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I am not just Cancer

24 REPLIES 24
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Re: I am not just Cancer

Just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel about hair loss and outward visibility. All the while I have enough hair around the sides to wear a baseball cap I feel it's up to me to decide who I announce it to, whether it be other mums at school or people I regularly see working in the local convenience store - my choice.

And I also have a couple of friends (not local) that I emailed about it and didn't even get an acknowledgement... Thankfully others email often with words of encouragement and support.

mousy

princess18
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Re: I am not just Cancer

Thats lovely Alison, thanks for adding it to this thread,

Kelly
-x-

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Thank you so much for putting that on Alison, it really does make you think about life

Alison xxx

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Re: I am not just Cancer

I like that Alison. That is really really nice.
Hope you and the children are all feeling better.
Lol
Ali
x

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Re: I am not just Cancer

All

On the book thing I agree "I Am Not Just Cancer" would make a great title. I know it's not about breast cancer but one of my favourite books ever is "C:Because Cowards Get Cancer Too..." by John Diamond. A fantastic title I've always thought because it's true, everyone thinks when you've got cancer you're "really brave" and "so strong" and "I'm sure I couldn't be like you, I'd fall to pieces" etc. But the truth of the matter is cancer happens to normal people who are scared and just want to survive.

Good luck with the greyhound Val, looks like it's worth checking out some other places. I find it incredible that with so much animal abuse in this country the fact your medical condition is more relevant than the fact that you are obviously a dedicated animal lover. Crazy!!

It seems from your posts that the on/off support thing is across the board. For me one great thing to come out of this dreadful experience is the way that some people who were just acquaintances, who I expected nothing from, have been fantastic and really come up with the goods. I have become very close to these people in a very short time and am sure they will be friends for life because of what we are sharing. They are now closer than friends I've known since school, just shows it's the quality of time not the quantity that counts.

I have a nice piece that I was once emailed on this subject. It's a bit long for a forum but very apt if you want to take the time to read it:

"People come into your Life for a reason, a season or lifetime when you know which one it is,
You will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to
Assist you through difficulty to provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a
Godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an
End. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up
And force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been
Met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has
Been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They
Bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you
Something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount
Of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build
Upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept
The lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all
Other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind
But friendship is clairvoyant."

Alison
x

AnneG
Member

Re: I am not just Cancer

I am not trying to make excuses for people, far from it, but I had an interesting phone conversation with my oldest friend last night. I phoned her as I had only had an email recently and when we finally finished the conversation she said that she would ring soon and would not be so worried about whether she was ringing at the wrong or right time in my chemo cycle in the future. I hadn't really appreciated that people can be so concerned about ringing you when you are ill and reassured her that if I didn't feel like talking I would say so.

I have been amazed by some of the constant support I have received from people who were work colleagues or neighbours but not really close friends before. On the other hand, I have been very disappointed in some other people that I would have expected to be more supportive than they have been.

Valxx - I don't have dogs but my cat is loving the extra attention because I am not out at work. He certainly doesn't look as if he feels neglected and I am absolutely sure your dogs are the same!

Anne

Julie49
Member

Re: I am not just Cancer

Hi Val,
Margaret is right Val. Having cancer is no reason why you can't look after an animal as you've proved already with your own dogs. I'd be inclined to report the person who you spoke to at the greyhound rescue place to their head office - they shouldn't be working with the public. It sounds like they need re-training at the very least! Some people become so obsessed with helping animals they lose any empathy for people.
I'm sorry your friends are letting you down. Don't want to make excuses for them but it may just be that they're feeling awkward and if you you give them a call they'll be glad to hear from you.
Otherwise you've got friends on this site, including doggy-focussed ones like me.
JulieC

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Yes, or Cancer is the 4th sign of the Zodiac

Guest user
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Re: I am not just Cancer

You know what though, wouldn't the title of this thread be a great name for a book about cancer and being a cancer survivor 'I Am Not Just Cancer'.

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Whilst it is nice to have friends caring, the downside, I found during treatment, was that I had to combine treatment, work and answering numerous phone messages and emails promptly. If I didn't reply straightaway, people panicked and left further messages. All quite demanding and I'm all for the quiet life, being left in peace and having everything back to normal. Don't care that many people have stopped getting in touch. True friends keep in touch in an undemanding fashion.

Val, course you can adopt a dog. What a load of c**p. Ignore it.

Margaret

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Thanks for all the comments, whenever I think about the people who ignore me now I try to think would I be any better. It is probably my fault as I always smile and say I'm fine plus Ive been told I look well and ten years younger in my wig. I dont have any children so dont have to face a school run sounds awful.

