I Lost A Friend Today

I lost a friend today.

Not in the way you think.

They didn't die.

They disappeared.

 Something very unexpected happens when you're diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Friends you thought would be there for you .... aren't.

It can be shocking. Disappointing. Wounding even. 

A friend you would have thought would rush to your side after your diagnosis might send the standard "Let me know if I can do anything" text.

But that's it.

At least they made an effort, right? 

On top of trying to get your head around the fact that you have CANCER, now you are trying to get your head around the fact that the people you thought you could count on aren't around. 

For the record, it happens to EVERY ONE OF US.

But WHY does it happen?

There can be many reasons. 

  • Your diagnosis scares them, and they don't know how to handle that reality. If it can happen to you, it can happen to them.
  • They may have been close to someone else with cancer, and for whatever reason, they can't find it within themselves to do it again.
  • They are very insecure about their faith, their mortality, what they believe. And seeing you reminds them of their personal insecurity. 
  • They don't want to "bother" you or "wake you up." That's just their way to avoiding whatever emotions they're struggling with. It's classic avoidance.
  • They don't want to "catch" your cancer. Yes, it's true. Some ignorant people actually think cancer can be contagious.

But here is the TRUTH.

The way your friend reacts is about THEM.

Not YOU.

It's hard not to take their reaction personally.

But don't.

It's THEM. 

Not YOU.

But I'm here to share GOOD NEWS with you!

There is a truly incredible thing that happens when you're diagnosed.

People you would consider "acquaintances" step up to help.

They offer to drive you to appointments.

They make meals for your family.

They leave cheery voicemails that you cling to as you sink into the depression that comes along with treatment.

It's not easy to just open your hands to release the friends you "lose" because of cancer. 

But you should try. 

Because then your hands will be open to receive help from the kindness of the "unexpected others" ... the acquaintances who step up to help, the strangers who show you kindness, and the new friends you make because of your diagnosis.

Watch for them.


Shared with love by Jan James, Hope After Breast Cancer

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