Have you lost a ‘friend’ due to BC?

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arpie
arpie Member Posts: 7,742

I think that many of us have already lost, or may lose someone they considered ‘a friend’ before we were diagnosed with BC .... and it IS very hurtful and perplexing .... made more difficult particularly if you’d helped them thru a family or illness previously ....  

This is a thoughtful piece on the loss of a friend thru BC .... it is NOT YOUR FAULT

I Lost A Friend Today

I lost a friend today.

Not in the way you think.

They didn't die.

They disappeared.

 Something very unexpected may happen when you're diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Friends you thought would be there for you .... aren't.

It can be shocking. Disappointing. Wounding even. 

A friend you would have thought would rush to your side after your diagnosis might send the standard "Let me know if I can do anything" text.

But that's it.

At least they made an effort, right? 

On top of trying to get your head around the fact that you have CANCER, now you are trying to get your head around the fact that the people you thought you could count on aren't around. 

For the record, it happens to EVERY ONE OF US.

But WHY does it happen?

There can be many reasons. 

  • Your diagnosis scares them, and they don't know how to handle that reality. If it can happen to you, it can happen to them.
  • They may have been close to someone else with cancer, and for whatever reason, they can't find it within themselves to do it again.
  • They are very insecure about their faith, their mortality, what they believe. And seeing you reminds them of their personal insecurity. 
  • They don't want to "bother" you or "wake you up." That's just their way to avoiding whatever emotions they're struggling with. It's classic avoidance.
  • They don't want to "catch" your cancer. Yes, it's true. Some ignorant people actually think cancer can be contagious.

But here is the TRUTH.

The way your friend reacts is about THEM.

Not YOU.

It's hard not to take their reaction personally.

But don't.

It's THEM. 

Not YOU.

But I'm here to share GOOD NEWS with you!

There is a truly incredible thing that happens when you're diagnosed.

People you would consider "acquaintances" step up to help.

They offer to drive you to appointments.

They make meals for your family.

They leave cheery voicemails that you cling to as you sink into the depression that comes along with treatment.

It's not easy to just open your hands to release the friends you "lose" because of cancer. 

But you should try. 

Because then your hands will be open to receive help from the kindness of the "unexpected others" ... the acquaintances who step up to help, the strangers who show you kindness, and the new friends you make because of your diagnosis.

Watch for them.

 

Written with love by Jan James, Hope After Breast Cancer

Comments

  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,390
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    Thanks @arpie
    While I am sure this will ring true for many, I can honestly say it didn’t happen to me. The reasons why people might hang back are true, however the first person I knew well to
    be diagnosed with breast cancer acted in such a normal, ‘hey, this is what it is, have a good look now let’s get on with other stuff’ way that I suspect it not only relieved me of any discomfort or awkwardness but set in my own mind a way to deal with things myself. Reality can be very hard for some - best we can do is deal with our own insecurities and hope some of that process runs off on others. 
  • ChezaH
    ChezaH Member Posts: 549
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    arpie said:

    I think that many of us have already lost, or may lose someone they considered ‘a friend’ before we were diagnosed with BC .... and it IS very hurtful and perplexing .... made more difficult particularly if you’d helped them thru a family or illness previously ....  

    This is a thoughtful piece on the loss of a friend thru BC .... it is NOT YOUR FAULT

    I Lost A Friend Today

    I lost a friend today.

    Not in the way you think.

    They didn't die.

    They disappeared.

     Something very unexpected may happen when you're diagnosed with breast cancer. 

    Friends you thought would be there for you .... aren't.

    It can be shocking. Disappointing. Wounding even. 

    A friend you would have thought would rush to your side after your diagnosis might send the standard "Let me know if I can do anything" text.

    But that's it.

    At least they made an effort, right? 

    On top of trying to get your head around the fact that you have CANCER, now you are trying to get your head around the fact that the people you thought you could count on aren't around. 

    For the record, it happens to EVERY ONE OF US.

    But WHY does it happen?

    There can be many reasons. 

    • Your diagnosis scares them, and they don't know how to handle that reality. If it can happen to you, it can happen to them.
    • They may have been close to someone else with cancer, and for whatever reason, they can't find it within themselves to do it again.
    • They are very insecure about their faith, their mortality, what they believe. And seeing you reminds them of their personal insecurity. 
    • They don't want to "bother" you or "wake you up." That's just their way to avoiding whatever emotions they're struggling with. It's classic avoidance.
    • They don't want to "catch" your cancer. Yes, it's true. Some ignorant people actually think cancer can be contagious.

    But here is the TRUTH.

    The way your friend reacts is about THEM.

    Not YOU.

    It's hard not to take their reaction personally.

    But don't.

    It's THEM. 

    Not YOU.

    But I'm here to share GOOD NEWS with you!

    There is a truly incredible thing that happens when you're diagnosed.

    People you would consider "acquaintances" step up to help.

    They offer to drive you to appointments.

    They make meals for your family.

    They leave cheery voicemails that you cling to as you sink into the depression that comes along with treatment.

    It's not easy to just open your hands to release the friends you "lose" because of cancer. 

    But you should try. 

    Because then your hands will be open to receive help from the kindness of the "unexpected others" ... the acquaintances who step up to help, the strangers who show you kindness, and the new friends you make because of your diagnosis.

    Watch for them.

     

    Written with love by Jan James, Hope After Breast Cancer


    This is so beautiful, and it does happen to most of us. It is amazing the people that do step up. Thank you for this Cheryl
  • Dory65
    Dory65 Member Posts: 323
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    Thank you @arpie xxx
  • ChezaH
    ChezaH Member Posts: 549
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    arpie said:

    I had a couple of buddies who didn’t step up to the plate which really surprised me .... but the ones who did ...MORE than made up for those who didn’t.  

     I think some just don’t know what to say, so say nothing at all ... and don’t realise the hurt they’ve caused. 

    Maybe they think that we/I am STRONG ... but even having been thru My husband’s cancer ... when it happens to YOU ... it is still like a sledgehammer to the head!!

    I am just so grateful for all my ‘new’ buddies, specially here on BCNA .... cos everyone ‘gets it’! 

    So thanks for being there, friends XX 

    So true and yes And we can vent here which really helps xx
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Very true @arpie, thanks 😊