Answers to questions about living with cancer

hafeez51silhQ: “I’m not depressed but I just want to be left alone, so what can I do about friends who keep trying to include me in their social plans?”

A: “The first thing would be to tell them,” advises Aliya Hafeez, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a breast cancer survivor.

“You will have two types of friends. One who will feel so uncomfortable with your diagnosis that they will avoid you. Do not take this personally as this is about them not you. However, you do have the right to tell them how it makes you feel.

“The second group will include those who will go out of their way to make certain you are OK and will invite you to everything and anything they can think of. Again they may be doing this to alleviate their own anxiety.

“It is OK to tell your friends exactly what you need. Make certain that you are getting a good share of love and support as that is crucial when going through the cancer experience.”

Reach Dr. Hafeez through Upstate Connect at 315-464-8668.

Listen to an interview with her on HealthLink on Air radio.

Read Upstate’s Cancer Care magazine.

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