Re-Prioritizing Together

One important thing to do is to help your loved one think seriously about his or her priorities. What is most important? How does he or she want to spend her time? Who are the people that matter most in your lives? Your best shared decisions will take into account both of your hopes and wishes, family needs, finances, available support and resources. You may have different feelings about these issues. Perhaps the person you care about wants to stop working and spend time traveling while you are worried about maintaining your income and keeping your job. Or, he or she may not want to tell anyone about her new diagnosis while you want to tell close friends so that they can help and support you. It is vital that you talk about these things and, if necessary, find ways to compromise. 

Since your partner is the patient, remember that he or she gets the trump vote in any treatment decisions and an equal vote in any life decisions. However, your opinions are important, too, and you need to honestly express your thoughts and feelings. It is generally good advice to avoid major changes in the immediate future. Give yourselves a little time to adjust to this new situation, and then you will be in a better position to know what you need and want to do.

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