All the best everyone

Val

princess18
Member

Re: I am not just Cancer

Hi Val and all,

sounds like you've started a right talking point Val! Some people are just horrid aren't they!!?? I hope you are able to take Phoebe's advice and lok elsewhere for your greyhound.

Regarding friends, I think having cancer certainly makes you realise who your friends are!! I have had the most unlikeliest of people give me tonnes of support whilst others have barely been in touch! Like many others have said too, when first diagnosed our house resembled a florists and I had so many 'get well soon' cards it was unbelievable. That was back in march and all of that has very much dwindled away. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting flowers every week but a phone call now and again to check I'm still alive would be nice!!! Now I'm going through chemo I really can't be bothered to get in touch with people as much as I did. To be honest I often don't have the energy and I figure that shouldn't it be them contacting me?? We live far away from most of our friends so I'm not expecting a visit every week but surely it wouldn't take much to pick up the phone or even text every now and again?

Most of my friends are awesome and can't do enough for me, its just a shame that there's a couple that let the side down. I'm wondering though whether its nothing sinister and simply that they don't like 'bothering me' while I'm going through chemo as they know how poorly I feel at times? Not sure to be honest but I hope thats the case rather than them simply not being ar*ed!

Anyway, certainly seems like this thread has hit a nerve with us all!

Take care,

Kelly
-x-

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Jools

You go girl - I can't believe some people. I've already been warned about some of the more inquisitive Mums at the school gates so need to invent some stock answers to bat them off. Any suggestions on a postcard please...I'm sure between you all there are some real belters!!!

All this said, today my barnet's started to shed. Boo hoo!

Bestie - hope you get something you are 'happy' with for the wedding. I know what you mean about people paying lip service. Even my own mum said "losing your hairs not a big thing!" (She's never been known for saying the right thing). OK Mum I'll come round to yours with my clippers and see how you like it... sorry but grrrrrr!

Lol
Alison
xx

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Ali
forgot to say those silk scarves are half price in the sale in monsoon (accessorise). They come in a bright blue, fuschia pink, purple and a really nice green.
Yep you have guessed it -i have all of them!!

Jools

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Re: I am not just Cancer

I can't believe that woman said that to Jools - what a cheeky b****h!!!

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Hi, Vallxx. Not all the greyhound rescue people are quite so insensitive. Since we can't access personal profiles, I don't know where you live, but it is worth trying more than one rescue group. I have never heard such nonsense as was talked to you! And if you have three dogs already, you clearly are coping. Next time, though I suggest you don't mention bc.

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Thanks girls - it's nice to know that we all have the same 'angry' days.
Bet that shut her up Jools! Well done!!!! Thanks for the Monsoon tip, will check that out.

Ali
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Re: I am not just Cancer

I know what you mean
Not heard from my best friend in weeks -i always thought that if anything went wrong she would be the one person who would be there for me. But no -no texts, phone calls -anything. I feel so sad as I was there for here through some really crap times for her
It is hard being happy and positive all the time and a lot of the time I am not
The school run is NOT easy to do when its obvious you are on chemo. Although i am quite open about my treatment some people do get a curt ' i am fine thanks'. I avoid the soppy ones who gush 'How are you'.I have a small circle of good friends who all have children at the school who I am happy to give details to as they have been there for me right from the start. The ones who are asking for 'nosiness sake' (and boy there are plenty!!!) don't deserve to know. My other best friend said to me after one such gushing enquiry 'How do you cope with that'. Being rude!!. I had to use my stick the other day as I had joint pain so badly. A nosy woman said 'why have you got that -theres nothing wrong with your leg - You didn't have the stick yesterday'. I just said 'well i have bone cancer and it didn't b***** hurt yesterday'

Ali try monsoon for really posh silk scarves - i wore one for a really posh dinner party and it was commentated on how glamorous it looked. Made me feel good (even if they said anything different behind my back. And if they did I don't want to know). Matched it with a gorgeous top and skirt from principles and felt great

Jools

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Re: I am not just Cancer

i don't even know what routine is anymore, and i don't even have a school run!!! and i'm not on chemo, its the emotional side that people seem to find hard to get to grips with, don't know about you lot but i've never been so screwed up in my head before, and i have stopped putting on a big show for people, if i don't feel good i just tell them now, and if i don't want visitors i tell them too, in the nicest possible way. life really is hard at times

Alison xxxxxxxxx

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Hi all

I was talking to my best friend today and said something similar to what Fuschia has just written.

I can't be bothered with making an effort with people, they should be doing the running not me.

