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How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

5 REPLIES 5
supertrouper
Member

Re: How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

StillIrise - firstly can I say how inspirational I found the first part of your post? I was dx with Stage 3 and nearly 100% positive nodes. I was delighted to read that you had a similar dx but 10 years on your are doing well - certainly helps me to stay positive about the future.
As for your friends with secondaries - I cannot understand why they wouldn't understand your need to put yourself and family first at a time like this. If I was in a similar situation I would be questioning the friendship as true friends don't behave like that.
YOU are the important person in all of this. If you don't look after yourself first then you won't be able to look after anyone else.
Hope everything sorts itself out xx

lucinda
Member

Re: How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

Hi Stillrise
Sounds like you have been a super friend and more.You do not mention if your friends have family to help them,seems you have taken on quite a lot.
I agree with the others,you must put your health and your family first.You should explain you are not feeling well yourself and have other commitments you did not have previously.A true friend would understand this and be grateful for everything you have done.I am sure had you not been around they would have had to make alternative arrangements had you not helped.
It sounds like you could do with a little help yourself.Some of my friends were very supportive when I was dx,others fled for the hills.To be honest I turned down more offers of help than I accepted.I did not want to feel like i was taking advantage of anyone as I knew they all had families and busy lives.I appreciated their offers of help and their moral support.I have friends and family who are now in remission and to be honest talking to them has been a lifeline at times, but as much as I was grateful for theiir help I always tried not rely on it.I have got great support from a group of ladies I met through this site and find comfort from following the postings on this forum.
I do have secondaries and cannot do many things so rely greatly on my OH.To give him a break i have recently got a cleaner every other week(paid from my DLA).I am just a bit of an independant person and i try not to let bc stop me living as nortmal a life as possible.I moved a couple of years ago so no longer near my friends and must admit the phone calls ahve become fewer
As maggie has suggested just tell them what your are able , but ensure you are able to do it and do not feel obliged to do it.
Hope you find an amicable solution and i am sure when they realise how much you have done for them they will understand how much of your time you have given up to help them.

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

Hi StillRise
Sad that your friends are a a ‘wee` bit inconsiderate.
I had much of a problem a few years back. Elderly neighbour, took her shopping took her to hospital appts (and sometimes there were 3 or even 4 a week). I really didn’t mind doing it, took up a lot of my time but well I was the only neighbour who would do it, no children of her own and stepchildren didn’t visit often, and if I’m honest I didn’t blame them a bit as she was sooo rude to them. I’ll cut the saga short, my husband retired early (working with high voltage he was a danger to himself and others). He had quite a few hospital appointments while they tried to find out what was 'wrong', and I couldn’t split myself in two, my husband was still relatively mobile so I let him go on the bus a few times - then I sat back and thought ‘This isn’t right’. Told elderly neighbour that there would be occasions when I couldn’t take her to hospital as husband’s appointments often clashed with hers. Well she went off on one, started ranting about how was she expected to get to hospital. Told her I would change her appointments to a more suitable time for me but even that wasn’t good enough, had to be though. She did get a relative/friend to take her to appointments that I couldn’t do, surprising what can be done.
I will admit things were never the same between us, a lot cooler, I still took her shopping, doctor’s appointments and anywhere else she needed to go, but just never the same. Unfortunate.
You have to look after yourself, first and foremost. If you go down because of sickness/stress what happens to your own loved ones, who would look after them. Try explaining to your friends the extra demands on your time and that you now have to care for a relative with dementia, so for a couple of days/hours a week you will be unavailable to call round and to make a list of the small jobs needing done and you'll do them first time you're available. I would say don't tell them you have time on specific days, like Monday, Thursday or whatever, it has to be on your terms, i.e. when available. Sounds hard I know but you understand why.
Take a step back for a while and just don’t let it drift back. You don't have to cut off all ties, just call round less often, use the phone more.
Sorry got carried away with the rant but as someone who 's been there I feel for you.
As ScottishLass says, friendship is a two way street. Take care of yourself.
Maggie
scottishlass
Member

Re: How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

Dear StillRise, I am sorry that you ahve not had any replies but I think a lot of posts have been missed since the new site has been established. This is the 4th post I have replied to today that I have never seen before. That may be why you have not had any replies. I hope you get some now that your post has been bumped to the top.
I think you need to take a wee step back from your friends and look after yourself now. You have done your best but you cannot do everything and I think your friends should realise this. As for the one being angry with you.....do you really think she is a friend anymore. I think she is being very selfish.
If you have the courage can youtell them what you have said to us about the demands you have with your own family and how you are feeling both mentally and physically drained. If they cannot accept this perhaps they are not the friends you thought them to be and it may be better for you to remove yourself from them ( for a while anyway).
Please keep in touch on the threads and if you want to have a chat why not PM me to vent your feelings. Better out than in as they say! I have very old friends who seldome phone or ask how I am and that hurts me more than they know. The support I get from my new freinds on here far surpasses the support I get from my old friends and they do not have cancer. Look after yourself and your own family now. Friendship should be a two way thing not one that drains you and makes you feel like you do now. Hope I do not sound too harsh. Only giving you my own personal opinion which may be very different from everyone else's! Love Val

Janet_BCC
Member

Re: How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

Dear StillRise

I am just posting this to bring your post to the top of the "Latest posts". I hope someone will see it now and be able to offer you some support.

Please also consider giving our Helpline a call to talk things through. They are open from 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays. The number is 0808 800 6000.

Take care

Very best wishes

Janet

BCC Moderator

Guest user
Not applicable

How to cope with moving on from bc while supporting friends who are coping with mets

I am 10 years out from Stage 3 bc, had lymph node clearance, 20+ positive nodes, tumour and calcifications, and did 13 months of chemo and rads. I made friends with women who were being treated with me, and some friendships stuck and others didn't.
Two women are still my friends and we have been through a lot together. Both are now living with mets, one to sacrum, with major surgery on spine and chemo to maintain not cure tumour, other with mets to bone, liver and lung. While I remain NED, though dealing with other issues like a relative with dementia.
Just lately I had an upper respitory infection that left me feeling exhausted, and scared until tests proved it was just that, and nothing else.
I have supported both my friends for years now, but currently find I just don't have the mental or physical wherewithal to be a supportive as I would like to be. One in particular has been quite angry with me, as I do a lot for her, look after her dog, fixed things in the house, get in touch with various agencies etc, etc and often just listen.
I don't want to drop out of their lives, as both have experience of this with others, but how do I cope with my low energy levels at present, plus the existing demands of my own family and help them?