• Where Are They?

    Asked by dealite2007 on Monday, May 13, 2013

    Where Are They?

    I'm done with my treatments and go in June for a follow up with my Medical Onc. Let's keep our fingers crossed. I'm in a realtively good state of mind except for one area. My friends don't call to even say hello. I live by myself and my son's away at school...so days go by without any contact with any friends (except at work where I keep things business-y.) I've been there for all of my friends, in desperate times for them, divorces, illness, dog-sitting, paying attorney's fees for one, putting another (nurse) through rehab and yet...I don't hear from them. I suppose I could call them, but I really don't feel that is my place to call them so they can ask me how I'm doing. Has anyone else experienced this?

    23 Answers from the Community

    23 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Yes, in other matters. But I have to say..I really try not to have expectations of others. Call them and don't mention cancer unless they ask. If you really do need to talk about it talk here or perhaps seek a therapist. Please don't put the responsibility of talking about your cancer journey on your friends or family..I think you will just disappoint yourself. Its too hard and its too much for many many people. That's not their fault. They are not being mean they do love you, they just cannot cope with life threatening illness. Take it slow and little bits here and there show they how to support you. Just take it slow.
      There is nothing wrong with seeing a good therapist. Its a gift to yourself. And will help you stay positive with your other relationships.

      over 3 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I understand what you are talking about. CAS mentioned not to discuss cancer when speaking w/your friends. Yeah, I hear ALL about their illnesses, but they don't want to hear me complain about mine. Not quite equitable. Especially when I let them vent about what's going on in their treatment or w/their meds, etc. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem being a sympathetic ear, but these people used to be a sympathetic ear w/me...

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Unfortunately your story is not an exception. There are many people who can not deal with illness and other hard time issues. I have discovered who my true friends are in the last 4 years. They are the one's who call when they have heard from me in awhile, and understand that being in treatment is can consume all of my time and energy some times. Others seem to have dropped off the face of the universe. One of my formally best friends (she is my daughter's adoptive "auntie" ) just cant deal with the issues. She has complications from type 2 diabetes, but illness just freaks her out. As far as i know she has never visited a friend who has been hospitalized, including me, though she did take excellent care of my DD and DH when i had my nephrectomy in 1995.

      If you have the energy try call some of them up and see how they are doing, sometimes people feel, that illness makes us not want to be called or interact with others, and yes i do have days like that.

      Good luck.

      over 3 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar

      Response to my answers....wish I could figure out how to respond to each indivdually.

      I don't speak of my breast cancer at all. I don't bring it up and I just keep on moving. So, now what is the reason?

      Thanks SueRae1 and BuckeyeShelby (sp?) for your responses. I'm glad I'm not alone in this. Thought for a minute it was just me.

      over 3 years ago
    • Tallgrass69's Avatar

      Yes I live alone too alot of people have dropped off the face of the earth.I dnt call cuz I feel like I'm bothering them they know I'm sick and I feel If they really cared they would call.

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      @dealite2007 you are for sure not alone, this topic has been up several times before. In the past the reasons I have seen stated were: The friends don't know what to say or how to act around us, and are uncomfortable. 2. They don't want to seem like they are "hoovering" over us, which isn't the case if they aren't even there, right? 3. Lots of times I have heard people say they thought there were lots of people at our place or around us all the time, and the others didn't want to put too much on us as in visits or too many people at one time. I think they just don't know. I agree with the others in that just call a few and talk, ask somebody over for coffee or whatever.

      As for answering, the easiest way is to use the @ symbol, then type the user name when answering, this will tag that person and make others able to click on the link and go to their page. And everyone knows who your speaking to also.

      Let me know if I can help with anything on the site.

      over 3 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar
      GypsyJule (Best Answer!)

      I was lucky to have several old friends who sort of came out of the woodwork to check on me, and one very close friend who called every day, and when I didn't feel like talking, she understood, but continuted calling. Still, I understand just what you mean - most of my "contact" was with work friends, and it's just different. I was most disapointed by a friend of 30+ years who knew what I was going through, yet never called, or even emailed. I'd been there for her through several divorces, financial difficulties, and also the joys she experienced becoming a parent and grandparent. I ran into her once during treatment, and she said she had been a "horrible friend." I hugged her, but didn't respond. Yes, she had been. That was 6 months ago and I still haven't heard from her. I hate that I carry around that resentment. I did truly learn who my friends are, and I also learned a valuable lesson in how to be a better friend in times of crisis.

      over 3 years ago
    • ddkk3's Avatar

      Yeah you really find out who your true friends are when you get sick. Everyone at school who I thought was my "friend" has just ignored me and not asked about me at all. It's really depressing, actually. I'm sorry it's happening to you as well.

