Post
Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

What Cancer Actually *can* Take From You.

Back in September, I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called IBC.  They don't mess around with you, they throw you right in to treatment, and I responded very well.  

But, I lost my best friend, and a few other friends over it.  I guess they just can't deal with it - there are people I haven't heard from since September when they learned I was 'sick'.   Others have stepped up and been wonderful though - some folks really surprised me with their support and have been so fantastic!  And then while talking to other cancer patients I found out this is really common.  A lot of people can't deal.

The thing is, that except for an initial month of freaking out, I have been fine.  To my way of thinking, I'd have to be an idiot *not* to be fine when I saw the chemo working.   I am not depressed, sad, scared...I'm really happy to feel so great, and have my wonderful man, and children, and pets, and plants...life is great.  It is.  I laugh every day.  I had 7 months of chemo without throwing up once.  What is to complain about?

But, one thing I won't do - spend a lot of energy making someone else feel ok about my cancer.   Come to terms with it or not, on your own.

So, that is something that cancer can take....and does take.  Friendships.  

Don't do that to your friends.  I am strong and will do what's best for me, and that is to let this friendship go.  But, it still hurts.

Goodbye, Lisa.
DiscoveryChick DiscoveryChick 41-45, F 10 Responses Apr 14, 2011

Your Response

Cancel

My friend basically lost her husband when she was diagnosed. He wasn't supportive and then had an affair. It's very sad. But now she's OK and dating someone awesome and her life is better. Let those people go and move on. It weeds out the fake people. Good luck :)

I have a close friend who had a bout with cancer several yrs. back and I remember being blown away when she told me that some people acted like she was contagious. I first thought she was joking but she wasn't....some people for whatever reason just don't get it.

Thanks very much for the support, everyone. I am still doing well, not a trace of cancer. I haven't changed my mind about Lisa, the primary person to whom I was referring in my original post. <br />
<br />
My Mom died in September, and Lisa came to her funeral. I imagine there was quite a bit of guilt there; my mother was mother to Lisa as well, making her wedding and bridesmaid dresses - they were always close. Mom was in the hospital 5 months before she died - Lisa knew. Small town.<br />
<br />
So, I hugged her, and I talked to her, and I was kind to her, and listened to her. And when she called me, I didn't return her call. It didn't give me any comfort to have her there, but I didn't want to cause her any more pain. I just don't want her in my life. I *do* want to spend my time with the people who were always there for me...mind you, I had 7 months of some of the roughest chemo you can have, followed by surgery, followed by 7 weeks of radiation in which I was burned really badly (and that's a hell of an experience, let me tell you), and then followed by an anti-cancer drug that makes me feel like I have the flu. <br />
<br />
I was happy to give her some comfort, but that is all. I do not want her in my life, don't miss her, don't need her - I don't even think I like her anymore. It's so sad to say, but it's also true. Maybe I will change my mind later, and maybe I won't. That's for then. For now....I am done.

you are doing great GOD bless you keep it up real friends will support you completly don,t worry about the others just concentrate on your healing and be happy . vinny

Congratulations on the report from your doctor and your great attitude

Here's to you, fair lady. That makes me smile for you. Maybe I am way too cynical but I would have a hard time reaching out to those who had put conditions on the friendship and had shunned me when I needed support the most. I would feel, having won the battle, that I would want to be close to the ones who stood beside me and it is with them I would celebrate the victories.<br />
<br />
But...when all is said and done....you are the victor. That's the most important thing of all. The rest is petty compared to that. Way to go, champ.

I am so pleased for you. I really am... once again I must say, I am inspired by your strength and attitude.

Thank you, Topbear, for your support!<br />
<br />
Richie, I don't know. I believe it is, and that's ok. Believe me, lol, I am upbeat - very lucky in that regard, haven't felt oppressed or anything other than the first month after diagnosis.<br />
<br />
But it does look as though I'll have plenty of time to think about it, as my doctor called me today to say that I am cancer-free, and had a complete response to chemo!! <br />
<br />
:)

Hopefully its not 'GOODBYE' - As a person who has had cancer off and on since 1981 you will see many surprises, especially from family and friends - BTW -'Off' is better - <br />
<br />
Some may not know how to handle it. Maybe you may want to reach out to them and let them know how you are doing. Be upbeat. But also know - and let them know - that you primary focus is to get better. <br />
<br />
Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

You are absolutely right. You have enough issues to deal with on your own to have to be concerned with how other people cope. With an attitude like theirs, had they been in your shoes, things might not have gone so well.<br />
<br />
Congratulations on standing strong. It kind of explains why things are falling into place for you. May you be still writing stories fifty years from now.