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Sad Poll: Who was not there for you?

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

Did you have people that you thought would be there for you, but then were not? With Father's Day coming up, it just makes me think of my dad. Who never once through 6 months of chemo called me to see how I was. I always thought having a sick child would be a parents worst nightmare, he made it look easy. What about you, what was your experience with this?

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 370
Joined: Apr 2009

Well...NO ONE was there for me...or for my Mom either...it would've been really nice to have someone there when I was fighting for my Mom...to have someone who told me that I did things right...that I did the right thing...to have someone there I could maybe weep a little to...oh well...gotta get trained to life, eh? I don't care....I used to...but I learned not to. No expectations, no disappointments...*humpf*

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

whom I thought I was close to. Guess not. She's emailed me once, right after surgery in December, to see how I'm doing and if I'm gonna "beat this thing". I personally found that offensive. I haven't talked to her since.

Do you think the lack of conversation is because they really don't know what to say with a fear that they're gonna stick their foot in their mouth? I've often wondered that. Although, my mother calls me at least once a week to see how I am, as do my sisters, one of my other sisters-in-law and brothers.

Christine, you're right. Having a child that's sick or injured is the worst!! I wouldn't wish this upon anyone though, especially my kids. I'm so sorry that your dad was so uncommunicative. That's gotta hurt.

ETA: My friends at work have been wonderful. Nobody with sad faces anymore and my boss has been my biggest cheerleader. No more sad faces, they know I've kicked this cancers ***. They're wonderful human beings who've offered to do more than my wonderful family has -- and my family has offered a lot!!

Others have said that this is their weakness, not ours. You're all right. It's their weakness that's caused them to miss out, not mine.

PamPam2's picture
PamPam2
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Yep, My boyfriend of several years took a job about an hour away and rented an apt. there, he has a house not far from mine. Called me about once a week, just faded away. And my best girlfriend of over 15 years abandoned me too, she made the remark it would be too painful to watch me die, not sorry I had to disappoint on that account! I have to say the boyfriend tried to come back into my life after all my surgeries and chemo was over and I was doing better, no way. There were a couple people I had not been real close with previously that did step up to help me a little with rides, stayed with me at hospital, had benefit, cooked me something, and so on, so I guess I made some new friends too. Mostly, I was on my own. I am over the hurt, but I do not think I can ever forgive.
Pam

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

No one that mattered to me wasn't there for me. I "lost" a few people I worked with. It was like I was contagious but more likely it was that cancer hit a nerve with them somehow. It has a way of doing that. My family and friends have been supportive the entire time.

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

I figured they wouldn;t help me,the eldest, if I ever got real sick. Sure enough,six months after mother's death,I get my Dx and when I ask sister to drive me for Tx as I could no longer do so and I get the same song she sang about our mother: "My family comes first, if you think......".....Brother helped a little at first but to him, it was like I had an ingrown toenail--five minutes on the internet and he could've educated himself but no......"What do you mean the chemo is killing you?....Did you tell your doctor? What medicine are you taking?" After awhile he stopped even calling. Relatives also nowhere to be seen; have no idea what siblings, who were close to cousins, told them about me-I'm only one never married, no kids, worked either nights or midnights 33 years so never around for alot of family stuff' everyone else married with kids-my lifestyle totally different. Anyway....

A "Friend" of 35+ years was no where to be found when the one time I called him to help me.

So me and my girlfriend, along with my doctors,nurses,etc and after Oct 2, people here when I found this site, have kept me going. But during the darkest hours, the scariest of times, the worst moments it was my girlfriend who kept me alive and she's my only motivation to beat this......And thats ALL I NEED!!!!!

Rescently,tho, three men I used to work with many years ago called out of the blue. The two I was closest to both cursed me out for not calling them for help when we could really have used it but I told both, as we hadn't communicated in quite some time, how can I call to ask for help (shopping for us,driving girlfriend to stores, me to Tx,etc)after not speaking to you guys all those years? So now we'll call each other as we're all retired now

This upcoming Sat I plan on going to my first Relay with the aim of meeting face to face another colostamate, which I haven't met yet in person, so we can rub bags together.....

