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rescue911chick's picture
rescue911chick
Posts: 55
Joined: Mar 2013

Hey everyone, pray this finds all of you well.

I was just wondering if any of you have had issues with your family/friends, & how do you deal with them? I don't want to be rude or mean, but some of it is starting to really bother me & I don't need the added stress of that on top of everything else.  Keep in mind I'm still not officially diagnosed with lymphoma regardless of the PET scan I had showing hypermetabolic activity in 8 very enlarged lymph nodes because the ONE node they removed from my armpit was clear. And I was shot down for the 2nd opinion when Moffitt told me FL Cancer Specialists is an affiliate of theirs so they'd back them up on whatever treatment they'd recommend. So I'm in limbo until June unless something changes significantly before then.

Anyway, my mom started out in the beginning telling me don't do chemo "because chemo killed your brother". I can't exactly tell her "no, stage 4 lung cancer was going to do that on its own with or without the chemo" because that would be cruel. So I kept my mouth shut. Her most recent rant is that my brother didn't have lung cancer, it was in his lymph nodes & that the strain of cancer he had can't be detected in blood tests, yadda yadda.  (They did gamma knife radiation on his brain, & radiation on his 2 lung tumors along with chemo.  Never a word about his lymph nodes.) Then there are the family members who harass me about going to see an herbalist. I'm not against herbalists, but I'm more worried about getting an official diagnosis right now. And my favorite: those who, every time something new pops up with me-mass on ovary, inconclusive mammogram, etc., there's a family member who had that type of cancer & each time it's the SAME family member lol. (Yes, so far my grandmother has had spinal cancer, ovarian cancer, & cancer in the lymph nodes around her lungs)  Someone who claims she is my "best friend" NEVER calls/texts me, if I'm not the one making contact then there's no contact at all & since this whole thing started in Feb I've kind of backed away from chasing after people who don't care enough to recognize that friendship is a two-way street. I know that it's bad to withdraw from people when you go through stuff like this, but I just don't have the energy to chase people right now. We haven't been very close in the months prior anyway, but she somehow tends to look for drama & makes everything about her--including my ER visit on 2-14-13. She texted me while I lying in a hospital bed waiting for my CT results & demanded to know why I didn't tell her I was going to the ER. I told her I wasn't going to ruin anyone's Valentine's Day by making them come sit in the ER with me, so I didn't call anyone. She said she was going to kick my arse for not calling her, & when she got there AFTER the doctor said I had spots on my lung and enlarged lymph nodes & it could be lymphoma, she still proceeded to make a scene about me not telling her I was going to the ER. I'm sorry, but even if she was genuinely upset that I didn't call her it should have been dropped as soon as the doctor gave me that heart stopping news. She saw what I went through with my brother 7 months prior, she should have let it go. And I haven't heard from her at all since then, not once has she checked in to see how I'm doing.

So what do you do, to tell these people that while you respect their advice/opinions they are overwhelming you & they need to back off. Or how do you stand up to the "sometimes friends" when they want to start drama rather than offer you moral support through one of the most stressful times in your life? And how do you do all of this in a nice way, because I'm a very non-confrontational type of person lol. All they're doing right now is adding to my stress & Lord knows I don't need anymore of that! 

Sorry to write another novel, I really didn't intend to.  Thank you in advance for your responses, you guys are all wonderful!

Love, Sherry

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 483
Joined: Mar 2013

Except for the details, I could have written this and I suppose we all go through some version of it. Of course that doesn't make you feel any better. I think people just don't know what to say, yet they feel like they should say something.  I could make a good list of what not to say. I used to wish people could simply call and say, "I don't know what to say, but I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you". 

What worked for me was saying to these people, "I am trying to stay positive and only think positive things. Will you help me by only saying positive things to me?" or either, "Will you pray for me?"

I'm so sorry you are having to go through this and I hope things settle down for you. I hope getting it off your chest helped.

Hugs,

Rocquie

 

rescue911chick's picture
rescue911chick
Posts: 55
Joined: Mar 2013

It definitely helps! I do recall seeing a book on what to do & not to when a loved one has cancer. Maybe I should try to find it & buy a copy, but then again sending it to my mom might not be viewed as a nice gesture lol.

