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You would think by now it wouldn't bother me - cold people I mean, sigh

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Sheeesh, what a shocker. Is stupid the right word? Ignorant, injured in some way? All of the above? Who knows, but all I do know is that it seems that even time and experience, with people who seem so heartless when it comes to dealing with the news of my cancer past, even time and experience don't dull the hurt when they react so coldly.

I am talking about an incident that ocurred yesterday after I joined Facebook for the first time. I started to look around for old friends from days gone by, just for fun, catch up and see what they have been up to, and I located one such friend and sent him a short hello and how ya doin? IMMEDIATELY, I get back a 'good to hear from you' and an add on as a friend, I mean IMMEDIATELY, obviously interested in chatting. So after more info on what he has been up to I sent a short description of what I had been doing. IMMEDIATELY I notice he is on CHAT but not wanting to interrupt and not knowing how to use it, lol, I didn't get into that.

Right away I get another email back getting into more of what he was doing and asking me what I had been doing, again. Obviously interested in communicating. Right? Well yes, UNTIL I mentioned going through cancer.

EVERYTHING STOPPED. Yup, not one more word, nothing, nadda. I was stunned. The way it was all going it was non stop back and forth but as soon as cancer came up - end of conversation. That was over 24 hours ago at least and since then he has had activity on his profile so not like he has been offline.

I was first diagnosed just over 20 years ago and throughout the whole time til now I have met every sort and then some who had various reactions to cancer being part of my life but it seems that you never get used to rejection. This person didn't mean that much to me in the past, just casual friends really, but I always figured him for a bright sensitive caring person. Yes there are all kinds of reasons why he hasn't carried on the communication since my bombshell I suppose but you had to be there, I have seen this before - thankfully not that often. It just amazes me how some people can just drop a person cold, just because the person has been ill. I'm just so derned proud of my human race sometimes. NOT.

Just kind of surprised me how I reacted to this backhanded manor, thought I was used to this kind of thing after so long. Guess not. We have all seen this after diagnosis I know, knew you would understand.

Blessings, Bluerose

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Blue. Sorry I have not been around much. I hope your physical problems are under control. It seems we never get past our cancer. We try to move forward and enjoy life but get those constant reminders that set us back in our place. Kinda like when your doctors tell you that your odds of getting cancer after 5 years are now the same as everyone else. Then you try to get life insurance, NOT. Or when you write Cancer on a medical form you are filling out for a CT or MRI. Once I put a check mark in the cancer box I know my films will not get read or the answer will be totally useless. Everything is may have, might have or we just don't know. Heck I have been waiting for the results of my brain MRI for three weeks now. Trying to connect with new people outside our limited world is hard. We have more baggage than a 727 and many people don't want to deal with it. When I say I have had cancer and am on disability that stops most people in their tracks. Kinda like Hummm where do we go from here. I guess we just keep looking for people that understand and they are the ones worth having as friends. Don't give up trying as there are caring people out there that like to have new friends. You can always send an invite on facebook to Garry Wilson and I will approve you lol. Blessings Slickwilly

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I have been wondering where you have been but knew you were keeping busy no doubt with friends and family and the upcoming holidays so don't worry about me. Same old same old here, fighting on day after day and looking forward to Xmas even though I will be on my own this year. Actually for some weird reason it isn't bothering me like it maybe should, just feel as if I have to rest alot - it's been a rough year. I have my little tree up, it casts such a warm glow to the room, love it.

Ah as far as this past acquaintance is concerned I'm not totally surprised. I mean I am surprised a bit he was like this, of all people, but that reaction is one that is unfortunately not unusual from some people as has been my experience with mentioning the dreaded c word. Reactions from people are complex and I'm sure they are all fighting their own personal demons when it comes to talk of any life threatening situation. I was just stunned that it still bothered me when it happened - thought I was over that. I guess, in any form, rejection kind of sucks. lol.

Anywho thanks for the comforting words and I know I am not alone by any means in having to experience this kind of reaction on this particular subject.

I have actually gone on Facebook for the first time recently. Funny you should mention that.

Talk to you soon but if not I want to make sure to wish you and yours the happiest of Xmases and all the very very best in the New Year. Wow, 2010 seems like something from a futuristic movie - 2010. Wow. Dang, I'm old. lol

Later kid.

