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Is no support common?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm in the beginning of a series of not so good test results and procedures that are leading to more and more procedures.
I want to know why, even though I've been very selective as to who to share this info with (my mother, fiance, and children), it's like it went in one ear and out the other.
It's as though they don't believe me or something. I really want them to just go through this beside me, but it seems as though maybe it's a burden or inconvenient for them and they don't care to hear about any of it.
This isn't they're normal disposition towards anythink else, so why this??? Or maybe I'm over reacting?
Anyone experience the same? I'm so curious to understand... Please be totally honest because I'm a big girl and can totally handle the truth...


debrajo's picture
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

So sorry you are going through this and then to be upset at the cruelty of people. I have been treated just like you, not only friends, but really good friends and the worst, by family. I could give you a hundred reasons and twice that number of excuses for why people treat you this way, but it sums up into one word :FEAR(and relief)! They are so damm happy it's you and not them who has the "Big C' that they forget that you need them so much. I can tell you this much, when the dust clears, you will REALLY know who your true friends are...treasure them! You will fine true friends and a new "family" that you can say anything to, vent all you want, cry and laugh, even argue, here on these boards! We don't judge here and someone here has already been down the road you are just starting. Harden your heart to the old, unreliable people and open your heart to new people that understand. Easier said than done, I know, and try to give the family a little time to adjust to the new order of the dx. Hope this helps a little, Some one is always here to listen. Best, debrajo...and let us know what is going on with you!

Posts: 181
Joined: Jan 2009

Cancer diagnosis is very hard to come to grips with especially as a patient, your mind races with all the 'what ifs' that are to come, the lose of control, and the process that takes over your life. It is hard for family and friends to process it also and they will experience your cancer diagnosis differently than you are. I remember many years ago when a close friend was diagnosed with cancer, I wanted to find the right thing to say, I didn't want to say the wrong thing, so mostly I said nothing, which could have been interpreted as not caring, but that was the furthest thing from the truth. Now that I have received cancer diagnosis 3 times in past 3 years, I understand both sides, so I tried to give others a little more leeway in how I expect them to respond to my diagnosis. In fact this friend I speak of has been one of my biggest supporters through past 3 years for me, so she didn't hold a grudge at my lack of seeming compassion for her. I agree with debrajo that you will find out who your good friends are in this, but I have to disagree with her statement that others are glad that it is you that has the cancer and not them, I guess I am not a cynical person so I can't fathom that another person would actually be glad to hear another person has cancer.
Perhaps you could sit down with each of the people you mentioned ( mother, kids, fiance) and have a very open frank conversation, where you have the undivided attention of each other. I would imagine the conversation you have with your children would be different in certain ways than with your mother or fiance, just a thought for you.
Being at the beginning of this journey, you will go through a wide range of emotions, ups and downs..try to see that when you are down, you will be able to pull yourself up too, and if you find yourself without the support you need, talk to your doctor about it, there is much available for cancer patients in the way of support groups or counseling. This forum is excellent , just to speak your mind, to see how others are doing and to get inspiration to forge ahead no matter what you are going through, there are some very brave women here. We all wish you the best and hope for you to get through this and be able to continue on with a productive life.

Bittersweetly's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2012

My friend who is really into alternative medicine was telling me the other day how bad chemo is, and am I really going to do it when I could no doubt get cured in some other way (yoga? juice fast?) I was due to start chemo two days later. It was upsetting and confusing to hear this. Another friend said, "Oh, my friend has exactly what you have. They found a lump in her lung and they don't know what it is." I thought, wow, that is nothing like my situation at all!! (Metastatic nodules all over lungs.) Other comments have been made by friends, people I know really care...One of them said that my mind caused my cancer...there are many more examples.

I have come to grips with the fact that people don't understand my situation. And how can they? Some people really do understand and because of that they are able to be helpful and not be so into imposing their own views.

I think having cancer requires a great deal of communication. I don't feel I need to educate people exactly, but basically be able to articulate what I need. I don't want my whole family to come and visit, for example, it is too exhausting. Cooking me a meal I can freeze (specifying what kind and what is bad for me) would be nice. I'd love to see you when you're in town, but I might be too ill. You can call me, I like gettings messages, but I may not call you back....(had one friend get really mad at me when i didn't call her back right after i got my initial diagnosis.)

Anyway I hope this helps. People with cancer are very sensitive, and mostly the world is not. You can help people to know how to help you...I hope this helps and I wish you all the best.

Posts: 181
Joined: Jan 2009

I love it when people give unsolicited advice, especially from people that have never experienced cancer. I had a friend tell me to take baking soda with maple syrup to cure cancer and I would not need surgery to remove tumor or have radiation or chemo...really? I wonder if they would be around to help with my day to day care while I was dying from cancer if I did that? Sounds really mean of me I know it, but it really makes me crazy the things people tell you. I also had someone tell me I caused my cancer by bad eating, give me a break, even organic food grows in the same air as all the other food. Let's be balanced about all of this.

ANYWAY...how are you doing? Did you start chemo yet? I hope you are coping well and looking forward to better days. I loved your comments about helping people to help you, articulating it in a way for them to understand what you truly need..sometimes it's just peace and quiet.

What I have learned through 3 cancers diagnosis in 3 years is..cancer is not the same in each person, even the same 'type' of cancer, that is why doctors come up with a customized plan for each patient. Lung cancer (or any other cancer) is not the same in each person, etc.
I wish you the best with your situation right now, be strong and face each day anew, and yet give yourself a pity party once in a while if you need it. Happy thoughts equal Happy days!

Posts: 20
Joined: Sep 2012

My husband and I moved close by to his family members about 45 mins from family to be near. But now that I have been told I have cancer we see who our "real" friends are in life. Even family members I am speaking of..... when my husband told his brother he might have to go out of state while I have my radiation treatments the brother didn't even offer to help with a ride or anything! Not even "well Ron if you need anything let us know". Nothing. Just "well if she needs help you can hire someone in town to pick her up". I couldn't believe it. An these are die hard Christians who never miss church. The brother is a Deacon of the church. Does he offer a helping hand for his own? No. So I will take a cab if my husband is gone working a job and I need any assistance. I will work it out.

The good thing is you have a huge fan base here who will listen and give you any advice or comfort we can. OK? I know we aren't family but we do understand probably better than those family members who act like you and I are an inconvenient burden to them!!

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