Once somebody has “won” their battle with breast cancer, all of the support that may have been put in place falls away and the survivor is often left confused and isolated. That’s what happened to me. I thought I was alone, but this is something that happens all too often, and many people I know have shared similar stories.
I’ve been told that my turn to have cancer was over and I needed to move on. I never wanted a turn with cancer to begin with. Once you have cancer, you’ll always have cancer. It will just be in remission if you are lucky. Somebody told me they were tired of hearing me whine about how I didn’t feel good. Sure, active treatment ended 10 months ago, and chemo almost 14 months ago, but the damage treatment did to my body was significant. I will never be the same. Taking a daily chemo pill doesn’t help either. Tamoxifen is evil yet is probably keeping me alive.
Instead of deserting the person in your life with cancer, be more present with them once they’ve survived. Cancer is a major trauma. It is indescribable unless you’ve gone through it. They were likely so busy trying to stay alive that once they got the “all clear” signal, that’s when the trauma really unleashed itself. There’s a lot of trauma and survivor’s guilt that must be processed. Check in with your friend. Offer help. Schedule a zoom call. Anything. When the support drops away, we notice it and it is devastating over and over again.