It is a sad fact of life that when you get a cancer diagnosis, you often loose some of the people in your life that you thought you could rely on. Often they are people who may have been in your life for many years and you may even have stood by them through some of their tough times. At times of crisis we want and need people around us that we can rely on, so it can come as a real shock when they disappear out of your life just at the time when you need them most!
This doesn't just apply to friends; sadly it can also happen with family members.
Why do people do this? I guess we'll never really know the true answer but some people find that they can't handle a cancer diagnosis in a close friend/family member. They may be scared; for you or for themselves. They might think that you don't want them around whilst you are going through your treatment.
There are many reasons why but what we need to understand is that we have to let them go and not carry any anger with us as it sure won't do us any good.
Just as we may find that people we regarded as friends leave our lives we also find that some people who we may know but only as acquaintances, become much more than that during our cancer journey. We may well forge new and lasting friendships, often with people we would never have expected to.
Sometimes however, we loose more than just friends. Occasionally, marriages break up because of a cancer diagnosis as one partner finds they can't cope with cancer being part of the marriage. A husband may find that he no longer finds his wife attractive after she has undergone say, a mastectomy for breast cancer or a wife might find that after recovering from cancer she wants more out of her live that just being a housewife.
Cancer affects many more people that just the person with the diagnosis and it can take time to find a new normal, a new balance in life. When treatment has ended, a cancer patient finds it very hard to slip back into their old way of life. Your whole perception of life has changed. Things that you once took for granted or things that you once thought important, no longer mean the same.
Family and friends often find it hard to accept the new "you" and it can cause friction and fall outs.
In the end however, we have to do what is right for us. It's no good fighting and surviving cancer if you are going to spend the rest of your life doing something just to please other people.
It's like being given a second chance at life and this time you're not going to waste in - you're going to make the most of every minute of it. Those who care most about you will understand that and will be there to cheer you on.
Live life like there is no tomorrow!
xx Kaz xx