Friend Issues

Aim136 Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I need a little advice on a petty issue-2 weeks after my last chemo treatment which was 4 weeks before my surgery(lumpectomy) my best friend had breast augmentation surgery-it is really bothering me. Here I am fighting to keep my boobs not to mention my life & she wants to be pretty. As you can tell it hurts my feelings & makes me mad, I try to smile & have fun with it (we joke alot about boobs, always have). I just feel this was the most insensitive thing she could've done & I can't seem to get it out of my mind. Should I talk to her or take time to get over it on my own? It's not like she can fix it & she has talked about getting this done for the 9 years I've known her-I'm not sure if its really her or my own insecurity. Help please!


  • Susan956
    Susan956 Member Posts: 510
    I expect that you are more than a little sensitive now. If you had not have been faced with the beast I am sure that all of your friends jokes would have been hillarious... but the fear of the beast makes things that we always took for granted not be comfortable anymore. If she is a good friend let her know that you are hurting... but try not to ruin her joy.... As you said she has wanted to do this for 9 years... So she didn't do it to hurt you.... but I do know that this is a scary time of your life.... My lumpectomy turned out so much better than I feared... A year from now I am sure that the two of you will be able to laugh about all of this... You will have beat the beast... and she will still be a good friend...

    Take Care... God Bless...

  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Each person's struggles in life are just as important as any one elses. She is obviously doing something to 'cure' an inner self-esteme problem, just as important to her as your fight to 'cure' your cancer trouble is to you.
    Yes, dancing with the beast makes us very sensitive to others, but I had to realize that I DO have people around me that have just as important of issues as mine...
    PLEASE try to not look at her struggle as her it is as important as yours...maybe even saving HER life, by keeping her from depression....
    Hugs from a grateful lady,
  • karenack
    karenack Member Posts: 90
    I really get how you feel but you need to realize that while all of our lives are on stand-by while we go through this physical and emotional pain, other's lives go on. I really think your friend wasn't trying to hurt you and is wrapped up in her life like you are wrapped up in yours. That's okay. I don't think she meant to hurt you. If it makes you feel better say something to her, but do it in a way that is as nonconfrontational as possible. Maybe it will not only make you feel better but make her alittle more sensitive about what you are going through. Then let it is short and your network of friends are paramount to your recovery. Hope that helps...
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    After I had a mastectomy, a friend of mine had implants to augment her breasts. She was nervous about the surgery, excited too, and wanted to show all of us how things were turning out stitch by stitch(well, at least all the girls in the office!). I told her that it helped me see what that surgery would be like if I ever decided to go for implants. Turned out she had no idea I hadn't gotten reconstruction done already, but the fact is I don't want it. I've done a bunch of reading and concluded I would be happiest with a prosthesis. But at the same time, I have talked several of my friends with mastectomies into a variety of reconstruction choices. I feel strongly that everyone, including me, should have a choice in what we choose to do. When I talked to my friend, it turned out she had really been hurting inside for years that her breasts were too small for her body (size medium large) and clothes never fit quite right. I could see that getting the surgery helped her feel better in the same way that a reconstruction job would help someone after a mastectomy if they felt self-concious about it. Neither operation is needed to keep us alive, yet both operations make the clothes and bathing suits fit the way we want and both are done by the same kind of surgeon. I didn't understand why anyone would want to have surgery just to look pretty before bc. I mean, surgery isn't painless, cheap, or without side effects! But now I am willing to let others choose how much hassle they want. At the same time, I can identify with some of your anger. Life all of sudden is too short for unnecessary stuff when you are fighting for your life. I was suddenly no longer interested in reading fiction (a life-long hobby before diagnosis), watching TV, or shopping. My minister and friends at church, esp. the older ones who had been through some crises were able to talk about the serious stuff I was dealing with. My surgeon warned me that depression can be a problem for cancer survivors, but I didn't think I was that exactly. I mean, I was upset about a real problem that was in my chest, not my head. I spent a lot of time evaluating my life and dealing with "What happens if the treatment doesn't work?" kind of thoughts. I'll make five years since the mastectomy tomorrow. I am not the same person I was before cancer. It was not a comfortable process to face my mortality and figure out what was important to me, but it was good. Cancer support groups in town and on the internet helped me get some of the anger out and also see what others did when they were faced with the same issues. Good luck to you on your journey.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Aim,

    I think you summed it up with your first sentence. "Petty". In the greater scheme of things, that is.

    Your friend sounds like someone with whom you've been very close for a long time and that's a valuable relationship for both of you. Like the other ladies have expressed, people want and need joy in their lives and life doesn't and shouldn't stop for others because we have cancer. I can't believe your friend could possibly have any intentions of hurting you by getting her implants when she did. Most non-emergent surgeries are scheduled well in advance of the actual date, for starters. Not quite like going shopping for a specific item and suddenly indulging in some impulse buying. LOL

    I does seem a bit unconsciously insensitive, by continuing to joke about "boobs, though. Yet, since you're continuing to joke with her on that subject, she has no idea that it bothers you in the least. (My friend had mastectomy and reconstruction while I had lumpectomy...just weeks apart and we found humor in our situations...then as well as now). Perhaps if you just begin ignoring the joking while not initiating it at all and not participating when she initiates it, she'll quickly get the point. If not, then gently tell her that you just don't find the breast jokes as funny anymore and I doubt you'll need to explain why. Good friends are rare gifts and it would be a shame to lose a friend to a mis-understanding, when speaking up, carefully and thoughtfully, would remedy the situation.

    Good luck in resolving this situation. I have confidence that you'll find the right way to handle it. No need to suffer in silence and pretend anything with good friends. Words are better than assumptions any day.

    Love, light and laughter,
  • jamilli
    jamilli Member Posts: 16
    I too am a grown woman. I am awaiting reconstruction surgery in November. I had two instances of feeling the way you do (or did.) My girlfriend went and got pregnant with her third child right after my mastectomy. I shared with her that I was jealous and always wanted a third child. I gave her my congrats and have not heard from her since. (10 year friendship). My husband fell while mountainbiking while he was supposed to be working. He suffered a mild concussion, serious road rash and bruised ribs. I cannot leave my work to go mountain biking and I cannot mountain bike anyway because of my expander interfering with my shoulder muscles. Thus, I had absolutely no sympathy for him. He felt the lack of concern and I have been paying for it ever since with his indifference towards me. I really don't know what to say to make things better for you or me. I, like you, am honest with my feelings. Feelings are irrational. The mature thing is to acknowledge these irrational feelings as you have and deal with them in a rational way. BUT FIRST OF ALL YOU HAVE TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF AND GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. To this day, I am still jealous of my girlfriend's third child and still have no sympathy for my husband's mountain bike mishap. I think that the way to come out ahead in these situations is to continue to focus on yourself but in a more positive manner. Yesterday, it finally occurred to me that I feel sorry for myself. This heavy burder of dealing with breast cancer has interfered with my life and the things I enjoy. So, today, I got up and went jogging and did my stretches. I know I still feel sorry for myself and that it hinders me but I am going to take little steps to get out of it. The last thing I'd like to say is that I think you are really cute and honest and brave to admit these feelings that you have. Remember that they are irrational. You should definitely talk to her, talk to others and get over it on your own. Also, I want you to know that your subect has really helped me to recognise that I have been feeling sorry for myself and it has affected my personal relationships. So thank you. And take little steps to start loving life again.