Friends or not???

HI Ladies, hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather as best you can. Just musing a little. Met my friends for coffee today. I came hope depressed because they talk about holidays their familys successes what they have etc. Well in fairness only one was really ott like that. the rest of us listened. But it brought it home to me that my priorities now differ from theirs. I am happy enough, I am me, I dress casual and do the make up etc but not overboard. I dont need to impress anyone, I dont want to impress anyone. This particular lady did not even ask how the treatment was going. I suppose it all boils down to the fact that my needs are now different to hers. I just wonder have any of you felt like this,

29 Replies

  • Hi Suzuki, sometimes people just don't think. I worked with a girl, I had been off to have surgery and chemo for about 9 months when I bumped into her in M&S. My hair had started to grow back but was like a No1 cut lol. She said to me, why did you get your hair cut so short? I said, i didn't, that's it growing back. What do you mean growing back. Well, I lost it all with my treatment. What treatment? I started to tell her I have ovarian cancer and had surgery and chemo, she immediately changed the subject to her and proceeded to tell me all her woes. I was very glad my daughter phoned me as it gave me the opportunity to move on. I used to worry about my weight, not any more, of course I would like to be slimmer but hey, I've more important things to worry about like fighting this disease.

    Your friend sounds a bit insensitive. Maybe its just she doesn't know how to talk to you about it hense her verbal diarrhoea lol.

    Ann xo

  • kNOW exactly how ou feel ,I sapose its sad really that it takes an illness for us to realise its the simple things in life that can make us happy,but life goes on and that's good , xxx

  • Yes that is true, we appreciate the simple things better and dont have need for anymore than to get up every day and do the best we can. I love watching a robin who comes into the garden , they have been around for years, probably not the same one possibly offspring. If I am out there he comes along hoping for food. He or she has disappeared now but come September they will be back. He would warble on a tree across the road and then I would put out some crumbs and he would come down. This went on from April until mid June. He was so cheeky.

  • I have one of those too,I love watching birds in the garden have a few feeders, so cute. xxxxx

  • Hi Joan

    I doubt you are alone in this experience at all. I find, maybe a bit unfairly, that some people's concerns seem superficial in the light of what mam is going through and how limited her life is now.

    I suppose everyone is doing their best really, and that lady probably just doesn't understand, or want to understand. Some people have great empathy, but others don't have that capacity to think about difficult situations or how someone might be dealing with them.

    Mam has always had to have a long afternoon nap when she is on chemo, and i remember dad's sister in law visiting one Sunday afternoon early on and remarking that she thought Mam would be up as it was Sunday - because cancer/chemo is great like that, taking Sundays off to give you a break!

    You have maybe had to learn a lot of lessons they haven't had to, so your outlook will be a bit different. And meeting in a group like that, the concerns of the majority get talked about more, and you sort of wonder are you invisible if your concerns are a bit different. It was only one person really, and it coloured the whole group unfortunately in the way it left you feeling.

    I think you are amazing and your enthusiasm and energy and vitality come across in all your posts. Hope you're feeling better now than earlier. Sending a big hug

    Mary x

  • Hi Mary, thanks for your lovely reply, you are right my look on things would be different from what I have been through. The other two friends are really solid and wouldnt hurt or intrude. But you cant change people. People do have funny ideas as you mentioned, because it is Sunday, your Mum should not nap but stay awake to listen to others woes. Ah sure the in laws are worse, one sister in law asks my son how I am doing as he emigrated to Waterford, the same fellow never wanted to go see his cousins when he was younger so of course his job brought him down there and he is living in Kilkenny side of Waterford. She then rings me on the phone to go and visit a relative in hospital in Cork after an op for Cancer. Talking about sensitivity. Trying to tell her that he would be in no fit state for visitors after the op was impossible. We went when we felt he was able, maybe two days later and visited him often while he was up here. In fairness he was most appreciative and kept ringing me to thank me when he went home. So there are nice people too. I hope your Mum is doing as good as she can, it cant be easy for you.

  • Glad you're feeling better about it all Joan. Some people just don't have much emotional intelligence -or any type of intelligence - the "sunday nap" lady also visited mam in hospital even though the ward was closed due to the vomiting bug, but she just barged on in, i was terrified in case she went straight to see dad and gave it to him, we were all being sensible and stsying away, this lady thought we were heartless!!! So that's what you're up against! And no, you cant change people. Glad the other friends are solid. I think you're doing brilliantly. And another thing is, you said you'd try to stop being sensitive, but the way I'd look at it is, it's your sensitivity that makes you self-aware, and that helps you to cope and care for yourself and "grow" if you know what i mean. That lady might not have a quarter of your resilience if she had to deal with a similar issue. Though i know sensitivity is a bit of a double edged sword!!

