Who Stayed?

Who Stayed?

December 31, 2010, 2:54 pm

An article about staying in touch with friends while fighting cancer.

During the first days after my diagnosis all my friends, colleagues at work and my family wanted to know about me and my disease. I was so busy answering the phone that I hardly had any time to worry or become sad. In fact I was comforting others.

As time passed the contacts started to be more sporadic. Once I stopped working I lost contact with the work colleagues, with few exceptions. Friends stayed longer, however only few remained until today.

It is understandable that most of the work colleagues and many friends fell out of touch with me. Once the disease weakened me my life and my possibilities to keep in touch changed radically.

Here are some of the changes that contributed to the loss of contact:

  • I could have bad days or even weeks. During my “bad” times I would not be available. I would not answer phone calls, e-mails, and I would not wish to have any visitors.
  • I could cancel a visit at a short notice.
  • I could not follow normal social rules, like inviting people back for dinner.
  • I could organize a dinner or invite someone to stay with us and in the end the visitors would have to take care of everything, take care of me as well.
  • I would avoid friends in order to avoid infections, especially during periods of chemotherapy, before major surgeries, and especially when small children were involved.
  • I would avoid public places and travels because of the infection risk.

I believe that the remaining friends do understand my behaviour and my reasoning. They simply do not give up. They keep on contacting me even though I have made no effort to contact them.

Therefore if you have a friend or someone in your family diagnosed with cancer, try to think about their behaviour in another perspective, and don’t give up.

If you liked this article you may be interested in Filter or not? about information gathering on behalf of a cancer patient.