Anyone out there on their own who needs an ear, PM if you want......steve

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

to tell you the truth I haven't thought much about this subject over the past 6 years of fighting cancer. I am either surgical post surgical or chemoed out....if not then I am on a high just not having to do chemo

I thank the my lucky stars for my some friends and over course hubby and daughter but I found when it come right down to it....you are going down that path alone. It's tough sometimes but sometimes I did not want friends around....sometimes they are too much work when all you can do is lift your flippin head on the pillow.

I guess I am sort of a what will be will be person and if people didn't show up that's ok too....rarely saw by brother but that's ok too....

no time for regret

mags

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

I lit that...no time for regret

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

to tell you the truth I haven't thought much about this subject over the past 6 years of fighting cancer. I am either surgical post surgical or chemoed out....if not then I am on a high just not having to do chemo

I thank the my lucky stars for my some friends and of course hubby and daughter but I found when it come right down to it....you are going down that path alone. It's tough sometimes but sometimes I did not want friends around....sometimes they are too much work when all you can do is lift your flippin head on the pillow.

I guess I am sort of a what will be will be person and if people didn't show up that's ok too....rarely saw by brother but that's ok too....

no time for regret

mags....sorry don't know why I got 2 of this....is there no way to delete?

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mar 2003

I have a lot of thoughts on this subject. There are people who are in our lives when we have positive things happening, but not when the chips are down. I don't think of it as an insult, I think of how weak THEY are. They do not know how to give selflessly; they do not know how to process their own feelings; they do not know how to realize that this is NOT about them, but about someone else; they feel helpless. It's easy to fault someone for not being there, but unfortunately, that is their personal way of handling things. We are stronger, we "get it." We realize how short and precious life can be, and they probably never will.

Having been through what we have been through, we understand. We needn't be sad for what they didn't give us, we need to remember that they are sadly cheating themselves.

Don't let these feelings bring you down...tap into your internal strength and TRUE friends to keep you on TOP OF THE WORLD!

Monday hugs to you,

Stacy

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

I am more like Mags. My family was there for me- especially my mother and twin sister. The man I was involved with at the time faded away- but think that was coming before cancer dx. I had many many friends, coworkers and neighbors step up to the plate. No regrets.

I do find it interesting- almost offensive? My ex-mo-in-law, whom I adore to this day- really brushed off my experience by comparing it to every tom-dick-and-harry she has ever know who had cancer of any form. My ex-sis-in-law had breast cancer and it never fails that she brings up how she never took any time off while going through chemo, etc, etc. (and here I was 3 hospitalizations due to chemo- I was pretty sick on chemo and 3 surgeries). Not to downplay her experiences and not trying to one her up or anything, but I would just like to slap her silly when she implies I am a whimpy complainer!.

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm wondering...do we have the same in-laws? LOL

-Pat

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

My brother and I were not close growing up (even though we were only 15 months apart). We went our separate ways when we got married, but we ended up living in the same town. For about six years we were very close, then all of a sudden his wife closed off our side of the family. She refuses to come to family gatherings and I'm wandering if she's even going to come to any family funerals. (We haven't had one of those in a while).
Before cancer I helped my parents with my Grandmother (105) who lives with them. I was up every other Sunday so they could go to church. My sister-in-law told me they had their lives to live and they would only go up to help about once a quarter. Both of their sons are not married, one lives in town, one travels a lot. My sister-in-law's family lives out of state. She doesn't work and my brother works for the state and has lots of vacation time and about to retire.
It was my sister-in-law who cut them out of our lives but my brother had to go along with it. So I don't expect much from them anymore.