    Mam is doing ok, she can do very very little, but she battles on and does what she can. I hit a bit of a wall a few weeks ago, got very very anxious and tearful in myself (not a new experience but hadn't been like that in a long time, years). So I've been off work for, have seen GP and she referred me to a counsellor (who gave me a little card with the serenity prayer on it, i notice you quoted it in another reply), she was helpful and I'll keep seeing her i think. I had just worn myself out trying to do too much and needed to take a step back, it was no harm as i needed to get more balance and more time to relax. I think it's an eldest child/only daughter/control freak type thing! Mam has chemo Monday all going well and i hope to go back to work later in the week.

    Your new kitchen sounds lovely and a de-clutter is great, good for the mind too!

    Take care

    Mary x

  • Hi Mary, you were right to take a break and step back a bit. We all need to do this. It isnt an easy step to go and get help, I have had to, we have Arc Cancer Support House here and you also have Solas in Waterford but maybe you went elsewhere. And in all honesty whatever works for you, you stick with your choice. You do need to take time out for yourself. I am second youngest but my mother depended on me, not the eldest sister and that didnt bode well. My sister is in ill health now at the moment, she has osteoporsis and got a nerve block yesterday. She is also living on her own and her youngest lives nearby and looks out for her. I am worried about my niece because she has three children under six but her coping mechanism is to agree with everything but does what she can in her own time. My sis isnt an invalid she was driving up to Thurs last but found the nerve block severe and is confined to the house for a few days on rest. You look after yourself and dont go back to work until you are ready, you will be back a half an hour and the fact that you were out will be totally forgotten, I know from experience. Mind yourself and take care. Your Mum is very lucky to have you.

  • Hi Joan, I'm so sorry your meeting with friends left you feeling depressed. You are always such a beacon of light and inspiration. I know though exactly how you feel. I think our experiences do change us and they often change us for the better. I hope you're feeling a bit better about it all now and feel very proud of the person you are.

    Sending lots of love xx Annie

  • Hi Annie, yes I am much better today. You cant change people and the way they behave so I should really learn to switch off because I know my other two friends do that. Yes you are right, I should be proud of my self. I hope you are doing okay, I understand you are now on treatment and I hope its going okay for you. Thanks again

  • Yes these are lessons in life that make us better people. I hope you are proud of yourself. I've had two sessions of carbo-platin and taxol and need to work out how to manage it better. Had a bad reaction the first week which was entirely my own fault for not hydrating enough, and this week got myself thoroughly tired. It could all have been so easily avoided so next time I must give myself a slap and be more vigilent.

    xxx Sending loads of love xxx Annie

  • That regime is effective but very tiring, I thought a few times I was done, with so many aches and pains and tiredness and nausea. I hope you have good anti nausea and Movicol or whatever helps. One nurse told me to eat a kiwi half an hour before you have something to eat because it help the constipation. Eat small meals often rather than large ones and on the very off days, get up every so often and walk around, it eases the pains and aches across the shoulders. So two down, a third of the way there! Yes you have to pace yourself better but no slapping your hand, you are doing the best you can at the moment. You tell yourself, I have two done and I am not so bad.

    Sending you hugs, Joan

  • Yesterday I was very naughty and went down to London for a Rhubarb Spritzer with a friend who was in London just for the weekend. We'd never have met otherwise as she lives NE of Aberdeen!

    We had a brilliant 2 1/2 hours in London together and I had 5 hours on the train there and back doing not a lot so it was manageable. We met up in Hyde Park and London was enjoying weather like Spain. There was so much to look at with people riding horses, cycling, running, walking dogs and just generally enjoying the lovely weather. It was great to get out and about and remind myself there's life out there still to be enjoyed though I have relied on my wonderful family to put up with me yesterday evening and today lying around like a wet fish.

    Shouldn't have ridden a Boris Bike back to the station after the Spritzer and a bowl of olives.

    So far the regime doesn't seem too bad Joan. It does seem to be a tiring one. I'm still in bed this morning. I think it's the sudden weight loss that has made me feel very weak but I'm not suffering overmuch with anything else at the moment apart from aching joints.

    As you say two down and only 4 more to go.

