I was thinking it was just my lot that were rubbish and I know its really hard to deal with but hey I could really do with some support here.Its odd that the people who really seem to be able to be there are those one step removed so my sister in law is amazing but my brother useless.Casual friends have been great cooking arranging babysitting etc but close friends are difficult and our conversations are stilted.
All seems to be going pretty well by the way I saw my consultant this week and he is really pleased with how I am coping with the chemotherapy.He has booked my surgery for the second week of November which sounds scarily close.
We are having amazing weather here at the moment so I am recovering from my last lot of chemo by snoozing in the garden .
This is my third attempt to respond to this post. I am most amused by the response of family and friends to cancer. Here are some of my experiences.
Our parents are older, so my wife and I thought we would keep the emotion as low key as we could for them. We tried to minimize the serious nature of the whole ordeal. So we kind of snuck around to the Dr. visits and even hid the hospital visits for the TURBs from them. The RC was harder but we made sure to check in as usual by phone. My parents live in the same town and we kind of went on vacation.(my Mom has Alzheimers, so dad has a lot on his plate)
This plan worked to a T. I overheard my dad telling a friend who asked how things were. "George had a small bout with cancer but it was so minor he just got through it!"
I guess our plan worked well.
My brother was so freaked out, he wouldn't come to see me until I had every tube and catheter removed. Even 3 years later, he will walk out of the room if someone casually asks about it.
My sisters came to visit in tandem only.. They needed each other I guess. Now these girls can talk a tin ear off a goose any day. But when they visited.. I had to put on the show or it would have been a silent movie. They have both decided I am a lunatic for returning to my former life as if nothing happened.
I guess friends have their own response. As Mike said, they react in their own ways. Some react for themselves and their perceived loss. Some cannot approach a sick person because it brings their own mortality to bear. One of my best friends couldn't visit. I finally had to visit him! he couldn't take it!
My wife and I were blown away by the many cards and visits from friends we hardly knew we had. The seemed to come out of the woodwork. They pitched in for chores and shopping and just plain conversation.... Amazing.
So.......... You never know.. You just accept it!
Light a man a fire and he is warm for an evening.
Light a man ON fire and he's warm forever.
08/08/08...RC neo bladder
New Man! [/size]
I chalk this area as anything goes with understanding. I know I have put my foot in my mouth before on the other end. I have learned to start many conversations with " I am asking because I care about you", and I and they do care! I also chalk many conversations as awkward just because talking about serious health issues are... well... sometimes awkward. I just keep repeating we all care!
DX 5/6/2008 TAG3 papillary tumor .5 CM in size. 2 TURBS followed by 6 instillations of BCG weekly with a second round of 6 after a 6 week wait.
No matter how selfless we all wish we (and others) were, I think it is pretty rare.
When faced with news of any sort, the initial reaction of most (at the lizard brain level) is "What does this mean to me?".
Hearing about cancer in a friend, people think "Oh crap, I really love this friend and now I will wind up being deprived of their friendship and company. What will I do without them."
I've certainly seen and heard about (clearly overdependent) husbands saying "What the hell am I going to do? Who's going to take care of me?".
People's instinct will be to blurt out something that is likely not the right thing to say.
You could respond with something like "Wow, I was hoping maybe you could tell me about xxxx or ask me about yyy" or whatever it was that you feel you need.
When I first was telling people, I'd get all sorts of weird comments. I never took it seriously and I give them the benefit of the doubt. Cancer scares people and they don't know what to do. I try to quickly put them at ease. Once they calm down themselves, they tend to not be so nutty.
Regarding the really needy ones....not much to be done there but they were likely just as needy before you got cancer so it shouldn't really be a surprise. Expecting everyone else to change because we need it at the time is about as likely as us changing because somebody else needs it. News of our cancer could have been a bigger shock to some of them than it was to us. People are different...
8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago#39397by dieseldoc
I know just what you mean!! 6 years ago I got bladder cancer, 5 years ago I contracted Lyme's disease witch gave me bells palsy. The palsy causes severe headaches and other face problems. I've been hospitalized for problems related to high blood pressure and the palsy. I've had countless surgeries for the cancer, for sinus problems related to the palsy, a hernia, a cyst on my tail bone, a lump in my breast, and ruptured discs in my neck. So my wife and my parents are thinking it is all in my head. It has bothered me so much the I now am on antidepressant drugs and seeing a doctor for sever depression. I don't know what to do ether, so if you find out please let me know.
I think one thing that keeps me going and something I look forward to is this web site an forum. Thanks ABLCS for the support.