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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Coping with change

Coping with change

(p.56) Chapter 7 Coping with change
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

Change following major illness is inevitable. Practical issues as well as the more psychological and emotional facets are brought under scrutiny. Attitudes to surgery and treatment can change a patient’s and their loved ones’ outlook, confidence and behaviour. Some may even find it difficult to adjust to returning home and come through the ordeal of treatment successfully. They can carry residual grief and pain; their sense of belonging to the family or social circle may be affected. Denying the significance of what has happened or overprotecting the patient can warp a mature response to the new circumstances. Stories highlight how relationship patterns are affected by a complex interplay of feelings, attitudes and mood and how open, honest and loving discussion between relatives and patients about their illness or its possible consequences, even death, can be a valuable resource. A new future can be embraced without pretence or manipulation.

Keywords:   denial, overprotection, talking about death, major illness, residual grief - pain, narratives, honest communication

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