Cancer Post #73
There is no better time than a few days before Halloween to talk about ghosting. I read on cancer websites that ghosting is real for many cancer patients and survivors. I am not talking about seeing ghosts in white sheets. I am talking about friends and family who suddenly ignore you.
I am grateful for all the support from my family, friends, Facebook community, and new friends I have made because of cancer. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many men read my ramblings because they are trying to understand what their wife, who has breast cancer, is feeling. My private Facebook message box overflows with support and questions. I am so appreciative of every word of support, every question, and every suggestion for better health. However, I, too, have been ghosted by some old friends. I would have never expected some of these people to act as if I had ceased to exist. It hurts. When you get cancer, a quick text, call, or card, makes a world of difference in your day.
I decided to educate myself on cancer ghosting. Most articles say it happens because the person does not know what to say. I wonder if it happens because the old friend may be worried you will ask them to run an errand or some other tasks you need help accomplishing. However, the articles I read recommend you go easy on your friends because it is hard for them to think of you as sick, and they can’t deal with the idea you may die. To some, the word “cancer” usually means death. If you have ghosted someone, get that out of your head. No one is dead till they are dead!
I say, phooey to lame excuses. If you have ghosted a friend, be an adult, suck it up, and send them a text. It will mean the world to the person battling cancer, and it won’t take you more than sixty seconds to bring a smile to their heart. If you are having problems, talk to your friend about them. Cancer is not the only subject we want to discuss. We want to know what is going on with you and how you are doing.
In some of the groups I am part of, there are posts where spouses leave or where family members ghost the survivor. My heart goes out to those women and men. I have a family and bonus family that circles me with love. Because my heart breaks for those whose families have ghosted them is why I am writing about this topic. If you have a friend who is newly diagnosed with cancer or is a few years down the line in the cancer journey, take this upcoming holiday season to reach out and say, “Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, or Merry Christmas.”
Don’t feel shy about wishing your friends with cancer happy holidays. Believe it or not, we have newfound gratitude for the celebrations and plan to make them merry.
Cancer Research for Today:
It’s hardly surprising that some people become tongue-tied when speaking with cancer survivors, worried they’ll say the wrong thing or not offer the needed comfort or support. But what might come as a surprise is the amount of survivors who say that people they were close to stopped speaking to them altogether after they were diagnosed.
“Ghosting” — or the process of cutting ties with someone suddenly and with no explanation — is apparently prevalent in the cancer community.
Informal research conducted by War on Cancer, a social networking app for survivors, found that 65% of surveyed survivors said they had friends or relatives who cut contact or pulled away from them after they were diagnosed.
My Motto for Today:
“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” ― Jim Morrison