    Loads of love xx Annie

  • When I have been undergoing my chemo I learned to distinguish friends who are not really friends . They do not ask how your treatment is going , they focus excessively on growth / non growth of your hair , if you are wearing a hat to hide the baldness they ask you to remove your hat to see how bad it looks , they ask " how your family is taking it ???? . In short eigher revel in your misfortune or ignore your concerns and offer support .

    One so called friend even laughed outright and called me the " most optimistic person she ever met " when I talked to her about a promising Immunotherapy trial" . I am a terminal cancer case so of course the " friend " rubbed it in !

    I have dropped her . Feels lot better when you do not have to deal with and feel depressed by your " frenemies ( friends who really are not ! ) " .

  • If this experience should teach us anything is that time is too precious to be wasted with toxic people. Surround yourself with love and people you can count on. I found that many people lack the emotional intelligence and are just afraid to become too involved emotionally. That's fine ( they probably never experienced anything like this) but stay away from them and draw near to those who truly care. I've been so surprised to find how wrong I've been about loyalties and how people I was not even great friends with really propped me up.

    I don't know if you are a believer but I also found great comfort in God's words.

    Be blessed and I pray that you are surrounded by lots of love.



  • Hi Suzuki,

    A lot of people only want to talk about THEIR family/successes/what new materialistic things they have purchased (and of course tell you the price) and not at all interested in anybody elses life unless of course they can be bitchy. I don't carry on the friendship, I'm not rude but keep away. Of course we don't want to go on about what drugs we are on or our aches and pains for hours or even mention it at all but a lovely chat on how everyone is and having a laugh or even a cry is lovely.

    Linda x

  • Suziki

    In my life experience, people only know what they know. I'm currently just 2 months out from diagnosis, optimal debulking surgery and on 2nd cycle of front line treatment and working my way through the mine field of life and dealing with first, prayer warriors across the US, close friends, Broker (I'm a Realtor in US), co-workers and acquaintances. I am working on Christian come backs with the help of an 82 year old survivor that makes those that ask stupid questions (can't fix stupid, but maybe I can enlighten them) My goal and maybe it is part of my new purpose in life is to make them stop and think and maybe, just maybe learn a little something along the way. I really don't need "negative nellies" in my life right now so I do agree with choosing wisely who you spend your social time with.

    Because of my life experience I am pretty independent and confident in life, have always lived knowing tomorrow isn't promised, but when ALL of your grandparents and great aunts lived well in to their 80's and your parents are going strong at 79 and 80 you do have a rough plan of living that long. So, this diagnosis was a definite pause for thought in regards to how I'm living my life now and what external "cancers" do I need to remove or what direction do I need to go.

    I have some quotes that I keep in the forefront of my life (had them taped to my PC and use the last one as my signature on my emails) that have helped me live life and will carry me through this as well:

    "The best thing we can do for ourselves and the people in our lives is to love them unconditionally, forgive them without reservation and to accept them exactly as they are."

    Iyanla Vanzant, writer

    Happiness is not a goal, it is a by product.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Live Simply, Love Generously

    Speak Kindly, Care Deeply

    Leave the rest to God!

    So, I'm sending cyber hugs and prayers that your "golden" friends are who you surround yourself with....I'm thankful for those in my life. We don't see each other often in person but I'm also working on making time and changing that....I get the texts/emails and snail mail treatment day cards that bring tears to my eyes as I deal with my "helicopter" family......that's getting better and I do feel loved, but was starting to miss my "quiet times" which I'm regaining as that is when I build my inner peace and strength.

    I've had loving conversations where the CEO of my company said, thanks for sharing my situation, he is not good at knowing what to say or do but that he was there for me if I needed anything....didn't expect anything less from him and his family (his brother is Broker and his parents are still part of the's a family and I'm part of it) I admired his direct honesty and just told him to continue to be honest and not afraid to ask questions but the best thing was to not disappear or treat me differently...I'm still LIVING LIFE!


  • Hi Suzuki. How right you are, when I got ill my friend ( nowx ) of over 30 years vanished, I could write a book listing all the times I helped her over the years. Just by chance I bumped into 2 weeks ago and straight away she started talking about all her ailments I butted in straight away and said by the way my cancer is back. She is one of those people as my late Mam used to say they either have a headache or a a- -e ache. I hope your enjoying the beautiful weather and dont waste any of your valuable time worring about your so called friend cross her of your Christmas card list. Kittie