Hugs back at you Rocquie!!

anliperez915's picture
anliperez915
Posts: 748
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Sherry,

I understand exactly what you mean, at first my family would tell me to take this or that miracle cure that cures cancer...but I would always say yeah I'll try it but never would actually do it. They called or visited often but now I hardly ever hear from them. I guess they thought I would kick the bucket really quick but much to their surprise I'm still going strong (Thank God) :) Now if I ever see them they will ask how things are going, but I gave up a long time ago trying to explain what lymphoma is and that it's not the same type of cancer like the other types. I always end up saying "I'm fine" and quickly change the subject hehehe! Stay strong, continue living your life and don't waste anymore energy on trying to understand people (Sometimes it's useless)! Take care and Hugs to you! :) 

Sincerely,

Liz

girliefighter's picture
girliefighter
Posts: 206
Joined: Mar 2013

Sherry,

So sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. Without turning it into something about me...lol...I wanted to tell you that I can relate to this. My best friend of 36 years hasn't verbally spoken to me since I started all of my testing and when I told her my diagnosis, she literally texted "NICE!!!" when I told her it was uncurable...I can't seem to wrap my head around it, but she always makes every conversation about her and her "man troubles". Then my mother and stepfather live with me, because they got their home reposessed 3 years ago..I have been asking them and beggin them to leave so I can have some privacy. Anyway my mother always makes me feel like I have to justify my illness and decisions to her, she told me I didn't have cancer in the beginning.

I am sorry you too have this burden of trying to make everyone happy and have everyone stepping all over you.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX<-----HUGS. I have found that whether you want to or not, you just have to choose who you want on the "battlefield" with you..You are battling an illness and need no drama...Alienation has seemed to work for me :)I would just not include them and not make the information available to those that are causing you stress. They have no right to make you feel like that.

I am only one month into my battle and have to cut the team drastically. I am at a point where I truly don't care for my mother anymore and I KNOW that is wrong, but she has made conscious decisions to put her where she is at.

You have to worry about yourself and your children Sherry....That is your job, to get healthy and raise those children.

Once again so sorry you have to go through any of this....

Sending You Strength

Carie

NANCYL1
Posts: 228
Joined: Jun 2012

Sherry:

 

I am sorry to hear that you have all this "people stress."

 

My stress is that my family lives at a distance, in 3 different places.  Have not been very close.  But I am very disappointed that not one of them calls much and they rarely ask me how I am doing.  I bore my husband with my complaints.

 

I think that the word, "cancer" renders some people speechless and others, the opposite, as in your situation.

 

I think that even writing about all this helps the stress.

 

So, keep in touch with the board folks!

 

Nancy

 

 

GKH
Posts: 292
Joined: Jul 2012

Go fishing and leave the cellphone at home!

hiccup (not verified)

Sherry,

 

Well-- If it ain't one thing, it's another. You are in good company here, as we have all been overloaded with our family and friends' opinions. However, no one really urged me towards any herbal alternatives, and everyone was very on-board with chemo. As for support, it's been a few, select friends/family members that have truly helped me out. I only concern myself with their feelings and issues.

Because no one else has the time to support me in my hardest times, I usually don't give them much time to start their own drama.. if you get what I mean. Boy, is life too short :)

 

-Nathan

rescue911chick's picture
rescue911chick
Posts: 55
Joined: Mar 2013

All of you have good points, thank you for the responses! I need to remember that the only drama/negativity that's going to be in my life is what I "allow" to be & it's up to me to get rid of it.

Liz, thank God you're still going strong!!

Carie, the last thing I told my "best friend" (on 2-27) was that an oncologist looked at my PET scan results & wanted to see me the next day. Her only response was "Wow". That's it, nothing else lol. I pray your situation improves so you can get the privacy you need!

Nancy, my family is scattered all over the place. Mom's in SC, Dad's in NJ, siblings are all over the place. To be honest the ONE person I've been able to count on the most, who picked me up from the hospital that first day and who took me to the hospital for my biopsy is my EX husband's wife. We've always been close, which is a blessing because not many can say that. (I left him, I've never wanted him back, so there's no reason for us to not get along) But she's been a Godsend even more since this all started. I know it's great for the kids to see us get along so well, & I'm thankful for the true friend I have in her :)

GKH, fishing's not my thing but I do love photography. Maybe it's time I leave the cell phone home & go find something new to photograph :)

Nathan, life definitely IS too short! Time to weed out the drama queens and start focusing on those who are truly there.

Have a great Saturday everyone!!

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