One of the worse replies I got was, "Well I am glad cancer hasn't changed you." This totally shocked me and I didn't know what to say back. Once I had sometime to think about it, I emailed my friend and explained why that was such a hurtful thing to say. And then told her all the was cancer has changed me. She emailed me back and said the moment it came out of her mouth she regretted it. However, I have not heard from her again. I feel I have lost many friends on the journey. I guess people don't want to face what could happen to them. I was cancer free for 4 years and now it came back metastatic to my lungs. Unfortunately, I don't hear from many of my friends. It is very sad.
I'm a cancer survivor. My wife died of cancer. This article leaves me as before with absolutely no clue what to say to people. People are different, want to hear different things. How you are dealing with your cancer can involve so many different factors. Some people are fighters. Some people find spiritual acceptance. Some people start as fighters and transition to spiritual acceptance. Some people feel alone and purposeless, some people feel they have a purpose to continue taking care of their loved ones. Maybe at times you want sympathy, whereas at others you feel like sympathy makes you feel like a loser or not in the world of the sympathizer. Maybe just silent listening is wonderful support when you need to express your feelings. Asking how you feel can be a nice opportunity to unburden some aspects of a tough lot you inherited, not a stupid question. I try to give other people lots of slack, although I agree with some of the complaints, maybe I'm just lucky that our friends and family made us feel their care.
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