Hugs, Bluerose

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

I'm so sorry that happened to you. Even during the beginning when my husband was first diagnosed with cancer I noticed how strange people can get when they hear that word. It's very painful and I understand. You can also add me on facebook if you want. I love the little farmville and cafe games they have. Send me a pm and I'll return info.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for your kind words. That is the second time in a week someone has mentioed this farmville thingy on Facebook, I should look into that. I will let you know if I am going to go on Facebook more in the future. I just signed on but really haven't used it that much. It's cool to connect though like that with old and new friends. I will send you an email when I am online next to share info.

As far as the reaction to people hearing the dreaded c word I have dealt with that for the lsat 20 years since diagnosis, on and off, as many on here have and you really do find out quick who are sincere friends and who are not. I found a few new friends at the beginning of my journey with cancer and they are still friends today.

Talk to you soon and hope you are doing better. Blessings, Bluerose

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Blue,

My own experience with cancer has taught me that "the others" either regard us as "heroes", admiring us for our courage and resilience; "victims", pitying us for what fate has forced us to endure; or "pariahs", "lepers" who must be ignored or avoided because our reality is more reality than they can tolerate. The irony is that 1/4th of "the others" are destined to join our ranks by the time they hit the age of 70, so, they better become our understudies for the roles they are likely to be assuming themselves.

Love and Courage!

Rick

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

you know what they say 'it always happens to the other guy, not me'. And that is unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you want to look at it, the way people are - wow poor so and so, never for even a minute thinking it could happen to them. Human behaviour is fascinating, trying to always cushion us from trauma and that's probably what it is for the most part.

This guy I was talking about I actually did go out with for awhile but it was never, to me anywho going to go anywhere serious (just not that kind of attraction) but he had the opposite idea. That's why I was so stunned when he had that reaction. But for heavans sake I dated him back in 1974 for heavan's sake so people do tend to change a tad over that span of time I would think. Oh man I am ancient. lol. Anywho I was just stunned that I reacted so poorly to him taking that attitude, you would think that I would be used to that now and again but like I said in another response here, guess you never get used to rejection or judgement.

Oh well, c'est la vie.

Good hearing from you Rick. Hope things are going well for you and yours.

Hugs, Bluerose

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Blue,

With so many losing homes, jobs, pensions, and health benefits these days, I guess some people don't want to hear about another person's troubles. We are arriving at critical mass in terms of our misery threshold. Unfortunately, none of this is really our fault, but that does not stop others from projecting their anxieties on us. Just write them off and move on to the next smiling face you see.

Love and Courage!

Rick

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Yup, I moved on from the disheartening episode just wanted to comment on it after it happened as I know others face the same thing in this cancer game and wanted to let them know that they aren't alone. Just getting the experience out helps too as you know Rick.

You are dead on about everyone reaching critical mass in all the anxieties and worries out there, especially now that the baby boomers are starting to creak (like me) and realizing 'hey, even I am getting old too'. Such a spoiled generation, that feeing of entitlement to just about everything - even good health and good health care. Oh boy what an eye opener to come to those fortunate to have had good health til now but in the next few years notice the bit of creaking and groaning of their aging bodies soon to happen.

Hope all is well with you Rick and the Xmas season will find you with friends celebrating. Hugs, Blue

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

I'm making less money than I ever did in my adult life, but am enjoying the more precious commodity of time. Time to relax, reflect, and re-energize. Sure, money is an issue, especially when I received a fat increase in my property tax assessment and my car required a new linkage because the old one was "binding" (I told the mechanic that I usually take an Ex-Lax for something like that). I am thankful that I still have a job with a great group health plan, great co-workers, and a lot of vacation time. I also have neighbors who are always upgrading something, so I get their old stuff and don't have to spend money. I have cousins and some great friends whom I see on a regular basis and the memories of parents and a brother who loved me very much. If my digestive system would behave itself, you could say I had everything I need.

Like I say, I really can't complain too much.

Love and Courage!

Rick

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

You have a great deal Rick and you forgot to mention that you are able to work. I haven't been able to work since diagnosis what with treatments years back and side effects right out of the gate and that is HUGE for you to be able to work. If I could have gone back to work 18 years ago so many things would be different. I know you have health issues and that can't be easy at times but if you are able to get out there and work and therein make friends and build relationships it is everything. I really miss that part of my life.