Debbie

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I had several long term friendships that took a u-turn when they heard that I was sick. These were people I have known since the 70's and 80's and I had invested a lot into the friendships.I was ALWAYS there when they needed to cry on my shoulder about their misfortunes but they left me at a time when I really needed them. One 'friend' who I have known since 1972 called me in the hospital the day after my surgery and gave me his version of the last rites....basically told me it was ok for me to go ahead and die, never even asking any specifics about my situation...just thinking cancer = death. And apparently he was through with me; had written me off.I was deeply hurt by the actions and reactions of people until I realized that it is their weakness, not mine. It is their loss, doesn't have to be mine. I will say that seeing how my long term friends have manifested I am very reluctant to start any new friendships...especially with folks who tend to just drain all of the energy I have.

I am so sorry that people in their weakest moments get deserted by those who should be their advocates. I don't know how to fix it. Something seems to be missing or malfunctioning in their inner being. I personally have just "shaken the dust and moved on". Not mad or bitter just see it for what it is and move on.

-Pat

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

There are many things to be grateful for. I have plenty of family members who are there for me and my best friend is there for me too. The ones I am most disappointed about are my father and my brother. My father has been neglectful most of my life so that is no big surprise. I just wish he would at least act like he cared. My brother is the biggest disappointment because we were close growing up and we only live 23 miles apart but he acts like I don't exist. He has been on a health kick for the last year and it seems as though he does not want to be dragged down by someone with health problems. He doesn't even call to check on me much less visit.

Eric

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

not to make excuses for your brother, but I wonder if he's scared? How is he when you call him? I know what you mean about the Dad who isn't there. I think it's sad and it's his loss. Anyway, I'm glad that you have the rest of your family to support you.
~Aud

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

3 of my 4 (2 step and one 1/2) brothers never came over or even called. Yes we grew up together sense little kids. NOT EVEN A PHONE CALL!!

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

sorry your Dad was not there for you. I have a great understanding of that, not during cancer treatment, but through other things in life.
My Dad died in 2003 (suddenly) and just prior to that I made the decision to forgive him, which was more like a process than an overnight decision actually. It helped me to heal emotionally.
Holding you in the Light for healing and peace.
~Aud

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

I have not really been disappointed. Things worked out pretty much as expected as far as support. Was not expected was how much closer my brother and I have become. We talk once or twice every weekday. He calls during his commute (west coast) and I am unemployed (east coast).
It has been really nice to get to know him better, see my niece, his daughter a few times and just enjoy each other's company, even if it is mostly just on the phone.

pamysue's picture
pamysue
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

We had always been there for each other. Whatever the other needed. Never kept score.

My son was only 20 when I had my bowel resection, etc... then I went into renal failure. 5-7 day hospital stay turned into 3 weeks. I don't even remember the first week. Psychologist said it was not unusual. Said it was a psychotic break.

On day 4, I was told later, my sister left. She did not call my son. Said she was sick and tired of me acting like a whiny little ***** and when I wanted to apologize she would speak to me again. I have no memory of this.

We have no other family here. But have really good friends.

