Monday, 23 May 2011

So no-one told you life was gonna be this way

Generally, people take stock of friendships when they are confronted with hardship; the understanding is that this is when you find your true friends. This however is not the case with cancer; the word comes with so much baggage that people are at a loss on how to approach it. My friend and gym buddy J admitted that I didn't hear from her for a week or so after my initial email message informing her of the diagnosis simply because she needed time to process the news; and also, she didn't know what to say. I know where she's coming from as I most probably would've done the same in her case.

However, there are friends who have disappeared; and much as I have tried my very best not to take it against them, I cannot help but feel hurt. I'm certainly not expecting daily telephone calls nor email messages, but a little message of support is always uplifting, especially from someone who has been considered close to the heart.

I hope that these disappearances are temporary and once I've received the all-clear they will come back into my life again. However, if for whatever reason they decide that our friendship was not worth it then I will move on. Although cancer should not be a test for friendship, it has strengthened a lot of my relationships: friends who were close before are even closer now, and some acquaintances have developed into firm and beautiful friendships.


  1. Perhaps it's fear keeping them away?
    I rather suspect that for some it might be a case of fingers in the ears going 'lalalala'. The C word (and I dont mean Chinot) can cause people to react in different ways...maybe some people are simply too unerved by it all. If they pretend it doesnt exist then it wont visit them!
    Ok enough of my amateur pyscho analysis. Im not really one to talk about friendship anyway...I once had a good friend who was bitten by a poisonous snake. If I knew the difference between anecdote and anitdote he might still be alive today!

  2. Hi Chinot, may i share this blog to Alice S?

  3. Dear Chinot,

    Always my <3 to you here from the U.S. Perhaps these ppl have other things going on that require their focus? Just wondering. I sometimes felt the same way when I go through my own tribulations. Did I think people deserted me? I had to rationalize it via other ways, such as the fact that people are usually preoccupied with their lives and their own troubles. Ultimately, I was able to accept that not everyone could be there to assist, even when I felt I needed it.

    Some people will be there for a short bit but after a while, the reality sinks in and it becomes a longer term matter. Hence, people go on with their lives it seems.

    Over time, there is adjustment to a new reality, regardless of how difficult or challenging it may seem. Nevertheless, you will prevail (as I have), over this current situation. I think about you all the time!

    This blog is a blessing. I read it everyday and every time you post. We are all thinking of you!! Hopefully, you feel the strength of our prayers and thoughts regardless of where we physically are.

    Much <3, from the West Coast.

  4. The one thing I know for absolute certain is not one of your friends, be it the doorstop angels or the ones who are conspicuous by their absence, thinks your friendship is not worth it. I guarantee that, but that does not mean it is not hurtful for you to wonder where some of your close friends have gone when you need them the most.
    The thing about friends is we're all different. Some friends are the good time party people that we buzz with and share amazing times with and party with, other friends are the quietly solid friends, the people that we take for granted maybe just because they are there and are low maintenance. Some friends are from the gym, some from school, some from Costa Coffee, some from our past, some are family and some are just friends of other people we see often. BUT noone knows what kind of a friend they are going to be when faced with something like a mate with cancer. Just as some people are great at parties they may be CRAP at listening and empathising. Some people are fantastic at joining you at spinning but are frightened to come round for a coffee and chat.
    The key thing is ITS NOT YOU!!!! It's them. It's their issue and they will either learn to cope with you being ill or frankly they won't. At a time like this you will simply gravitate towards those people you can connect with and who 'get it' and who are prepared to do the journey with you, your way. The others will watch and will be there but maybe they can't be as visible or as vocal as they'd like cause they just can't.
    The fantastic thing is this blog where you can vent and chat and share and where maybe some of the people who don't know what to say can come and listen to you and figure out how they can help too.
    The good news is with your use of 'the sad face' and with the very fact this is your EC you don't owe anything to anyone. This is your show. Some people will amaze you but don't lose heart with the people who aren't up there with the homemade cookies or who don't know what to say so don't pick up the phone. I am very, very sure they have you in their thoughts soooo much more than you think.
    You are loved by many and loved in very different ways.
    See you tomorrow. Lxxx

    Ps DO NOT let ananoymous above inject you with anything!!!! He's dangerous!!!! lol

  5. I totally agree with L's post. Life teaches us that friends are not perfect human beings but all have their own strength's and weaknesses and all incredibly busy with the stuff that fills their daily lives. There will be many people who read this blog, think of you, will you better but don't act for a variety of reasons but they will be there for you again at some point so don't give up on them. ... S x

  6. I feel guilty for just reading every word of your blog without typing a word of encouragement or comfort. Needless to say, I'm with you all the way in this bittersweet fight. My hubby is a cancer survivor. Stage 3 adrenal corticocarcinoma. 4 out of the 8 siblings got hit by the evil one. I never really thought about it until I was a part of their family. Meanwhile, dear friends like you get chosen for battle. I smile knowing that you are one of the toughest persons out their (no hair or toenails notwithstanding!). So sorry for being one of the guilty ones. I'm just a silent cheerleader watching you be a warrior to this evil crab. Hugs, Chinot!!