You know, I had a friend who basically "deserted" me the first time I had cancer. This second time, however, she has been wonderful. But 9 years passed when we could have been friends that we weren't; no matter how I tried to mend things, she just wasn't ready.
I think some people just can't handle the thought that 1) you might die and 2) they are just as vulnerable to cancer as you are.
The only way I can see to "solve" it is to let some time pass; I know I tried nearly everything, but my friend just couldn't handle it. Happily, she is MUCH BETTER now. But it took her 9 years! :0