But she left my son alone. Her first and "favorite" nephew. She was there when he was born. That's been over 2 years ago and neither me nor my son have heard from her. It still hurts me deeply that she could just leave him. I hate her.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Pamysue and so many others here- wow. My heart is aching for you all. I have quickly been made to realize by reading all your posts here how fortunate I have been with people around me. The only significant friend in my life who's ditched me since my dx is a friend who I had thought my best friend since elementary school. That makes me really sad. But, she's been the only one like that- family and friends around me have been great.
I guess when people in your lives have checked out, it's just that for whatever emotional/mental reason, they could not deal with your sickness. Either way, they were/are being selfish, of course. Either they don't want your sickness to "bring them down"- can't deal with bad news in other aspects of life, I'd bet- or they can't deal with it because they "don't want to see you suffer or die". Again- either way- it's very selfish.
So sad- but- you've got to try to forgive and let it go. NOT that that's what they deserve from you- but for YOUR sake. Although I'm not dealing with this particular hurt in my life- so maybe it's easy for me to talk, you may be thinking- but I have dealt with other kinds of hurts in my life and I know from firsthand experience it's healing and catharctic to forgive others, even when you don't want and even when they truly don't deserve it. It's for YOU. Think of them as emotionally ill, in that they cannot deal with anything unpleasant, that affects them in some way, anyhow. That really is a handicap for people like that in life.
I had all kinds of hurts from my dad (who died of AIDS in 1995)- things I found out about his past, how he lived a double life and a lie to us- I always thought he was a straight laced guy. Well, I discovered my dear old dad was soliciting gay prostitutes in public bathrooms. There- I said it- I've never told anyone outside my family and close friends who already knew that. After he died, I found out lots, lots more. It was horrible.
I was horrified and very angry with him for a few years after his death. It was a process to get to the point where I realized he was also a victim from his childhood of some awful things and that this is the sad way he responded to his broken situation. I know this is a totally different situation than friends and family turning their backs on you when you got your cancer diagnosis, but my correlation here is that it was very healing for me to get to the point where I cried and talked out loud to my dead dad and forgave him and told him I understood why he behaved in the way he did and that I loved him.
You may have the opportunity to do this face to face with those who have "abandoned" you. Or maybe not. But if not face to face, even just to them in your mind/heart- for YOUR sake. Just some food for thought.

Take care and hugs to you all-
Lisa

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

I wanted to thank everyone for sharing their experiences with being shut out by people who really should've been there for you. None of us deserved it. All of your stories either reminded me of my situation and or helped me see different sides to it. Lisa, I am sorry about your dad, I am glad you were able to find peace with it and thank you for sharing. Thanks again everyone, it really did help to hear your stories. If anything it has helped me see who my true friends are and allowed me to appreciate the ones that really matter.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am so sorry for everyone's pain with this issue. I have had a few disappointments in this area but the positive people have far outweighed the disappointments. Some of the people who have been there for me are complete surprises; people I would never have guessed would be there in the way they have.

PammySue, I am really sorry that your sister abandoned you and your son when you needed her the most. It is hard enough when someone lets us down but when they also let our kids down...that is really difficult.

Lisa, That must have been a very tough experience for you to go through, thinking you know someone and then finding out he had a secret life. Good for you for forgiving him. Thank-you for sharing that story with us + trusting us enough to do that.

Take good care, everyone + try to focus on the people who have been there for you during this journey. Let them know how much you appreciate them + all they have done for you.

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 370
Joined: Apr 2009

@Lisa: I say good for you. Not the fact that you told us...but the fact that you could still forgive him...I amazed. See? That is a huge difference between your point of view and mine...I will NEVER EVER forgive to anyone, including this whole world about what happened, and how they happened...NEVER! And I am angry, mad, full of hate, but I cannot change it because I cannot go against my very own thoughts...so, I'll just stay unforgiving, and angry...but you are a good person, I can tell. You forgave him. You were able to reason why he acted/lived the way he did...truly, you are amazing!

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

that you had to deal with your sister's abandonment along with your illness. It's very hard. Wise Lisa talked about forgiveness and I do believe that can be healing for your soul. It's sometimes hard, though, to think about forgiving when you are hurting. Lisa, I too came to forgive my Dad, probably a few months before he died (suddenly). Different reasons, different story, of course, like all of us. I do understand the hurt, the devastation of being let down by the ones who we expected to love us, and the healing power of forgiveness. And I'll say again, it's hard, and it's a process.
I think we need to be patient and kind with ourselves.
I am glad, Pamysue, that you have really good friends.
Holding us all in the Light for healing (physically, emotionally) and Peace.
~Aud

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

What was my experience? I expected nothing, so what I got was a wonderful surprise. That's the advantage of being a pessimist about people and life.

--Greg

462lt's picture
462lt
Posts: 118
Joined: Jun 2010

My boyfriend broke up with me Thursday because he "was not strong enough". Isn't that special. Good riddance.