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      We discussed this topic on a Facebook cancer group I'm in, and I was amazed at the responses from people who've lost friends and relatives over this. I lost 2 friends, but really thought it was an isolated instance and not really related to the cancer. I truly don't think it's from meanness, but more likely that they don't know what to say or don't want to intrude. Before I had cancer, I didn't call or visit a friend who had had cancer surgery, thinking to not intrude or "bother" her during her recuperation. Now I know I was wrong.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      You don't have to "Talk" about the specifics and still you are talking about it if the conversation is heavy...Meaning your not joyous or happy. Sometimes we spaek in a way thats louder than words.

      Again I will say it..The last thing we need to do is have resentment in our hearts about how anyone treats us. Just because we have cancer we cannot "expect" a certain responce from anyone. That may not be how they deal or choose to deal with the issue.

      If we give based upon what we expect in return we just set ourselves up for disappointment. No one will meet our expectations because no one is us. No matter how much we give no one "owes" us anything. And we have all made mistakes in this area too. Al of us can name times when we could have done more. At least I know I can name many.

      If someone does give thats wonderful and its really a gift. Its a treasure.

      Why not invite them over. Or, invite them for a walk with you or meet you for lunch. Sometimes we don't ask because we think we have to change our social habits now that we have cancer.

      Invite people. Reach out to your family and friends and see what happenes.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Maybe call a friend to go to lunch, out for coffee or whatever...

      over 3 years ago
    • virginisland11's Avatar

      Oh yea i understand i am living that but only difference its FAMILY one lives 5mins away and never came by.. It hurts but i have to say to myself hmm hope they can fight and survive they storms the way i did.. Its time to just relax and release those things thats putting more stress on you.. You have to remember people come in our lifes for reasons and sessons.. You dont need people in your life thats seasional.. Be strong ..keep your head up and be strong .

      over 3 years ago
    • JeanB's Avatar

      I am going through the same thing. I saw a t-shirt online that about sums it up, It says ""I have cancer, not Cooties." Cancer has taught me who my true friends are.

      over 3 years ago
    • leslie48240's Avatar

      Have you ever had a 'friend' or aquaintance that never STOPPED talking about their cancer and every single gorey treatment and reaction etc? There are many out there...and I think it ruins it for the rest of us. Scares the multitudes away from those of us who just need someone to check in with us, take us to a movie, etc. Cancer is a very scary thing...and many just panic at the very word. I'll have to admit...I have backed off from a couple that were just too 'needy' for me to deal with....but i try not to let them influence my interractions with others. Love this site for the ability to say all these things and share with others.

      over 3 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      Call them. They may be afraid to ask how you are doing or that you won't be able to do anything with them. I didn't know much about cancer before my diagnosis . I have to remind myself that while I live it everyday, others don't. Suggest something that you would like for them to do. Coffee, short visit, watch a movie together. They need to see that you are ok, then they will feel more comfortable around you:). Hope this helps. Stay strong!

      over 3 years ago
    • coco48's Avatar

      I find that people are afraid of the big C ... any type!

      I've noticed that people will stay away afraid that you are contagious ,and when the physical features become evident do to treatment they go running to the hills... I think that's there problem and they forget it's still YOU only stronger because what you've been through!

      over 3 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      Try calling one friend you feel will be most receptive to hearing from you...go out for coffee or brunch, away from your house where the person may feel "trapped" into talking about cancer...I know many, including myself, have been through this...my very dearest friend, after two years of barely speaking, has begun to come around and told me straight out that she avoided me because she could not stand the idea of losing me, duh! I felt I had lost her! Things are better, I took the first steps, life is too short for regrets...just reach out and I think you will be pleasantly surprised...good luck and God bless!