Anywho thanks for the posting Rick. Keep positive and enjoy your holidays. Thanks for the continued support. Hugs, Blue

lisaonthenet
Posts: 68
Joined: Nov 2009

Bluerose,

So sorry this happened. I do know what you mean though but in a different way I guess, from the partner of someone's perspective. It seems like for me when I talk about Kelly's cancer, how it's going, etc. people don't think I can handle hearing about their lives. They think nothing in their life can possibly compare to what Kelly and I are going through and fighting for - her life. What I think they don't get is sometimes how much I/we do want to her how others are doing and what they're going through in their lives, if not for any other reason than a change of pace.

Keep those who care and understand close,
Lisa

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for your understanding and supportive posting. I do know what you mean about people not wanting to 'burden' you with their troubles, I have had that end of the spectrum too - was diagnosed 20 years ago so have just about seen it all in how people treat those directly or indirectly involved with the cancer journey. What most of us want, patients or caregivers, is a sense of normality in our relationships and that goes by the wayside for many of them unfortunately, in one way or another.

What I found to be the most heartwarming of this particular experience with cancer, with friends and family I mean, is that often it's the new friends we met because of our cancer experience who wind up being the most amazing people in our lives. My best friend today is a woman I met at my kids bustop for school just a handful of times before I got sick and when she found out about my diagnosis she quickly baked a cake and brought it over to our home for the family as I was in aggressive treatments. Since that day we have remained steadfast friends - a stranger who ran TOWARDS the crisis and not away from it.

Whenever I noticed people shying away from their own issues when I would meet up with them I usually try to purposely vear back to them and their lives and if they start by saying 'oh I am fine compared with what you and Kelly are going through' I always say 'troubles are all relative so how are YOU doing'. That usually stops them and they do tell you about what is going on.

Anywho I had better get this place tidied up, apparently it won't do that all by itself, lol. Thanks again for the reply. Blessings, Bluerose

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

I understand exactly what you are saying and I know how you feel. When my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002, those who we thought were friends just disappeared and we didn't hear from them. Occasionally we would run into them but they would give us the cold shoulder or rush off. It's as if people are afraid that cancer is contagious and they just don't know how to handle the situation. Just be strong and don't let what others do affect you. You have your own battle to fight and you don't need to worry about other people's ignorance. I'm just sorry that you even had to experience the attitude of this person.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I knew people would understand what that situation would do to them too, this site is so great as so many of us have experienced such similar things - we can certainly relate and help each other through. Thanks for doing that for me.

I know that for me people used to view me as the fun one and the life of the party and when the word 'cancer' became part of my life it was as if they just couldn't blend that new part of my existance with the 'fun one' anymore so rather than try they ran the other way. But like I was telling lisa here in this posting sometimes new friends rally and the ones who were true still stick by you no matter what.

Hope today is a good day for you Sassy. Thanks again for the support and validation. Hugs, Bluerose

sassy1
Posts: 54
Joined: Oct 2009

Just think of it as, you are not the one who has changed although your situation has, but they are the ones that need your pity because they cannot accept you for you no matter what. When all is said and done, they have to look themselves in the mirror every day. Be strong and carry on with your head held high. Do not let the actions of others take away from you and your life. Live life to the fullest and don't worry about what other people think or do. I learned a long time ago, they don't pay my bills so I was not going to let them bother either my husband or myself ever again. And don't let them bother you either. It isn't worth the worry and upset.

((HUGS))
Shirley

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Thank you for your positivity and support. You are absolutely right. I think that when that happened to me some 20 years after initial diagnois, as it just did the other day with this incident here, it just took me by surprise as this was someone I thought I knew who was supportive before but I guess it came with 'but only if's' and I was just shocked. I noticed the other day when I was on Facebook this person quickly signed out of the chat part too, it's happened more than once so it seems to be a pattern. Must be really affecting this person more than me because really I could care less, just interesting behaviour.

Anywho thanks again for your continued support, I hope you are fairing well at this busy time of the year. Hugs, Bluerose

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

the people who sort of gloss over it. In this case I mean Don's kids. It's not denial, sorry, but it isn't. The best I can say for them is that they aren't capable of any deep, genuine relationship. The 28-year-old knows (because I told her) most of what he's going thru and her only comment after receiving the letter was "Dad looks great!"

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Yes there sure are those who just gloss it all over. As far as his daughter is concered you would think by 28 she would have a better grasp on all that is really going on with her Dad's health but so many get caught up in their own lives and just don't want to admit the real truth that their Dad is not doing well. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it, many of us do look fine but that doesn't mean we are medically fine at all. You hear this alot with those with cancer and survivors alike. It's irritating to hear 'gee you look so good though?' when you feel so badly or are in treatments that don't affect your appearance.

