Comments From Our Readers- Fall 2016

Comments from you, our readers.
BY COMPILED BY STAFF EDITORS
PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 15, 2016
FRIENDS WERE AN ISLAND OF SUPPORT

Reading Jessie (Jan) Fuger’s letter in CURE®’s Summer 2016 issue titled “Surprised by Disappearing Support Network,” I was not surprised.

My situation is a variation on her experience. I was married for 17 years, happily divorced for a few decades, enjoying being single and then, last year, diagnosed with breast cancer. With the divorce, both my own and my ex-husband’s families disappeared from the scene — no support.

With the diagnosis of cancer, my support came from a small core of long-time friends. My appreciation for their friendship knows no bounds. I can never repay them for their kindness and care. The rest — who dropped me like a hot potato — have been removed from my address book, along with the folks who physically stepped backwards away from me when I told them of the diagnosis. When I returned to my exercise class after completing treatment, a few folks actually seemed disappointed that I had not died!

There is much ignorance in the general population about cancer and cancer survivorship. Despite that, I’m surviving well so far.

- Louise Yale
Redwood Valley, California

EXPERIENCING ISOLATION AS CAREGIVER

Thank you to the single woman who wrote “Surprised by Disappearing Support Network.” I completely understand where she is coming from.

Mom was Dad’s caregiver while he suffered and died from cancer. Mom now suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which she has had for over 10 years, and I am her caregiver. My only sibling lives in another state, and Mom’s only sibling lives a few miles from us. Neither offers to help, and one does not contact us at all. What I would give to have some help from someone…anyone.

Just as the prior letter states, everyone says, “If there is anything they can do to help, just ask.” However, that lasts for only a short time. Before I completely stopped working, Mom would tell me that no one ever called to offer help and/or came by to visit. Why is that? I am now experiencing the same thing. At first, people would communicate with me, offering to take Mom to doctors’ appointments. Now, the only time we ever hear from anyone is when we contact them first. And forget their offering to help. Short of begging, I have not figured out how to ask anyone.

Once Mom is gone, I will be that single woman needing a support network. As I now struggle with various injuries as a result of caregiving, who will be there to help me?

- Jan Taylor
Louisville, Tennessee


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