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Friends who really don’t visit.....

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by ZeroGravity60 on Mar 13, 2019 1:45 am

As thecatsmeow‍ pointed out, sometimes we just have to let go. Now, if I reach out to a friend who’s always busy, and that’s all I ever hear, I actually say to her, “I’ll let you go.” Over time, I do. If she’s truly that busy, she won’t notice I’ve gone, and this frees me up to stay in touch with people who wish to spend the time with me.

Cynthia Mac - What beautiful energy and wonderful wisdom you posses - or - does it posses you? 🙂

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by caroontario on Mar 14, 2019 8:34 am

I'm so glad I stopped by to read your post and the replies. Same here there ours is not a big family but they seem scared to ask " how are you ". Even the kids seem to be texting more than calling.
Thank you and take care ! 

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 14, 2019 1:19 pm

Aw, thank you so much, ZeroGravity60‍ ! I credit two sources for that tidbit of wisdom: Julia Cameron and Louise Hay.

Louise Hay talks about keeping a circle of people around you who love and nourish you.

Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, “gave me permission” to let go of people who put me down or otherwise don’t see (or won’t see) my worth. That book also “gave me permission” to stand confidently in the gifts of creativity that mean so much to me, and axe any detractors of those gifts from my circle.

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Gaurav27 on Mar 27, 2019 8:31 pm

mycrazyjourney‍  I'm sorry to hear that.  I read countless posts about the same thing.    I even experienced it as a caregiver and then again when I was grieving.        I had friends who just drifted away from me.    They were at a completely different phase in their lives.      They were doing the marriage and kid thing, and my life was cancer, hospitals and scans.    It was hard to even fathom  this whole cancer thing.     Even my fiancé's family bailed at the beginning of the ordeal.    I was very bitter and hurt for a very long time.     It took me a long time to realize that most people can't handle being around cancer, or talking about cancer, or anything to do with cancer because it scares them.   They don't know what to say, are scared to say the wrong thing, are scared of the "C" word completely.    So they back away and leave you feeling abandoned.       It was ACH2015‍  and my mom who told me that I might be the one who should call THEM and break the ice to them.       So I did it when I felt in the mood, just to let them know it's ok for them to still talk to me, that am still same old me.     We just talked about normal every day things and eventually they came around again.      Maybe you want to try that too and let me know if that works.        

I totally agree that people scare with the "C" word. Friends and family get scared and create distance considering it as a coping mechanism. The other thing I noticed, that friends and family hate to see their loved one suffering, especially with weight loss and no hair.  This makes them to just run away from this whole situation. What I used to do was to call them and talk over the phone rather than meeting them. Also, I never discussed with them about my treatment or health on call. 

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by CharlotteS on Mar 29, 2019 2:19 pm

Oh gosh I know the feeling of hurt when your friends seem to disappear.  I am my husband's Advocate and Caregiver.  He has Renal Carsinoma.  We have a team of 6 Doctors now.  They are marvelous. Friends were there in the beginning with words like "if you ever need anything...."  I was hurt at first when they stop calling or visiting, but soon realised I didn't have the time or the energy to maintain these friendships that now felt hollow.  Recently I have been met with words of  " well now that your not working....what do you do all day".   I quit my Board Position to look after my husband and it has become a full time job.  He thanks me every day. My focus is on him and his focus is on me. I am sure it is what several others on this site have said about some friends that can not handle the fear and all consuming business of Cancer. I do not want to scare my friends, so I will let them be.  Those who do wish to know where we are on this journey can call or visit us on their time. For now we are falling love with each other all over again. How marvelous is that. 
Chin up.  We care about you and some of your other friends will learn to get over their fear and return to you.  Give them time.

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Minus2 on Mar 30, 2019 2:14 pm

I love your post CharlotteS‍ "we are falling in love all over again."  I am almost 3 years out from my initial diagnosis and treatment and our lives are pretty much the way they were before cancer except for a greater appreciation of each other and a determination to value every day for the gift it is.  My husband and I do a fair bit of volunteer work in our Church and I have shared with one group that I really didn't realize what a sacramental marriage was until I was diagnosed and my husband's actions tell me how much I am loved.
Friends have receded into the background in some cases - some by their choice and some by mine.  Others have come forward.  And I am comfortable with that.  Everyone comes into our lives for a reason and they leave for a reason, and sometimes it's not because of me or my cancer, but their inability to deal with it.  And I have been guilty of that too.  A co-worker lost his wife to lung cancer and I was not there for him.  I had been a caregiver for both parents, a grandmother, and an uncle in a four year period and then I was diagnosed.  I had nothing to give and I could not be close to his situation at the time.  I have explained it to him and I think he understands but it is what it is.  
Thank you for your perspective.

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by snowflake45 on Mar 30, 2019 5:14 pm

I was recently diagnosed and I find some friends have been more supportive than ever while others have receded into the background, especially my best friend who has disappeared since I told her about this. I have chosen to focus on those that are there for me and am grateful for an amazing support system but it is still disappointing. However I understand in a way how some people don't feel comfortable and don't know what to say because I have sometimes felt like that in the past around people who I knew who had cancer, maybe because it stokes my own fears or something but it would take an effort for me to engage and get past the discomfort at first. 
Also now that this is a regular conversation in my circle, it's a weird experience emotionally telling some who I haven't seen since before diagnosis. I get taken aback because I've gotten used to talking about it day and and day out so it's tough to process the shock they are experiencing. I'm also now finding I particularly enjoy the company of people who have been through/are going through this because they get it!

