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Touchy subject

Posts: 50
Joined: Dec 2009

Was wondering if anyone out there has run into this, or if it is, as many things are these days, all in my head. It just feel like a person here, a person there, people I have known forever, are stepping way back. As if the "c" word means, don't go there; as in anywhere near me. I realize a person doesn't know what to say most times to someone in my position, but it almost seems to the point of disassociation bordering on rudeness. Guess this is very minor considering, but I feel like saying, "Hey, I'm not contagious!" Or at least let them know not to write me off yet! And it does hurt when someone you were close to now gives you the cold shoulder, so to speak. Just wondering if others have experienced this and how any of you handled it. Should I just ignore it or try to talk to the person?

Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2009

I don't know about your situation but I found that when people asked me how I was they didn't want the truth I think all they wanted to hear was that I was ok. I had someone tell me not to become my cancer. So I don't tell anyone how I really feel except people on this site because they understand. only people who have been through this understand what it is like. I do have a friend who had cancer and is in remission who sometimes calls me and cries because she knows I understand she has alot of brothers and sisters that love her but they don't understand. I dont know if this helps but I have my friends that I have fun with and the people that I confide in .... good luck without to many details I don't know your situation hang in there

Posts: 50
Joined: Dec 2009

Ah, that is making sense, about what people really want to know. That kind of fits - keep the outside world all cushy n good, vent and say what I want here! Sigh, everyone isn't in the same pot of mine anymore. You make sense, thank you, Nana.

catcon49's picture
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

I ran into this with alot of my friends especially at work. I think that people are afraid to bring the subject up. Or they wait for you to approach it with them because they don't think you want to talk about it. I find this very hard because I am a talker. So I just give everyone a report after my visits to the doctors, and come here to really discuss what is bothering or worrying me deep inside. My mother ( stage IIIC ovarian Cancer) doesn't really even ask if I am okay. She only focuses on her illness. I also found that if I get scared about the future, people think I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. If I am too positive, there are those that think I should not believe what the doctor says. Then there are the people who think all cancers come back ( I hate that one especially).. So I try to give them what they can handle as they can handle it.

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

I am lucky enough to work in a place where many of my past and present co-workers lives have been touched by cancer - possibly because I work in a library among women-of-a-certain-age. (That's a term of endearment - I love my co-workers as I love my job) It makes for a huge outpouring of aid and support from that corner.

Other people, not so much. They're afraid, that's all - we are a reminder of their mortality, no matter how well we are doing, and nobody wants to look their mortality in the face and ask it a question. That's what I see, anyway.

Posts: 74
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for broaching this difficult "touchy subject". I thought it was just me who found people seemed to keep themselves at arm's length. Cancer is not contagious but as Staying Calm reminds me, I am a reminder of mortality. I am 3 months post "surgical " treatment with adenocarcinoma stage 1b awaiting my next PET scan with trepidation. My family does not want to address the possibility of any future problems and my closest friend ( whose father died of lung cancer when she was in college ) has all but abandoned me. I thank this site for allowing me to hear how folks who share my fears are coping. Thank you all for your honesty on this site.

cobra1122's picture
Posts: 244
Joined: Jul 2009

I have suffered the same fate as many of you, I have had alot of friends step away. Mostly because they cant/dont want to deal with mortaliy at all, it is easier not to face it and go on with their lives. Tho there is one small problem they fail to see in dooing that, I was once one of they. They take steps back and then promise to come by when things calm down for them to breath easier, that day will never come. But I am not mad or upset because it is their loss not mine.
My Wife and I continue on as we always have, laughing and loving acting like newlyweds. We know that the future is not what we had dreamed of, but we chose life and will continue to live it. My friends only see the shell and dwell on the future, but they fail to realize that God forbid in the future this could be them. That shutting out this world they have really stated that they dont and wont deal with it, but also wont enjoy the reality of life, that even in this we can learn more compassion, we can help by becoming more active and maybe helping strengthen the resolve to help find a cure, so that they or someone in their family dosent have to go thro this.
He_ _ , I am on Hospice and almost everyone I know has fallen to the waste side, as if either I have some disease they can get if to close or I have lifed to long. I know it is more like they just cant handle the reality of our mortaliy, The Marine that once lead 2 motorcycle groups, that was always there when needed, who never let anything slow him down was now in a powerchair, talking funny, and having a hard time getting through each day.
But I do get through each day, and I have fun doing it. I still laugh, do dumb things and make people laugh, I am there at my wifes work when a patient needs to talk to someone that has been there, but my friends dont see that. They have set themselves to live in a more comfortable world where disease is on the outside and they dont have to see it.
But again their loss not mine, because I am living reality and having a blast doing it. I am making a small difference in my community and sharing with people that otherwise I would have never met. I am not alone nor am I living as tho I am dying, tho my life has been shortened it is not over.
So when you think of those friends who have taken a step back, they are the ones who have losed. They have shut out a friend from whom they could learn what it really is like to live, and ti really be the friend they always said the were.

I have made many friends on this site, and I know they wont turn away because we live in the real world, where everything isnt just right. I wont turn away from them, because I understand and want to be there.

Our Prayers and Best Wishes to Everyone...,
Dan(cobra1122) and Margi Harmon

Posts: 50
Joined: Dec 2009

Wow. Dan, you and everyone within this site are truly the best of the best I have ever been in contact with. All of you make so much sense coming from so many different angles. It really feels a little like I have stepped into world that, although is filled with many beautiful, wonderful people, does not include those who were closest to me up till now. I am thanking God I was led here to get to know all of you. No matter what I am thinking, feeling, going through, there is someone within here that has been through it and can help, or least offer an ear! Thank all of you so much, and may God Bless all of You.


Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

You're right Debbie, coming to this site is like visiting another world - a world where everyone cares about you and understands what you are feeling and going through. It can be a sad world sometimes because of the pain and suffering that so many are enduring but mostly it is just a caring, loving world full of beautiful people.

I was thankful for finding this site when I was first diagnosed as many of the people here helped me through the scariest time of my life. They did it with love, laughter and encouragement.

I am 5 months post treatment but I come back here daily to read the posts to see if there is anyone I can help or encourage. The people on this site helped me (and are still helping me) and I feel I need to use my experiences to help others.

Never feel like you are alone as you have a rather large family here who cares about you.

Stay strong and keep smiling,


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