When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to make the difficult decision on how I would tell the people in my life the bad news. My health had always been a fairly private thing to me due to bullying I experienced previously. But something like breast cancer was pretty significant. I wanted to spread awareness. If I can get cancer at 32, anyone can. Cancer does not discriminate. After sitting with my diagnosis with my inner most circle for awhile, I formulated a plan on how I would break the news to others.
I wanted people to hear it from me directly. Not some rumor where I had people messaging me saying, “I heard you had cancer? Is that true?!” My close family members and friends were called. I wanted to make that voice to voice connection with them because in all honestly, I did not know if I would survive this battle. I wanted to be supportive since for some people, this would be difficult news to hear.
There were friends I messaged directly. Some of them I had naively expected to be my strongest supports. Most of them disappeared from my life entirely. It made me realize perhaps I care for others too much and others do not feel the same.
Cancer brought a lot of amazing people into my life. Many bonds were strengthened. Friendships developed. So many amazing memories. It also removed many people from my life. Once I made my diagnosis public, some people immediately deleted me off Facebook. Some friends stopped responding to me. And others who I thought would always be there, always had an excuse: too busy, their own stuff going on, didn’t want to bother me to name a few. And I get it. I really do. Some people came back around when I was cancer free and that showed me some friends only wanted to be around for the easy stuff and not the hard.
I am much more careful at who I let in and who I chose to spend my time with. And I am forever thankful that cancer taught me who my true friends really were.
I’m sorry if I ever gave off the impression that I wasn’t there. I really have had my own stuff going on the last few years, and it seems like our schedules never lined up when you were up here. I hope it didn’t come across that way.
And I think this kind of thing is sadly common. When my brother was sick (not cancer, but still the life-changing kind of sick) a lot of his friends disappeared too.