Since going through my second cancer diagnosis, I seem to have perfected the art of losing friendships. I could now count on one hand the number of close friends that I have left.
Whilst I am fully aware that friendship is all about quality, not quantity, I just wanted to share a couple of my own experiences as I think it’s important for people to realise that just because I (or anyone else for that matter) have cancer, it doesn’t mean I cannot still be your friend. The things you loved about me pre-cancer, are still there.
Sure, I will admit that there are many times I have had to cancel or reschedule plans, or I am going through long periods of recovery time and can’t see you at all. But it’s not due to me being lazy or being a shit friend, it’s because I’m fighting to stay alive.
I am very open and honest about my situation to those closest to me, so if you want or need to know something, I always tell you how it is.
With the vast array of communication tools these days, it’s usually by choice that someone has dropped off the radar. I make a conscious effort to stay in touch on a regular basis with the ones that I love, but friendship is a two-way street, if I’m not getting much from you then you’re not going to get much back from me.
I don’t consider myself to be a high maintenance “sick friend”. I don’t ask anything of anyone – I even struggle to ask my parents for help! I don’t believe that I am “draining” to be around or to talk to, I am still that same person that brought us together as friends in the first place. I am still me, I just have some extra priorities lumped on me right now.