How to help a sick friend

yodacat1 Member Posts: 2 Member
edited July 2022 in Multiple Myeloma #1

Please help me. I need some advice. I have a very dear friend who is a survivor of throat cancer. He was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma and is going through some very extreme and rough treatments. I have always let him know that I’m here for him texting every day just sending love and support. Until recently he was very appreciative and even said how much it means to him and that he couldn’t do this without me. Now suddenly he’s become distant and annoyed with my trying to contact him calling me selfish and saying I’m stressing him out while he’s trying to get better. I know he’s mentally and physically exhausted. I’m heartbroken but the last thing I want is to put added stress on him. It’s so hard for me not to contact him but he says that’s what he wants. I’m so sad that he’s going through this alone but he clearly doesn’t want to talk about it. I’m so afraid he will take a turn for the worse or even die and there’s no way I would even know. It’s so frustrating being pushed away and being told I’m selfish when all I’ve ever done is been there. I’m trying to be understanding and not take it personally because I know it’s the cancer and all the pain he’s in talking but it’s difficult. What can I do? Is this a common reaction that people have? Any advice?


  • po18guy
    po18guy Member Posts: 1,377 Member

    Sorry to hear of this. You might step back and give him the space he needs. It is true that family and friends can almost smother a cancer patient - many patients report this exact feeling. While it is a normal response to "be there" for the patient, it is also normal for the patient to need space and time. Treatment is an intensely personal experience and they simply need some room to adapt to the situation; to make sense of it all. Just as a wouned dog will bite its owner, cancer patients are physically and spirtually wounded and sometimes lash out. Regret almost always follows, but if he is asking for space, the best possible gift you can give him is the space that he desires.

  • yodacat1
    yodacat1 Member Posts: 2 Member

    Thank you so much for your response. That’s great advice. I will definitely do that. He knows I’m always here for him. I will back off and give him whatever space he needs to deal with things in his own way. Thank you very much for your advise. 🙏