Where Did My Friends Go?

Where Did My Friends Go?

It’s funny how life moves so fast, yet when you are diagnosed with a disease as devastating as lung cancer, it seems the world stops initially. Before I was diagnosed, I really thought that I had a great circle of friends and I really trusted those friends, all to be disappointed months after my diagnosis. We all have those friends that we have had for years, maybe decades, those friends we expect to be there through the thick and thin. Well, some of those friends of mine decided that that thick was just too difficult for them.

After everyone found out about my diagnosis, of course, the flood of love comes in, everyone wants to see me, make meals or help in some way. But as time went on, that love slowly stopped coming in. Evidently, all of my family and friends thought that I was going to die and quick. The offers were gracious, overwhelming at times but they were what friends do for a friend in a time of need. I never knew that those friends would just stop calling and contacting me.

The Effects of Cancer Can Be Invisible to Others

We all know with lung cancer, there are medications such as targeted therapies and immunotherapy that can treat us as patients and we can live a semi-normal life. We don’t look sick, we may not even feel sick all of the time, but we still deal with side effects and the mental difficulties of having a terminal disease. On the outside, I guess my friends decided either they didn’t want to have to feel bad for me since I am terminal or they see pictures of me and think that I have beaten cancer and I don’t need them around. Whichever reason it is, it has really made me realize who those real friends are. It isn’t the friend I have had since 2000, the one that I thought was one of my “best” friends. How do I know this? Well, I received maybe one or two texts in the last 16 months from her. In a recent communication, I responded to a text from her and told her that I felt like she was not a real friend and that her claims about being busy and not having her phone most of the day were lame for our friendship.

Realizing What Is Truly Important

I have friends I have only known for a few years that throughout the last 16 months have consistently checked on me weekly, some almost daily. Those are the friends that I want in my life, not the ones that are either scared of the “C” word or those that don’t even speak to me enough to realize I fight this disease on a daily basis and that I will never truly beat it as I am stage IV. I’ve been through the worst 16 months of my life and it has made me truly realize what is important, who is important and how to live my life moment by moment. I am just sorry that some of my friends that I thought would come for this ride with me bailed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (10)
  • jigsawlady
    1 year ago

    My friends haven’t left me and I’ve gained a few….but….it’s some of my family that have left me. I can understand a little…but it really hurts. We used to be close.

  • Margot moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @jigsawlady,

    I’m sorry to hear this; that must be difficult to have family leave. I am glad to hear that your friends have been supportive though and that you’ve gained even more. You deserve the support. Please know that we and the community are here for you as well, and thinking of you. Thank you so much for sharing with us. You are not alone.

    Warmly,
    Margot, LungCancer.net Team

  • Cyndi Price moderator
    2 years ago

    I look at this differently. Some of your friends may abandon ship, ‘but I think the greater number just gets back to their life. I had the masses calling and coming to my house when I was first diagnosed and as time went on after surgery, chemo, radiation and now immunotherapy I don’t need people around all the time. I think they continue life. Most of my friends work full time, have children and other responsibilities. I never felt they abandon me I knew they had to get back to their life. All I have to do is call if I need someone to do something. and it is done. Part of the responsibility is mine just like prior to my diagnosis I called them, they called me etc. Some have no idea what to do and I ask them to take me to treatments, doctor or out one night just to get out. Give them a call I bet they are still your cheerleaders and would love to help if they new how.
    Cyndi -moderator

  • Cyndi Price moderator
    2 years ago

    Tried to fix my mistake last sentence “knew” not new. 😛

  • Marymac4441
    2 years ago

    I can emphasize with you. The same has happened to me. Now that I “look good” people forget I still have cancer-stage 4. Friends have disappeared from my life. My true friends are still with me. Thanks for sharing. Stay strong.

  • Margot moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Marymac4441,

    Thanks so much for commenting; I am sorry that you have also experienced this, but glad that your true friends are there to support you. Please know that we and the community are also always here, and thinking of you. Wishing you all the best.

    Warmly,
    Margot, LungCancer.net Team

  • talonshae
    2 years ago

    I am so sorry about your friends . As soon as I came home from the hospital I was left to make my on meals and do every thing for myself I wondered where is family and friends funny how people forget who you are you haven’t changed you are just sick I also lost my husband 11 years ago to cancer it really makes you feel alone

  • thebee
    1 year ago

    I think when you have been so good at caring for yourself and others for years, some people just think you can handle it. We can and do handle it, but a little TLC is nice. Then there are those who are just uncomfortable. They may be afraid to talk about it. Afraid to say the wrong thing etc. maybe just give them a call to chat but say something positive. Talk about a book you are reading or a great movie you saw or want to see.

  • Margot moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @thebee,

    Thank you so much for sharing with us here. We hear you; even if you can and do, you deserve the support and care that others can offer! Your tip to call those who may be uncomfortable is a great one as well; we really appreciate you posting it here. Thinking of you.

    Warmly,
    Margot, LungCancer.net Team

  • Christina Hegarty moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi talonshae,

    I’m sorry you have had to experience this and for the loss of your husband. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. We’re glad you’re a part of our community.

    Best,
    Christina, LungCancer.net Team

  • Poll