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HAS ANYONE EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS?

don09's picture
don09
Posts: 91
Joined: Dec 2009

I was diagnosed in Sept.09 with non small cell lung cancer, prior to becoming ill, I was heavily involved in the community in which I lived, I was exposed to meeting many people some of which lead to what I thought were close friendships, meeting 3 times a week religiously over the course of 8 years.

I didn't decide to keep my newly diagnosed health status a secret, but almost as soon as they knew, they all with the exception of 2 vanished completely out of my life. Needless to say I was crushed as a result, and feeling quite bitter, but at the same time, trying to understand their behavior.

I would like to know if any of you on this web site have experienced the same or something similar? If so, I could really use your input.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

You may need to let them know you don't mind talking about it - sometimes people think you'll get upset or they'll say the wrong thing or they just plain don't know how to talk to you about it. I have lung cancer, and yet I found it next to impossible to make small talk with another co-worker who was suffering with a return of breast cancer. There is no small talk that fits, until you can address the issue of this monster in your living room ;-) If these are people you want to have in your life, then I would say let them know how you feel, tell them you understand how they feel and go from there. Otherwise, the hell with 'em, you're better off without them! ;-)
stayingcalm

don09's picture
don09
Posts: 91
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Stayingcalm,

Thanks so much for the response, and your input, it is much appreciated. This has been going on for a long time in mind as far as trying to figure them out, I had known from others misfortune with cancer that it is an awkward and uncomfortable situation for some. I have since, voiced my feelings and they claim they do not have difficulty with the situation of me having cancer, but I still to this day haven't heard from anyone of them, so "The hell with em" I am better off without them.

jol
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2010

hello don09
My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer recently and I have noticed people avoiding me. I think that sometimes people dont know what to say. They are worried that they will say the wrong thing. A few people have told me that they are very sorry and wish that they could say more, but didnt know what to say. My sister in law whom i considered myself close with hasent even mentioned it to me( I know for a fact that she knows). It hurts, but remember that people are not perfect and it is their own insecurities that keep them away. God bless and good luck.

warriorprincess
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2010

I don't think its "personal".. people just don't know what to say.
This was one of the reasons I was very open about telling people about my diagnosis/ treatment etc. I make sure I initiate the conversation, tell people whats going on, how I'm feeling, etc. If people say they don't know what to say, "I say "bu*ger and sh*t" seem appropriate!"... that helps!! I also found people thought I needed lots of rest, shouldn't work, didn't want to be disturbed etc. Whereas I have almost no symptoms, either from the cancer or the chemo, and am able to do pretty much what I was able to do before.
So, I think there is an awkwardness, that I know I feel when someone is sick, and if you can take steps to overcome that, then people will usually respond positively.

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

My husband dx Jan 2009 we have found what few friends we had have gone by the way side. We have been trying to make new friends but the older you get . Well lets jjust say not easy. We were always the ones that if you needed something fixed call us we would come running to help. Now that He is sick we can't help as much. So Yes we have lost what few fiends we did have. I try to think they are good people but have lifes of their own . Still stings. I try to think what did we do wrong that they are not there for us? Ours have gone so far as to say we will be over this weekend and the weekend come and goes and no one comes. They stopped calling .
Since my husband had to retire because of his health and insurance (long story) . Even these people are no longer there . Cancer robs us of our basic need of friends. Or maybe we just did not have them to start with. We lived here 31 years, Did the parents clubs the 4-h, the coaching, the Band , the football games . Worked the parent things when asked. We thought we made friends but not one has stopped by to ask if they could help or if we needed anything.
No matter how we try to justify the feeling it still hurts. So we think we are just gald we have each other.
Jennie

margie r
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

I have learned some new things. I'm divorced. Went back to work during 2nd round of chemo. Just finished my third round, was to rough to keep up. Going to start new inOct, suppose to be more tolerable. Its hard. People would call, I wouldn't anwser, to sick or wouldn't return calls. didn't want to see any one, didn't want anyone coming over. Place wasn't clean. my son visited, fussed about refrigerator, lol. Didn't want to worry him how bad I felt. But learniing with new things, friends want to help. I just need to give them the power and say, yes I need help. learned it will make them feel better. They don't care if everything is dusty, I cared. I'm learning that its as hard on the people around us, as it is having the cancer.

margie r
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

I should have let go a long time ago letting people help. When I first went back to work wit no hair. It got cold, would wear a heavy hat, wear a little one in the office. Forgot little hat one day. Got so hot, went into ladys room to take off and splash my face. Co-worker came in, I was embarrassed. She took my hand and lead me out on the floor, she told me they loved me. I can't tell you how many people came over and kissed my bald head. Thats what I need to remember. If I need for someone to bring me food, or come clean for me.I need to ask. I'm on total disablity now. I would suggest, pick up the phone and call some of them. You may be surprised.

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