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by CherylW on Mar 30, 2019 5:35 pm

I totally get how you're feeling as I am in the same boat. It's been 5mths since my last treatment and I feel so alone. My family expects me to be the same as before and both physically/emotionally and mentally I'm not. I totally look forward to my check up visits with the oncologist so that I can visit my girls in the radiation dept. I totally miss seeing them everyday :(  It's just hard ! I can't go back to work until Sept. and honestly I can't wait. My best supporters through this whole journey have been my friend who is also traveling the journey as well and my students from the high school I work at  sending me messages of love and support. Be kind to yourself and know that we are going through the same or similar things and are here for you <3 <3

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Metalqueen on Apr 1, 2019 9:44 pm

This site is how I am coping and am thankful for everyone on here. I never expected to feel so alone, my Mom has always been there for everyone else, now that she has Cancer and her turn, shes facing the fight of her life, Im wondering where did everyone go? Ive noticed that the word cancer seems to push people away, they dont know what to say, or avoid you.I guess you have be there to experience it. My Dad is 78 and so lost, having to pay bills at bank, learning how to use a cellphone, wondering if hes putting right setting on washing machine. Hugs to everyone

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Brighty on Apr 1, 2019 9:58 pm

Metalqueen‍  hugs back to you.   This site is also how I coped too when things went south.         I don't see much of my friends anymore either.    There's one who stuck around, but the rest didn't  want to hear cancer stuff when I was in thick of things and there's all that was on my mind at that time.   Couldn't focus on anything else but my fiancé's health.       The "C" word has just scared them away or something.      It's the last thing anyone wants to deal with.    It's so hard for people to know what to say.      I'm learning to just enjoy my own company these days....and that of the cat....and of course chatting with all of you on the site.     

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Metalqueen on Apr 1, 2019 10:34 pm

Hi Brighty,

Yes of course! my two cats and dog are the best therapy. I almost prefer their company over humans..lol I picked up Moms dog few days ago, he is very sad and knew something was wrong a year ago..he would jump on her to wake her up when her heart was beating irregularly, I have watched always their little dog when they had to go somewhere, but this time its different, and he knows, Im thankful for the company and comfort they give. Peace and hugs

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Brighty on Apr 2, 2019 7:02 am

Metalqueen‍  wow!   Thats impressive! animals are very intelligent and sensitive.   Vinnie also sensed I was depressed and comforted me each night by snuggling next to me in bed.    I also prefer his company  over anyone's! !!!!

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Apr 2, 2019 9:59 am

Metalqueen‍ , I’m so glad that we’re able to help!

Your Dad is about the same age as my Dad. Dad was already doing some of this stuff when Mom passed away, so his learning curve wasn’t quite as steep.  Like you, I’m finding myself in the role of “parenting the parent” — this came crashing home the other day, when my Dad called me up to bounce the idea of replacing his car off me! Talk about things for which you’re never fully prepared!

My Mom was my “strength,” too - and sounding board... and I really don’t know how I made the transition of her absence so smoothly. (Mom died suddenly in August, 2017.) The only things I can chalk it up to are that she was very matter-of-fact about dying, and that I was thrust into being Dad’s caregiver very soon after her passing. I honestly think, too, that Mom prepared me. Not sure when, not sure how, but she raised her daughters to be strong and independent.

As Brighty‍ Says, some people will stay and help you through, and others will bolt for the hills when they learn that cancer has come into your life. Try not to be hard on those who left - they just don’t know how to cope or what to say. Try to remember that a whole new set of people who DO know how to handle it have entered or will enter your life — doctors, homecare workers, etc. — and that the people who do stay will mean ever so much more to you.  

I believe firmly that not everyone is supposed to walk with us the whole way and that when we allow the ones who step away to go with love and forgiveness, we find new people who will bring the skills and compassion we need to get us through our next steps.

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Apr 2, 2019 12:45 pm

Hello Everyone on this thread:

I thought you would be interested in ashcon‍'s recent post 'Ask Me How I am' here: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/79/61290?post_id=293004#p293004.

Would love to get your thoughts on it Metalqueen‍ , CherylW‍, snowflake‍, Minus2‍, CharlotteS‍, Gaurav27‍, Cynthia Mac‍, caroontario‍, mycrazyjourney‍, thecatsmeow‍, Runner Girl‍, WesT‍, Kims1961‍. Follow the link above!

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Apr 3, 2019 12:03 am

My takeaway, as a caregiver, was this - 1000 times this:
Ask me if I need anything, then ask me again. Follow through if I actually do ask for help. Know that the asking part is extremely difficult and that as crazy as it sounds, I feel a little guilty for putting you through this.


Except, for me, it was “I feel a little guilty for bringing you into this.”

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by SpeedyStill on Apr 20, 2019 8:20 pm

This discussion has been viewed by 2029 people in the community.  Now I think this is great.  We have to know that we are not the only one who has experienced this situation.
We are never alone in this community.
Since starting I have read some great comments not only in this discussion but other discussions that I have read or participated in with my comment.

When life pulls you down, draw on the power within us all to lift us back up. 
We are part of this community.
We are all children of God who blesses us with the power to heal.
So we are not alone we have a loving Father and a loving and caring group of people who are brought together with a common goal and that is to beat cancer.
We are survivors,  never give in we want to keep living.
I am a proud 9 year survivor of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 
And I am going to survive the Kidney Cancer that my body is currently fighting now,  because I am a "Survivor "
SpeedyStill   at 71 years young

Re: Friends who really don’t visit.....

Posted by Roma on Apr 21, 2019 10:58 pm

I hope and pray that you beat this cancer soon.

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