The good news with looking alright is that we can still blend into society without having to deal with looks and glares but for the most part it's painful when a close member of the family seems cold to our actual physical condition. Both my kids are like Don's kids too so I understand. They are at a distance too, live far away, so distance doesn't help either - if they were around me more it would become more obvious to them.

I hope you get a break from the stress of all of this ruth, you have enough to deal with without all of this drama from his kids.

You are in my prayers Ruth. Bluerose

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Yes there sure are those who just gloss it all over. As far as his daughter is concered you would think by 28 she would have a better grasp on all that is really going on with her Dad's health but so many get caught up in their own lives and just don't want to admit the real truth that their Dad is not doing well. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it, many of us do look fine but that doesn't mean we are medically fine at all. You hear this alot with those with cancer and survivors alike. It's irritating to hear 'gee you look so good though?' when you feel so badly or are in treatments that don't affect your appearance.

The good news with looking alright is that we can still blend into society without having to deal with looks and glares but for the most part it's painful when a close member of the family seems cold to our actual physical condition. Both my kids are like Don's kids too so I understand. They are at a distance too, live far away, so distance doesn't help either - if they were around me more it would become more obvious to them.

I hope you get a break from the stress of all of this ruth, you have enough to deal with without all of this drama from his kids.

You are in my prayers Ruth. Bluerose

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Yes there sure are those who just gloss it all over. As far as his daughter is concered you would think by 28 she would have a better grasp on all that is really going on with her Dad's health but so many get caught up in their own lives and just don't want to admit the real truth that their Dad is not doing well. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it, many of us do look fine but that doesn't mean we are medically fine at all. You hear this alot with those with cancer and survivors alike. It's irritating to hear 'gee you look so good though?' when you feel so badly or are in treatments that don't affect your appearance.

The good news with looking alright is that we can still blend into society without having to deal with looks and glares but for the most part it's painful when a close member of the family seems cold to our actual physical condition. Both my kids are like Don's kids too so I understand. They are at a distance too, live far away, so distance doesn't help either - if they were around me more it would become more obvious to them.

I hope you get a break from the stress of all of this ruth, you have enough to deal with without all of this drama from his kids.

You are in my prayers Ruth. Bluerose

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Don's 28-yer-old went ballistic Sat. night. It was all a control thing -- she wanted to make all the desserts and I told her she was welcome to bring something to "add to the table." So, first, she arrived with a large pan of apple crisp. Don's throat is so sore that he couldn't eat the oatmeal topping. To add to the fuss, I had made pies. She stalked out of the house, then was very angry with him when he went to see what was wrong, then came back in and began screaming at him. He ended up crouched in his recliner, saying, I don't complain, but this might be my last Christmas and you're spoiling it. She went right on screaming about how he was supposed to eat her dessert and I wasn't supposed to make any and I had forced her to come for his birthday. It was devestating.

Yes, after she cooled down, we did talk a little and she does expect her dad to die. "He's old." (69!) And, no, she never apologized at all.

He deserves better kids.

Ruth

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Don has lost a lot of weight and even with his shirt obscuring the most obvious things, his face is beginning to get gaunt. In addition, the tumor on his chin is growing back, larger and just as red as it was originally. He also has one beginning on the side of his throat. And now people are beginning to stare. It angers and upsets him so badly. And if I'm around and see it, it will be very upsetting -- for the people who do it.

Ruth

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I had and continue to have difficulty with my daughter and her acceptance of my health situation so I can identify to a point. However Don's daughter is way out of line, it's bad enough Don is so sick but to call him 'old' as if well so what if he dies he's old, hard to believe someone could say that. Unfortunately for her one day this is going to hit her and then it will be too late to apologize and she will have to live with her actions forever and that will be no picnic. At 28 she should know better, I don't have to tell you.

She can't be allowed to upset him or you like this. Does she have a husband or friend you can talk to about her tones and actions with her Father and you?

I just don't know what to say except to pray for guidance and put it in God's hands and try to step back, He will come through for you with a revelation as to what to do.

Try and make Don's time comfortable and pleasant when it is just you and him and friends and family who do have a clue. Maybe then with all the positive support it might be easier to handle this one upsetting member of the family.

You are in my prayers. Bluerose

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to deal with this if it ever happens again. (Lost a lot of sleep over it, really.)

Groveling on my part might help, but Don would not want me to ever do that. He's spent a lot of time getting me to be more assertive.

