and know that i had to do what as best for me. I choose treatment

      over 9 years ago
    • lovekitties' Avatar

      Dear nightsky, you tell them with love and kindness that you feel you are the one who needs to make the decisions regarding your treatments. If you have always been independent and known to make your own decisions it will be easier for them to understand. It will also help if you have already discussed your options with you medical team, thought about the pros and cons and come to a decision. Your family may try to give you their advice or thoughts. Don't dismiss them out-of-hand, but help them understand why you have made the decisions you have. Let them know you appreciate their opinions, but you have to do what you feel is best for you.
      Best wishes to you in the telling and them in the understanding.

      over 9 years ago
    • Nonna's Avatar

      They're just scared. Ignorance is best conquered by knowledge. Give them some information or direct them to websites that will help them understand what you're going through. Most people just don't get it. Especially family. But they are concerned, otherwise, they wouldn't make any of their concerns known to you. Good luck!

      over 9 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar

      Depending on one's family, it might be difficult to explain to them without losing patience. I think that mspinkladtbug's suggestion that they go with you to the doctor is a very good one PROVIDED you are going to follow what your doctor suggests. Obviously, not all doctors are the best nor do we have to agree with them. If they are asking you to consider chemo and you do not want to do that, then it would not be a good idea to bring them. If you are on the same page, then it could be very helpful so your family MAY understand your (and your doctor's) decision and how you came to that decision.

      You could also ask your family to TRY to put themselves in your position. Even with something unrelated to cancer. Suppose they wanted to buy a red car but everyone else says they should buy a blue car. I know it's minor but I think they may get annoyed since they want one thing but everyone else feels they know best.

      At the end of the day, it's your body and it's your choice.
      Chose wisely...
      All the best to you,

      over 9 years ago
    • car092360's Avatar

      I explained that I needed to have control over the cancer in some form. Decisions regarding my treatment and my body are MY way of control. Like cutting my hair before chemo taking it. Or refusing to let it cut into my sense of humor. I think they understood that.

      over 9 years ago
    • CherylHutch's Avatar

      It's a tough road, for sure. You have more than enough on your plate to have to think about and make decisions now is not the time that you need to be thinking of others and how not to hurt their feelings yet let them know the reality is, it doesn't really matter what they think you should do because you ARE going to make your own decisions and that's the bottom line. Of course, you don't want to start any family wars because that kind of stress isn't going to help you out either.

      It sounds like you've explained to a certain degree and some of them are understanding and others are not. So, once you've given it your honest shot to let them know the one thing you own free and clear is your own body and the care and upkeep of that body is your responsibility, not theirs... then you can play hardball with them.

      Next time they say, "You know dear, you really should think about going to see this Dr. I've heard about... he has some very different ideas but my friends swear by him", you nod your head wisely and say, "Tell you what, I'll go see him and listen to him IF you sell your house and give all the profits to ". You have no more right to tell them what to do with their property or what to do with any profit gained from said property as they do to tell you how to look after and maintain your body. Or, if you need something a little more stronger to get through to them, tell them " I so wish I got this cancer when I was a child, when I was your little baby who you took such great care of, because then this body would have been your responsibility. I'm an adult now and as much as I appreciate your support and concern, it would be totally irresponsible of me to expect you to make decisions that I, an adult, must make. Please don't put me in a position of making the wrong decision because this not is a competition of who knows best, this is my life, my body and I will do what I feel is right for me and is something I can live with."

      No, they may not like this, but if you can convince them that their job now is to support you in any decisions you make, then you will love and respect them even more than you already do.

      Good luck... and know that when you just need to vent and blow off some steam, this is a great place to do it because everyone here has been through similar frustrations. Maybe not the same as yours, but there are many frustrations that we come across on this journey... and hearing others makes our road a little easier because you are not going through this alone. Good luck!

      Cheryl in Vancouver

      over 9 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I say go ahead and lose patience. If you have tried the patient approach... and they aren't listening... Then let it go and let-er-rip.

      Or you could ask them to please make better choices. And then perhaps tell them exactly what you need.

      I don't think any of us know how to talk about cancer... make decisions about cancer... etc... But one thing I do know is that when most people realize - truly realize - what the cancer patient needs, most are happy to comply....

      So, if you need a specific person to simply listen - ask for that. No - that doesn't mean listen and then tell me what to do (I've said this bunches of times). It means please just listen. If you want a specific person to help you make a decision, that's a different story... There, you are actually asking for that input.

      And my last thought - if they can't handle it, then tell them point blank - I don't want to talk about cancer right now with you. They push - repeat... They push again - repeat... Once, I had to repeat myself six times before the topic was finally dropped.

      over 9 years ago
    • hummingbird's Avatar

      My husband has been through each appointment with me both because he's a part of the "team" and because that way I have another set of ears to hear what the doctors say. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and if I misinterpret, don't hear or don't pay attention he can he;p.
      That being said...I've made it clear that although he is there I am the one who is actually going through the cancer and have to be in charge of my body. He understands and for the most part is in agreement...if he does have an issue we discuss and do it my way(haha)!

      over 9 years ago
    • danellsar's Avatar

      I go to as many appointments with my husband as I'm able, but the decisions are his. I ask questions, make suggestions, nag, etc., but it's still his body, his disease, his fight. I hate seeing him in pain, so I'm more likely to ask the doctors to do something about that for him. I'm more pushy, so I can often get him appointments sooner by asking questions and not taking no for an answer. In the end, though, he has to decide if he's comfortable with a treatment or not.

      We've had a few problems with his family trying to push a certain treatment on him. He just tells them no.

      over 9 years ago
    • Donnaakins' Avatar

      Trying to make my family accept I was in control of my treatment was very difficult. The difficulty was making my older sister give up control. She is an RN and and has been a wonderful supporter of me thoughout my life. She was used to me following her advice and her advice was always appreciated; however, when I was diagnosed I had every intention of choosing my own path with the team of my choosing. It was very difficult for her to accept, especially when I was prescribed percocet for pain. I choose not to go through the details here, only to say the hardest part of my treatment was to have my family question everything I did and accuse me of being drug dependant.

      I continue to work on the emotional pain I've been caused by this experience. It was more difficult than the cancer itself! With the help of my therapist I've realized my sister's reactions were caused by fear. I followed my therapist's suggestion to call a mental truce and remove my sister as my "go to" person for medical issues. If I share them she takes ownership.

      I may have vented more than I helped(:

      about 9 years ago
    • Capriness' Avatar

      I wish I knew! I decided not to get treatment after my second recurrence but the pressure from my friends, family, and doctors, (yes, my doctors too!) was intense. So I got treatment again. But I told all of them that if it came back a 3rd time I would not get treatment and that was my decision and it was final. They all agreed. Now that I'm in stage IV they have all backed off verbally but they still pressure me in other ways, like talking about the future that they're sure I'll be a part of. I've given up. I figure their concerns are all coming from their love for me and so I can't blame them for wanting me to fight more. I would probably do the same if the tables were turned.

      over 8 years ago
    • zappons' Avatar

      I just explained to them that the most important thing was to make sure I was safe, which of course they had to agree with. Then explained that I appreciated their thoughts and input and would take that into consideration when I made my decision, as ultimately, I was the one that had to live with the decision made. :) Good luck. Sometimes I have found it helpful to just say, "This is the choice/decision that works best for me." Tends to stop the conversation. :)

      over 8 years ago

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