Tuesday, 19 February 2008
"Poof" Their Gone
"I have cancer" works better than "abracadabra" at making friends disappear.
Cancer, in and of itself is a landmine. That I will agree with. But I want you to know, that as of today, it is not contagious.
Friends and family have withdrawn from me since I have been diagnosed with cancer. It has never been overt, nothing I could really catch them on. It was much harder, it was subtle. That avoidance of eye contact, the digging in their pockets or purse as I sweep by, or that sudden and animated conversation with their spouse. Either way, it hurts.
When friends or family hear that I have cancer they are so terror-stricken that "poof" they either disappear or are struck into in-action. I know that there are many reasons for this, but to be honest I DON'T GIVE A SHIT, so please keep your reasoning to yourself.
I know that my family and friends love me and are worried about me. I love them and am worried about them too. I also know that it is hard to stay invested in someone who is going to leave you. Caring about me will cause you sorrow and pain. Remember that caring about you causes me sorrow and pain now. I die, you hurt. You cared, I die, I hurt you. Self-preservation sets in. Maybe you need to set yourself apart from me to save yourself.
Cancer has changed who my friends are. Family and friends I thought I could count on have vanished and new friends and some old friends have gone over and beyond the call of friendship.
Jill, Helen, Darlene, Angie, Sally, etc. etc. have all experienced the disappearance of friends. It has broken some of their hearts. We have all been understanding, more than understanding. Seeing all the reasons why our friends and family would need to avoid us. It was never a condemnation about them. And as a matter of fact, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves we felt sorry for the family member or friend.
But why not a condemnation. I can't speak for Jill, Helen, Darlene, Angie or Sally, but I will speak for myself.
Condemnation, why not? Really, why shouldn't it kinda be a condemnation? They find it to hard to be around us for whatever reason. Really, what is it like for us than, if it is too hard for you to be around us. You poor people that don't have cancer, but only have to be around a person with cancer. How horrible your lives must be.
On the whole I have more family and friends that have stayed and supported me than have vanished and left me. I am thankful that they realize I have cancer and not the plague.
Know better and do better.