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2120
Joined: Oct 2009

One of my sisters, the only that is only 2 years older than I. She has never called to check up on us. She wrote a happy e-mail a few months ago and I e-mailed back, well, a vile e-mail. She wrote back, I'm sorry but so far, no call. At this time if she did call I think I would hang up.

On the happy side, I wrote over 40 thank you notes when George came out of the hospital, he got more flowers, books, hand held video games, visits and the like that truly floored us. Not a week goes by that many, many check up on us. I send out e-mail updates and get more responses then I have time to read.

Tina

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

On the happy side, I wrote over 40 thank you notes when George came out of the hospital, he got more flowers, books, hand held video games, visits and the like that truly floored us. Not a week goes by that many, many check up on us. I send out e-mail updates and get more responses then I have time to read. (I don't know how to italicize)

Tina. I love that people email you. I also got so many letters and gifts. It's hard to keep up. :)

Love and Hugs,

Holly

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2120
Joined: Oct 2009

But for one, family and friends have gone beyond what I ever would have thought. One of the young girls that works for George even put together a basket with sports magazines, hand creams, hand held video games and all kinds of stuff, wrapped it up and had her Dad deliver it to the house. It was a most precious gift that she put a lot of thought and time into. Her thoughtfulness and card blew George away.

Take care - Tina

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Tina,

That is very thoughtful + shows how highly she thinks of George, to put that much thought into it. Good employee!

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

462lt, Good riddance is right! If he thinks he is not strong enough he probably is not! Others who are strong enough will reveal themselves, if they haven't already.

david54
Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

This is choking me up here. I don't know you (Obviously) but your boyfriend lost the most beautiful person he will ever have in his life. His loss! Respectfully-he didn’t deserve you!

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

I wish he would have stayed and at least helped you through. If he wasn't strong enough, then his weakness wasn't your fault. It was his. I am still so sorry that he left.

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

That is too bad he is not man enough to handle cancer. One thing this disease has done, is brought some realy clarity to my vision of the people that are true friends, F*ck the rest.

david54
Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

Hope this doesn’t sound too smaltzy-I am a husband of a spouse with stage 4 colon cancer. I am with her, and I am with ALL of you, perhaps not physically, but emotionally, spiritually………. I am at your sides 24/7. I mean that 100%.

David

Lisa_R's picture
Lisa_R
Posts: 59
Joined: Oct 2009

OMG i was just going to post something similar .. my best friend of 20 yrs , moved back to the area after i was "stable'and not on treatment... she said that it was fate so she could be closer and help out... after about a year of her being back, i had a liver resection and a full hysterectomy and received a 2 nd dx of uterine cancer ...i haven't talked to her in a month and when i texted her to ask her what her problem was and i needed her... she said she needed time and had a life too... Up side my in law family have been rock solid and my family does what they can... but live far away... but i am still sad about michelle ... i think cancer makes people sad and its been a death sentence for so long that most people dont get the fact we are living longer and stronger...

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I don't know of anyone that wasn't there for me. I was and am very fortunate!

So sorry to hear that people have run when you needed them most!

angelsbaby's picture
angelsbaby
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

Had a few friends that came over to visit but his brothers and sisters and mom and dad in california were there for him off and on for 18 months but now only his mom and dad and one sister calls me the other 2 brothers and 2 sisters don't even call me or visit.It seems like when angel died so did their love for me died too,My son from califonia calls me 2x week and my other son only calls to talk to his kids or wants money for drugs. I have known his brothers and sisters for 35 plus years Maybe they didn't really like me that much but just pretended to because they loved their brother. I am sad and angry that they can just forget about me. But you know what i am ok I have the grandkids that love me .Angels mom is so worried about me being alone when she calls she just cries and tells me how sorry she is I just love her so much. I know one thing, angel is probably very mad at the way they are treating me right now. It has been 14 almost 15 months since angel died and i think i am doing pretty good and i really don't need those kind of people around me anyways. Sorry just venting.It was about angel and we all did our best to care for him.

michelle

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