Friendships and moving on...



Just wondering if anyone else has experienced similar situation to me, sometimes its a comfort to hear that I’m not the only one. 


I was diagnosed age 31 a year to my wedding with agressive BC, stage 3 which had spread to lymphs, so full suite was required, surgery,chemo, radio. Now suffering (and battling with NHS) with lymphodema and as of tonight possible Cellulitus (off the the emergency clinic at 11.30 tonight for out come of that one).


Anyway asides from the medical stuff, which I’ve had fantastic support for, I had a massive falling out with a close friend (one of my best friends) when I finished treatment last year (Sept) she just expected me to be the same person as I was pre cancer diagnosis. If I’m honest I hadn’t mentally dealt with the hand I’d been dealt with while I was undergoing treatement and so it wasn’t until maybe November / December as I tried to get back to some sort of normality that the emotional impact really hit me and hit me hard. Christmas was awful, not to mention I was having a wedding 3 days after it. I explained to my friends by writing them an email, that although their lives were all still going on that I was really stuggling emotionally/mentally with the fall out of the last year not to mention the added pressure of my 93 year old great aunt was dying in hospital (she was my grandma’s sister with no family, so it fell on my mum and I to take turns of visiting and of course it was the evening I went alone that it happened - which as you can imagine would be stressful at anytime, but having just spent 9 months fighting for my own life was pretty tough to take). Most of them were great and said they were glad I spoke up about it because they had no idea how I was feeling. 


However at the same time said friends child ended up in hospital with a bad cold which I got the blame for because she’d dragged him out to her bridesmaids fitting for my wedding (although she had made the appointment). The whole thing was awful, she didn’t speak to me until the night before the wedding, then turned up at the rehersal, gave me a lecture about how we all have stuff going on in our lives before ranting about it to my poor mother… I won’t bore you with the transcript, but it was awful and rather than say exactly how I was feeling I just didn’t respond just to keep the peace. After the wedding and things had calmed down with her, things started to get a little better, but still not as they were (I was really hurt that she just thinks that because the treatment ended I was fine). Then recently we had another arguement. I can honestly say I’m really not sure if we will recover from this one. Her siblings had a pretty rough time of it and she’s been invovled… But once again I found myself on the receiving line of her frustrations. I guess my point is has anyone else been really let down by their friends who seem to be bored that a year after your diagnosis your still trying to come to terms with what’s happened to you and who you are now?  Is this normal? I guess any situation like this really tests any relationship… But

I guess I’m looking for advice, empathy on the situation. 







Sorry to hear how things have been regarding your relationship with your close friend.


I haven’t experienced exactly the same but I did find that some friends and family were supportive and some were, frankly, useless and not necessarily the ones I expected to be in either category.  Unfortunately I include my two brothers in the ‘useless’ category.  My diagnosis was over 4 years ago, in my 40s, agressive, node involvement, surgery, chemo, rads and ongoing hormone therapy.  Some of my friends/family have been with me all the way and understand that my life is not the same and those are the people I am closest to now (this includes my best friend husband).  I have made new friends in the past 4 years who take me for for who/what I am.  The people who have been unsupportive or who don’t understand that my life is not the same now - well, they are on the fringes of my life now.  This hasn’t been a conscious decision by me but just how things have worked out.     


Yes, serious illness sure does test any relationship.  Sorry if this sounds harsh but you surely get to find out who your real friends are.  This is most definintely not a journey I’d ever have chosen on which to embark but, looking back, if I can be grateful for anything it’s that it has proved to me who/what is important in my life and reinforced in me that it’s not worth wasting my precious energy and time on some people and some aspects of my ‘previous’ life.   

I think possibly your friend is jealous of the attention and sympathy you have hopefully been receiving from other friends. She feels left behind. It’s no comparison but the same thing can happen when someone starts a family, they move into a different circle. It sounds as though you are wasting time and energy nurturing an unhealthy friendship and that you need to move on and do what is best for you. Sometimes you just have to do that, remove the negativity.