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To Disclose or Not to Disclose
Talking about your cancer diagnosis (survivorship) with others.
Having big
conversations
Help you feel less alone.
Problem solve through dialogue
in a natural way.
Seek assistance with day-to-day
matters.
Think about a situation in a
different way.
Clarify and help others better
understand.
Set limits and redirect unhelpful
interactions.
Important times
to talk:
• When your diagnosis affects
someone else’s life.
• When you are acting differently.
• When you want to explain what
has changed since diagnosis.
• When you want to share your
personal experience.
• When you need help.
• When you need financial
assistance.
Different settings. Different choices.
FAMILY WORK FRIENDS OTHER
• Talking about your diagnosis is
a way of teaching others.
• Specific factors unique to
ovarian survivors
• How the cancer (treatment) is
personally impacting you.
• What is helpful.
• What is not helpful.
• How you want others to
engage with you or
understand you now.
• What is the PURPOSE of this
communication
• What do others NEED to know?
• What do others WANT to know?
• What will STOP them from
listening?
• How will I know if the message was
RECEIVED?
• What types of responses might you
EXPECT?
EXAMPLES: To come from the heart, to
collaborate, to be patient, to stay patient, to
remain open to other perspectives, to be
curious, to lovingly hold our ground, to
genuinely understand
PRACTICE: Before an important conversation,
take a minute to choose your intention. Pick
a word or phrase to ground you and return to
it as needed to remind you.
What is my intention?
How do I want to show up?
Are my actions aligned with my values?
EXAMPLES: to connect, to seek support, to
set limits, to feel understood, to celebrate.
PRACTICE: Before a big conversation ask
yourself, why is this important to me?
What do I want the other person to
understand?
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
What needs am I trying to meet?
What is driving me to have this conversation?
Who is the best person for this disclosure?
Expressing &
Understanding
• Pace the conversation.
• Ask what others may already
know.
• Say what you really need to say.
• Ask, “does this make sense?”
“What are you thinking?”
• Be honest.
• Give yourself permission to
pause the conversation.
Navigating
Awkward
Interactions
• Learn your trigger points.
• Recognize the limits of others
(who has capacity to hear
this?)
• Prepare responses for
redirecting the conversation.
“Thank you for asking, I’d rather
not talk about it right now.”
• Practice finding calm so you
are prepared for unexpected
moments.
• Give yourself permission to
step back before reacting.
Final
thoughts…
• It is ok not to open up to
everyone.
• This could be a time to work
on opening up and trusting
specific loved ones or others.
• Important conversations do
not need to be a one-shot
deal. You can disclose more
over time.

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Let's Talk About It: To Disclose or Not to Disclose?

  • 1. To Disclose or Not to Disclose Talking about your cancer diagnosis (survivorship) with others.
  • 2. Having big conversations Help you feel less alone. Problem solve through dialogue in a natural way. Seek assistance with day-to-day matters. Think about a situation in a different way. Clarify and help others better understand. Set limits and redirect unhelpful interactions.
  • 3. Important times to talk: • When your diagnosis affects someone else’s life. • When you are acting differently. • When you want to explain what has changed since diagnosis. • When you want to share your personal experience. • When you need help. • When you need financial assistance.
  • 4. Different settings. Different choices. FAMILY WORK FRIENDS OTHER
  • 5. • Talking about your diagnosis is a way of teaching others. • Specific factors unique to ovarian survivors • How the cancer (treatment) is personally impacting you. • What is helpful. • What is not helpful. • How you want others to engage with you or understand you now.
  • 6. • What is the PURPOSE of this communication • What do others NEED to know? • What do others WANT to know? • What will STOP them from listening? • How will I know if the message was RECEIVED? • What types of responses might you EXPECT?
  • 7. EXAMPLES: To come from the heart, to collaborate, to be patient, to stay patient, to remain open to other perspectives, to be curious, to lovingly hold our ground, to genuinely understand PRACTICE: Before an important conversation, take a minute to choose your intention. Pick a word or phrase to ground you and return to it as needed to remind you. What is my intention? How do I want to show up? Are my actions aligned with my values?
  • 8. EXAMPLES: to connect, to seek support, to set limits, to feel understood, to celebrate. PRACTICE: Before a big conversation ask yourself, why is this important to me? What do I want the other person to understand? This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND What needs am I trying to meet? What is driving me to have this conversation? Who is the best person for this disclosure?
  • 9. Expressing & Understanding • Pace the conversation. • Ask what others may already know. • Say what you really need to say. • Ask, “does this make sense?” “What are you thinking?” • Be honest. • Give yourself permission to pause the conversation.
  • 10. Navigating Awkward Interactions • Learn your trigger points. • Recognize the limits of others (who has capacity to hear this?) • Prepare responses for redirecting the conversation. “Thank you for asking, I’d rather not talk about it right now.” • Practice finding calm so you are prepared for unexpected moments. • Give yourself permission to step back before reacting.
  • 11. Final thoughts… • It is ok not to open up to everyone. • This could be a time to work on opening up and trusting specific loved ones or others. • Important conversations do not need to be a one-shot deal. You can disclose more over time.