• After I was diagnosed some of my friends were here to support and help me, but several acted like they didn't even know me.

    Asked by MerryMaid on Sunday, February 16, 2020

    After I was diagnosed some of my friends were here to support and help me, but several acted like they didn't even know me.

    Has this happened to anyone else? I mean that they act like they don't want to talk about cancer or talk to me. I have needed a couple of them a couple of times and they disappeared. I just can't believe this after all I have done for them over the years.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar

      Quite a few people are not comfortable around anyone who has a life-threatening disease, whether it's cancer or COPD or lupus or heart disease. Being around these people reminds them of their own mortality, so they avoid all of us.

      Try not to take it personally - it is what it is. We learn who are "forever" friends are when we have cancer - the "for better or worse" friends.

      about 1 month ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      Yes, people who you think will be there just disappear. Maybe they think cancer is contagious? Or they can't handle Your diagnosis? It's really strange how people react to the big C. You really find out who your family and true friends are.
      I had a neighbor who had learned I had cancer and when she saw me outside, she would scurry into her house without waving. She used to wave or come over to talk if I was outside. But once she found out I was sick, she would almost run into her house. This went on for a few years until they finally moved away. People are just weird.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      Yes, unfortunately I have seen this happen with a few people I considered friends. But, I've also noticed another phenomenon. I've had a number of casual acquaintances, people I've not know that well, make a special effort to come to me to say they are sorry, they will keep me in thoughts and prayers and be sure to call on them should need arise. I was touched by that.

      I want to add there was one woman in whom I was particularly disappointed when she seemed to completely ignore and avoid me after my diagnosis. When I expressed my disappointment to my sister she reminded me that this person had recently spent several weeks staying with another friend who had been living out the final days of a terminal cancer. I realized then that she just wasn't ready to face my diagnosis. She is forgiven.

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Fairly common response, actually. They simply do not know how to act or what to say. I have had some dismiss my journey, saying "Oh, you'll be fine."

      Right. I will keep my thoughts private...

      about 1 month ago
    • smlroger's Avatar

      Yep it can be most uncomfortable for all. I think most people, especially those who have not personally faced a life changing/ending event feel very uncomfortable with thinking about their own mortality. I mean we all grow up thinking we are going to live forever and when someone close to them proves that wrong they can't deal with it. We probably didn't deal with very well when we got the news about ourselves either. It's natural. I think most will grow into it with a few that just cannot. For me, no harm no foul. We all deal with life in our own way. We go on.

      about 1 month ago
    • Sasukesuma's Avatar

      Sometimes it the ones you think will be most supportive who disappear. Several people who I thought were close disappeared. I am now in remission and last week called one of them and invited her out to coffee. She accepted and it was just like the last three years never happened. I don’t know how to explain it. My best friend, though was on vacation when I was diagnosed. I called her and we laughed and joked about it and the next day she was on a plane home to help me out. She basically took a year out of her life to help me.
      When my husband was terminally ill with colon cancer my teenage son’s friends would drop in and sit at his bedside and talk with him for hours. His brother with whom he was really close basically disappeared until I called him and told him that if he wanted to see him before it was too late he had better get his XXX over here soon. He drove 3 hours through a blizzard and I swear it gave my husband an extra 3 weeks of life. All my life I have had a close family member with cancer. So I guess I just have more experience dealing with it. Some people don’t have that experience and don’t know how to handle it.

      about 1 month ago

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