I am fed up also being 'nice' and 'positive' all the time. I just got off the phone from my sister in law and said I was dreading the family wedding next week in Cardiff as didn't think I would have any hair. She was really taken aback and said 'Oh you'll be fine' - but I kept saying well I don't know that and I will feel s*it if my hair is all gone by then...'Oh you'll be alright in your big hat'...'Yes Claire, big hat with no hair underneath, it doesn't quite look the same does it?'...'Oh you'll be alright'!!!! I know I know they don't know what to say, but I can't be bothered to make them feel better by pretending I am coping well with the thought of being bald for the wedding of the year....SO SORRY IF THATS INCONVENIENT FOR YOU.....

Someone else said to me this week about my chemo....'Oh you'll soon get in the swing of things, you know get in your routine'....WHAT? It's not like dropping the kids off at school, that's a routine!!!

Alison - know all about the playground thing. Luckily Emily has been there 2 years, nursery and reception so I have some good friends there now. Not looking forward to facing the ones who don't know though.

Off to gym now. Speak later
Ali
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Re: I am not just Cancer

Fushia

I have a "friend" like that. She was there when I phoned another (proper) friend from the hospital on the day of my dx, still I heard nothing from her - a text wouldn't have hurt surely. When I did eventually see her 3 weeks later, 3 days before my WLE, she never even asked how I was let alone wish me luck for my op.

I have also noticed, touching on what you said, Alison, that the help has somewhat dwindled. When I had my dx & WLE I couldn't move for cards, flowers, cooked meals and wellwishers. Now though I've started my chemo when I really need help 1 week in 3, with the children especially, everyone seems to have crawled back into the woodwork. Although I think a lot of people offer help at the start and then I think it's up to us to call when we need that help.

xxx

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Hi you should see yourself as a survivor not a victim, no matter what the outcome, but yes, i had lots of support at first but its filtered off a little, but lucky to have the family about, but know what you mean, i would be tempted to complain about the person who told you you can't have the greyhound, how dare people make such gross generalisations about anyone, never mind someone with cancer.

Alison xxxxx

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Re: I am not just Cancer

I think people become a bit frightened..they don't know what to say. It's not an excuse for them, at all. I have had wonderful support from my friends since this started, except for two. Neither of them has been in touch with me, not even a text, since I was diagnosed, despite them being informed of what was happening etc. As far as I am concerned, I want nothing more to do with them...sounds a bit over the top, but I can't be ar*ed with people who can't even be bothered to send myself or my OH a text to ask how I am doing.

Sorry to hear about the greyhound, Val they are beautiful dogs. I would love to have one, but they require so much exercise !! It was extremely discriminatory of whoever said that, especially as you have three dogs already. Unfortunately some people are very ignorant.

I don't have kids Mammabee, but live near a private school...I find the mothers absolutely terrifying whenever I walk past, all done up to the nines and looking fantastic at 9am, so I know what you mean !!!

F
xxxx

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Re: I am not just Cancer

Hi Valxx

That's awful about the dog, I know what you mean it's like we all live on planet Cancer sometimes.

I've been quite fortunate in so far as no one has shied away from talking abour cancer to me and some have gone so far as to go out of their wasy to tell me how many people they know have died from it. It's probably my own fault for being so positive & open about my cancer that it puts people too much at ease!

However, I've had my 1st FEC and am dreading when I lose my hair because it will be so obvious what I am going through. At the moment I still have my hair so I can shop etc without everyone knowing my medical problems but I feel that when my hair goes I won't be that woman buying a loaf of bread anymore I'll be that woman with cancer buying a loaf of bread! I have 2 young children and would hate to get looks of pity while out with them sporting my chemo head.

Most other illnesses show no obvious outward signs so life can be conducted as normal without anyone noticing. I'll feel like I may as well walk around with my medical notes on a sandwich board.

That's why I've got my wig. My daughter starts full time school in September & I'm dreading going down there with all the trendy, cliquey mum's and having them all ignore me because they won't know what to say to me. How do you start a conversation with a complete stranger when it's obvious they're having chemo? Answer: you don't. It's not me I'm bothered about. I want to socialise with the mums so that my daughter can make friends and go round to others houses etc. So I'll certainly "wig it" for the first few weeks.

xx

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I am not just Cancer

I am fed up with just being a Cancer victin. Lots of my neighbours and friends who I informed in April have stopped calling or phoning, it is as if I no longer exist. I have no family just three dogs, my cancer is very agressive but localised with good expectations but when I offered to adopt a Greyhound I told them of my B C and was told people with Cancer on Chemo cant take on a dog as they become sick and self obsessed and cant look after a dog. My dogs are the most important things in my life and are certsainly not neglected. A neighbour and friend of my Fathers (who died last year) died of Cancer a couple of weeks ago and noone bothered to tell me so I couldn't pay my respects at his funeral, perhaps they felt it was too close to home but all Cancers are different. Sorry for the moan.