Much like Steve, I have lost friends to cancer. My cancer. It has been so confronting to so many so called mates and family members. Is there anyone here who has felt as though they have offended someone by mentioning they had or have cancer and noticed the widening chasm? If so, how are you now?
Hiya Teacher Mum,
I had something similar happen the other day although it was non verbal. I ran into someone who did not know i had cancer and they could not look me in the eyes the whole time i talked to them and funnily enough they didnt ask me how i am.
I actually felt sorry for the guy and after a very short conversation made my escape to put him out of his misery.
Its bizzare Jules - Just when I think I have my rational mind wrapped around it - and when I think I have it all figured out - wham!
Tell me, does it make you mad when people tell you to "be positive". Drives me nuts!
Yes it does make me mad and its frustrating also. Why do people want to deny us the normal emotions that we go through? I dont understand why they wont allow us to feel and to address these emotions. I really do have a huge soap box on this one and when i give my talk to the local rotary club it is one of the things that i will be touching on.
I feel for you and if you ever need a shoulder to vent on, feel free. 🙂
Bah I am tired of venting - I am trying to move on but the 4 weekly blood tests for tumour markers keep pulling me back in. Although I have two beautiful children, I have lost two to Ectopic pregnancies and now a Hysterectomy means the choice was taken away and to top it off, lets have a tumour there while we are at it - just for fun 🙂
No, I have decided to count my blessings but sometimes I get a bit niggly at people who experience discomfort regarding our journey.
I do also get niggly with people at times, the ones that are not comfy around us. I remember the first time i was diagnosed with cancer i actually had someone cross the road so they didnt have to speak to me. At the time i was devastated but now i realise that we lose some friendships and yet others are gained and some are more enahanced because of it. I try and focus on the enhanced and new friendships although i did lose a childhood friend last time and that took some coming to terms with. It is for me about drawing a line in the sand ... my stuff ________________ your stuff and you need to deal with it. Most times that helps me.
That must be tough having tests every four weeks, well i know it is tough as last time i had to be checked weekly to begin with and then it moved out to longer.
Sometimes i just "sucks" that our choices have been taken away and we are left with ones we dont particulary want. Sometimes we just need to be negative and wallow for a bit. Sometimes we dont need to be brave or strong. All of those feelings are ok to feel and i hate it when people wont allow us to feel them. The disclaimer here is "dont stay there".
I have to chime in here, I also had (I hope it is had) a Gynecological cancer, total hysterectomy in April 09. It was discovered when I finally bit the bullet and decided to try IVF (how ironic). Anyway...a work colleague, and the person who I previously considered my best friend for 10+ yrs was so unthoughtful when I returned to work that I just can't forgive her.
If you can believe it she said:
"I was really worried when I heard that you were having a hysterectomy because I thought you would change. Remember 'named another work colleague' she had the same thing and she went crazy afterward" and I couldn't deal with her anymore.
I provided the stock standard response (or defence):
"Well, maybe she was reprioritising... when you have cancer you actually start thinking about mortality etc..."
She 'named the work colleague' didn't have cancer as far as I know, she just had the same thing done as you."
This friend is the same person who I have had to listen to and research for every time she has a minor ailment. I am so intimately aware of every unusual bowel movement this person has because she describes it in detail, and her major concern is that I might go crazy, and affect her.
On the chasm front, there is one woman at work who was so rude to me about the amount of time I have had off work that I couldn't help but play the 'cancer card'. She was so mortified when I told her, that she has taken to walking the long way around the office so she doesn't have to see me?
Anyway, rant over ; ) I figured that people here might understand where I'm coming from on this one.
You don't know whether to laugh or cry here he he.
The poor woman who 'went crazy' probably had an oophrectomy (ovaries out) so the poor woman was trying to balance her hormones!
I have shed a lot of friends, but made new ones here - so in the end, we choose quality of quantity.
Do we understand here? I think so much so, we are almost related! he he!
As a carer, I had a good line thrown at me ......." Hey its such a shame you are going through this, but if it had to happen to someone it was good it was you as you are such a strong person"
I can chuckle about it now, however at the time I was so shocked that I didnt really know how to react!
I had a HUGE shock with how I was treated after i was diagnosed. I thought having to deal with being told I had cancer just after my 20th birthday was enough!
I thought I had a large and close group of friends, but as soon as they found out I was sick, WHAM, most dissapeared. I completely understand that for anyone involved with the cancer process, it's a hard and unfamiliar situation to be in. But everyone thought that it would be better for me if they left me alone as to not 'upset' me because they didn't know what to say. A lot of times I'm more forgiving than others, depends on what mood I'm in :P
I used to (and still do unfortunately) get annoyed at that. I can put myself in their shoes and understand how they felt, I dont know why no one tried it with me. I needed a sence of normality, every aspect of my life changed in a instant, and I needed something, or someones to remind me of how things used to be, just to make it a little easier. It was hard at first, but I am getting better dealing with it now.
I understand what most of you say though, I have realised who my real friends are, and I'm happy to have learnt that quite early in life. I wont be dissapointed again thats for sure!
Hope everyone is going well in their different stanges of recovery...:)xoxox
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.