Difficult Conversations Workbook

Chapter 2: Coping With Unwelcome News

No two people will react the same way to their prognosis. Some people want more information—others may prefer less. Oftentimes, feelings can change, or evolve over time.

“No question, you’re gonna be in shock, depressed, and so forth,” says Rich. “And then once the dust settles, you really have to say, ‘Okay, now what do I want to do with my life?’”

Steve recalls that upon receiving a prognosis, “You’re just overwhelmed.” Later, he says, “Even though things inside you might be ripping you up, or bothering you, you try to put on a good face.” Cathy says, “Denial can be a wonderful thing.”

Each of us finds our own way of coping with the shock of unwelcome news. There can be many ways to cope with your prognosis, including spending more time with loved ones; trying to be “upbeat;” throwing yourself into work; beginning psychological counseling; pursuing spiritual insight; etc.

Ask yourself:
How am I dealing with all this?
One of the ways I am coping with my prognosis is...
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