      over 3 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar

      I've always been uplifting when I spoke to my friends, we would talk about summer, and going to the pool, and our puppies and gardening. I'm very cheerful because I'm just happy to be here. I have e-mailed friends on Facebook to have dinner and no response. I even texted a friend to let me know what time she was walking her new pup and I'd join her in the adventure....never heard from her. What makes me sad is the friends I thought were my friends have gone away.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      Oh yes, I have experienced that sort of treatment before. Not since my cancer, but I have been treated like that before. I lived in a 4 unit complex and was always helping my neighbors out. I was pregnant with my second child and so sick that I had the heat up full blast and was even using the stove to keep warm. I had a 2 year old that I had to chase after and take care of when hubby wasn't home. One neighbor came down to my door one day and when I told her to come in she says, "Oh! Are you sick? Do you have a phone book I can borrow?" Not a word about what can I do to help. They are not friends if they can't keep in touch with you and keep you company during a rough patch in your life. My thoughts are they are afraid of you and afraid that they are going to have to hear about your cancer which probably scares them. I would not contact them unless you wanted to because in my opinion they are not friends if they cannot contact you to see how you and doing and to just chat. Make some new friends. Get out and get involved with some cancer groups with other men and women who have been through the cancer mill. I have my church and that is what keeps me going. Good luck with whatever you do and I hope that things straighten out for you soon.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Delite I hear what you are saying and I am really sad about it for you. I am trying to give you advise to protect yourself and your heart. Trust me I hear you and I am living it too. But I try not think about it so I can keep myself happy.
      I wonder if you can find a support group in your area..any kind of cancer will do.. Or think about what brings you joy..You mention puppies..Now we are talkin..Do you think you should or could get involved with a dog group? maybe through a shelter organization?

      For me doing good deeds for others brings me the most joy. Right now I am helping a wild life rehab facility organize a fund raiser. This gives me a lot of joy. I connect with like minded people and its rewarding. Doing is what takes my mind off of the cancer.

      What about volunteering at a ACS facility or the Hospital? You know what comfort is and you could help others.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar

      I agree with all the answers already posted and am sorry you are experiencing this. As a nurse I know how it feels to always be the one listening and being there for others.
      I did not experience this all all, but quite the opposite with my friends/family asking frequently how I am doing, what they can do to help, and sometimes reaching out when I would become particularly "quiet" or not be able to come to church or work. They were all at different levels able to also not intrude too much when I was overwhelmed with needing to be alone to study (I started grad school 4 days after I got my diagnosis) or sleep or space out in my own head.
      One thing that helped me and my friends/family was that I set up an email list which I labeled "Cancer support group" and I sent out emails frequently sometimes ranting, sometime just sharing up dates, sometimes asking for prayers or even practical day to day needs, and sometimes just "blogging" my feelings, etc. The people on the list were both local as well as friends/family far away who I correspond with but don't see much any more. At one point I remember apologizing to all of the people saying I really hadn't asked them if they wanted to be on my "list" and to please let me know if they would like to be taken off. I was so touched by the response, as so many of them said that it was a wonderful way for them to keep touch with me and know what to pray for and to know how to reach out to me. Other friends who I hadn't originally put on the list in my shock, would email me and ask to be on the list so they could get updates. The number of emails I sent out decreased over the last 8 months, but still I have people email me and ask for updates. I guess for me there was some degree of distance so I could share without crying (or at least they didn't have to see me crying all the time) and it helped me to write down my feelings which I couldn't always share outloud. I even put my sons on the list even though three of them live in my house, but it gave them a way to hear without having to feel guilty that they didn't sit and listen to me all the time.
      I had a separate "cancer support group list" for my friends/colleagues from work. Most of the time it was the same information but it also allowed me to sort of protect myself from the my job having too much information. Some of the colleagues are also personal friends so they'd end up being on both lists. :)
      So, I guess I am a testament to some positive effects of technology. Hopefully all our responses will be helpful.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nanajudy's Avatar

      Most people today are too wrapped up in themselves...I don't think you are alone. Try joining a support group...everyone will be in the same boat...,just as we are here. We need to all stay in touch....some days will be happy days and some days we'll have a pity party, just don't give up.
      Be well my friend

      over 3 years ago
    • nunnyperson's Avatar

      we all have good days and some not so good days....i guess i have some really great friends...they may not call or stop by everyday.....they have all told me that they know it's a hard time for me and have all told me they are a phone call away if needed or want company for me to call and it works out great......if i'm having a bad day and don't want to be bothered i'm not.....if it's a good day and i want company or i need something from the store----i call and someone comes by......i have lost a few but i understand some people just can't handle the big C...it scares the XXX out of them...they don't know how to handle it......you just need to understand and give them space they'll come around----if not maybe it's for the best.....good luck lady hope things get better for you......hang in there it will....Debbie from n.h.

      over 3 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more invasive (infiltrating) ductal carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma page.