Living with cancer blog

Relationships key to thriving as a cancer survivor

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. May 21, 2011

Relationships and the give and take that is part of the process of being in a relationship are present in our everyday lives.

As I reflect on what's written by so many of you, this seems to be a key component to thriving as a survivor. Your personal quality of life is directly affected by the quality of your relationships with others.

This includes your family, your partner or spouse, your work colleagues, your friends, and also your health care team. This connection of one to another is how each day moves forward.

A few of the key components to a relationship are communication, trust, flexibility, honesty and time. If you're not getting what you need from a relationship, it might be time to act on it. Here are some ideas for getting the most from your relationships:

  • Communicate your needs, wishes and desires — be specific.
  • Be honest about what to expect from others — this includes everyone from your family to your health care provider.
  • Give yourself time to heal and adapt to the changes that you may have in your life.
  • Keep in touch — send a note or call a friend who you treasure and haven't seen for a while. Make a date to reconnect.
  • Be open to new relationships — surround yourself with positive people.
  • Give back when you can — take time to thank those people in your life who have made a difference. A simple phrase such as "thank you for being part of what's good in my life" can bring a smile to them and help them realize how much the relationship means to you.


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

Follow on Twitter: @SherylNess1

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May. 21, 2011