I think that if I stand in front of her and repeat calmly and firmly that if she can't be polite, she needs to leave and go on repeating it calmly, that will do it. No, she won't leave. But it will infuriate her and she will shout more and may even get to the shove or hit stage. In any of those cases I can call 911.

Which, of course, may get her out of the house, but will provide a lot of material for future anger.

However, that can't be helped. Don needs peace and quiet and happy times. I can't provide warm family support, but I can at least do something to give him a peaceful home.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I think you have a good plan there but I certainly hope this doesn't get into a physical battle with her. If you even see a little sign that she could get physical don't hesitate to call for help, don't wait til it gets to the hitting stage. No one should have to deal with that and all of your more important concerns right now.

Being calm and rational with someone like that is the best plan but then again with the irrational types you never know do you? Just be careful, you know how she might react better than I.

Take care. Hugs, Bluerose

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1622
Joined: Aug 2009

I wanted to offer one small suggestion. One of the things I learned while teaching might help. When confronted by an unruly student, it was suggested that we use I need statements rather than you statements. Examples: I need you to be polite and not upset your father. I need you to leave now or I will have to call 911. It doesn't always work, but it has a pretty good success rate. I was talking to my husband about it one day, and he decided to try it in his line of work (law enforcement). He found it worked there a lot of the time, too. These statements just like the ones you suggested need to be said quietly and firmly and repeated if needed. I also applaud you for thinking about calling 911. I think this is especially important if she is prone to physical violence. Police are trained to intervene in family disturbances. In fact, they are the most dangerous calls they go on because of the emotions involved. Make the statement and then be ready to follow through. Take care of yourself and your husband. Fay

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Do I need statements work if you've already been cast as the wicked stepmother? Or if she sees you as an obstacle to her being in control?

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Do I need statements work if you've already been cast as the wicked stepmother? Or if she sees you as an obstacle to her being in control?

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1622
Joined: Aug 2009

I really can't answer that having never been in that position. I can only tell you that it often worked with students who considered me the wicked witch of a teacher. Nothing works all the time. That's why I like your back up plan. Hang in there. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all this drama on top of the stress of being a caregiver. My thoughts are with you. Fay

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I am going to try that with my daughter when she calls at some point if the situation warrants it. It can be very disarming to someone who is out of control when you stay in control and use that kind of wording I'm sure.

I hope the situation you find yourself in Ruthe doesn't escalate to violence but Ruthe once again let me say that if you have the slightest notion this is going to get ugly please don't hesitate to call for help.

You are in my prayers Ruthe. Hugs, Bluerose

Kisma
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec 2009

HI there... I wanted to tell you your not alone, clearly with all the responses off your story. I have to say if I have learned one thing out of living with cancer is that I have discovered who my real friends are.

I think until someone is affected directly or through someone they really hold dear, they don't understand or care or want to be bothered with illness. Be it cancer or another form of ailment.

I have a few friends today that only contact me once in awhile and half the time, they never ask about me or my family. It is always about them and with that,I have had to learn that they will always be a part of my life, they just don't affect it. Does that make since?

And I would have to say, you never get used to someone brushing you off when life isn't something they can deal with.

Hope this helps.

Kisma

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Thank you for taking the time to comment on this issue. I knew that many have gone through this and felt I should post it and let others get it off their chests too.

It's so true that you really do find out who your friends are when you become ill, I guess I always had this pollyanna idea that people would help or at least show some semblance of interest especially if they have been 'friends'. I guess it's innocense lost when this happens, you are hit by the cold harsh reality - not all can handle the situation and just drift away.

You are right on target though by saying that those people who only contact you now and again and are so self obsorbed may be continue to be in your life now and again but for sure they don't have to affect your life. Words to live by.

I really have no idea why this still astounds me when it happens out of the blue every now and then. I am a 22 year survivor you would think I wouldn't let it affect me anymore. I guess it's the surprise factor of someone coming out of the blue that was once part of your past - a healthier past.

Thanks for your input Kisma, you make total sense. Blessings, Bluerose

Kisma
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec 2009

Ha.. I am so glad my words helped. There are times when I just ramble and fear I make no since at all.

I have been fighting and beating cancer for almost 8 years now and I am always astounded by the lack of integrity that people have. Their ignorance just flows and even I have to take a step back and let what they do or say roll off my back. Sometimes it is hard, I don't think it is ever something anyone gets used too; we just get better at the way we handle it.

Take care and here is to a wonderful week.

Kisma

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