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Friends who really don’t visit.....

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

Posted by Wisewood on May 20, 2019 6:10 pm

Hello Cheryl w ... I lost my husband  24 weeks ago to cancer after caring for him for 13 months- yes couples deserted me as they felt "uncomfortable" with just me etc.... Now I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and it's so hard to accept that family and  friends can't phone and talk with me and ask how I'm coping with grief and now my own cancer journey..no mention of my husband or my own cancer! Unbelievable. ..guess they're all "busy" with their lives/families....still sad but the reality is you're not in their hearts as much as they're in yours
Stay strong and know that this site is here for us xx hugs Barbara

So yesterday was my birthday and I got lots of FB messages which was great but the 3 most important people in my life ( my adult daughters) did the obligatory Happy Birthday and nothing else. No calls, visits :( It has never been this way before with them and now I guess when I feel I need their love the most it doesn't seem to be there. For some crazy reason I thought they'd be there for me more during and after the cancer but they're not . Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself I don't know. It just hurts..guess they're all bysy


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

Posted by SpeedyStill on May 20, 2019 9:02 pm

After thinking on this topic I have realized that the one who has changed is not my friends and family but me, I have changed. The journey of first the diagnosis, then the tests, Pet Scan, CT SCAN,  blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, then the Oncologists discussion about treatments, then the actual treatments, then the side effects that start after the first treatment, then the side effects that are chronic and follow you forever.  An example is the palms of my hands and the bottom of my feet are still numb.  If you have been there you know what I am talking about.  My emotions were through the roof. I know that I drove my wife crazy. I found during and especially after that emotionally I had changed. I would tear up at things that I would normally let go. I was more sensitive to what people were saying. I looked at life through a different lense. The things I wanted to talk about were different. 

We all have the human need to be loved and accepted.  I know for me that need was increased by the journey, the chemotherapy drugs or both.
I do not want to put the blame on the shoulders of the people on the  Cancer journey.  We are not responsible for the actions of others especially our friends and family.  However I have been trying to understand why my two children react to me the way they do. Using a bit of empathy and trying to look at the situation through thier eyes and I can see too things at play. One is I am sure a little fear that one day it could be them in this situation  (God Forbid ) and they I am sure because they love me have a hard job accepting that there father could die and they do not know what to say.
Life is a mystery. Why does life change in what seems like a split second?  How is it that for no none reason a good person finds themselves on this journey?   Does pain and hard times make us a better person?  Let's hope so and maybe this is the light at the end of the tunnel.

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

Posted by Cynthia Mac on May 21, 2019 8:41 am

Wisewood‍, thank you for bringing CherylW‍ ‘S post forward from February. I’m sorry for your loss and your recent diagnosis. I’ve tagged both of you so that Cheryl will see your addition to the conversation.

Unfortunately, a lot of people suffer from human nature, so, unless they’ve been close to someone who’s had cancer or experienced it themselves, the avoid any discussion or  even people who are involved in it. The same goes for grieving. If you want to talk to others going through what you are, there are discussions here on Cancer Connection for both breast cancer and grieving, and the people there will be very helpful.

SpeedyStill‍ , thanks for pointing out that it isn’t always “them” who changes, but sometimes it’s “us” — and sometimes it’s a mixture of both.  I still hold to my belief that not everyone is supposed to be with us the whole way through life, and when people choose to go, we’re best to allow that to happen with forgiveness so that the people who are going to replace them can bring the love and “tools” that we need for “right now,” whether that’s strength, laughter or medical help.

Babs, I loved this line from your post, and plan to incorporate it into my beliefs:
the reality is you're not in their hearts as much as they're in yours