  • Yes Kittie I can fully understand where you are coming from. People do tend to vanish from your life and then when you meet them, they just dont want to mention the word Cancer in case they might actually get it themselves. Hope that doesnt sound harsh. The weather is really nice, I am after getting my kitchen re varnished, wood too good to throw out so settled for them taking doors away and sanding them and varnished and with a new worktop, it makes a different and didnt cost the earth. Now the work starts trying to sort the rubbish of many years and trying to keep the space clear. I am a hoarder, hubby found four dog brushes, so will get through it in time and have a bag or so for charity shop. Hope you are keeping okay, you are almost there thank god. I would say you are relieved

  • Thanks ladies for you insight and inspiration. I suppose it is really accepting things you cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. You cant change people so I have to stop being so sensitive. I have dropped some friends along the way because of pure ignorance. I have a good friend going through treatment for a different cancer, we are friends since childhood. We chat by phone and meet up now and again as she lives up the country. We both feel we understand and empathise with each other. This group consists of two others who are lovely people and both have gone through cancer with different members of their family. They say little but I know they are my rock. The other lady I feel has a chip somewhere, although she has had difficulty in her life, she has very little sympathy towards anyone, its not just me to be honest. I feel better for sharing and thank you for your lovely answers and quotes. Today is a new day and I am up dressed have been out and about and must attend to a serious matter of replacing the microwave. In other words, life goes on.

  • Joan. Only coming into the conversation this afternoon and I know you are so kind and caring to others - so really whether we call them frenemies or ex-'friends' - ditch the ones who don't care.

    As we travel through life we meet lots of hurdles & get assistance over those hurdles from people who suddenly come into our lives....and I now know that real 'old' friends were there all the time; in good and bad times. New friends who I met on the way are kind, caring, funny, full of life and these new friends have got me over the hurdles of the past year.

    We change our perspective on life as we get older, thank God, and if someone is 'toxic' as one of the others said - ditch them.

    To Amuse You - was on my way to Blackrock Castle Cafe recently and it was like a "celebrity tour of Cork" with 2 of the people out-doing each other regarding the people they knew who lived in those lovely houses. As if I cared....God save me from bores. Now that is me being a b$&#h.

    Chin Up and don't sweat the small stuff ---- think of the extra room in the kitchen. I am on clean out also, but I love that and feel so good when it is done.

    Regards, Maureen

  • Thanks Maureen, I think what got to me was that I had mentioned I had men at home fitting back the door and the nose went up a bit because that wouldnt be good enough for this person but I was happy because this is what I kinda wanted. I would have loved a new modern cream or off white kitchen but actually what I have done is got doors re polished or varnished and a new worktop and it makes a difference. I like what I have got done and it was reasonable enough. Yes a lot of business people and professionals lived in those big houses. But Maureen in the past decade they have also had problems in their lives so no one escapes. I bet they didnt mention that haha. Its just small stuff I know and today I have just forgotten about her and appreciate what I do have, good friends and support which matters. See you tomorrow week

  • I haVE to agree wholeheartedly with a lot of what has been said here. I had a toxic friend who I ditched (Position Dwarf we called her). Gone now and I feel better for dumping her. When you are going through what we are going through its the only way. You can't change them, they don't understand one jot and n ever will. So get rid. Sounds awful but it feels good because they can't wind you up any more and of course no sleepless nights over what they have said. I still have a cousin similar talking about her illnesses etc. unfortunately can't dump that one. Just got to grit my teeth - luckily she can't see me on the phone. Take care everyone...

    Love Patx

  • Hi Pat, Yes I have also left one friend go, she was so negative, she did care in her own way but too much negativity so unfortunately we dont even send Xmas Cards now. I cant really get rid because she come with two other friends who are really nice. Sometimes she is too busy to turn up and its much better being three. I just have to grow a thick skin. We were always good friends but she has a daughter in a wheelchair which is sad. I have always been supportive to her but in the past two years, things are a little sour between us. We have different needs I suppose, We move on and develop other interests and drift apart.

  • Hi Suzuki,just saw your post now,having difficulty logging in to read them.😼I'm glad you painted your smile back on today! You know cancer is a fantastic tool,as it helps us make decisions we wouldn't normally have made in our previous lives.Cunning and clever plan for the kitchen.Im trying to get my hubby to put some doors on wardrobes.Are you going for coffee next Saturday?☕️🍰

  • Yes I am going next Saturday if god is willing and the creeks dont rise, I just borrowed that from a local newsletter. Well the work top was very shabby and I was hungering after a mod kitchen but decided to look for the guy who put it in originally. So found him and ended up with the same timber, doors revarnished and new worktop and sink so it didnt cost a fortune. Some opt to paint the timber white but wasnt sure how my sinuses would hold up to the smell as that takes four days with coats of this and that. So its done and at the mo, there is not a speck to be seen, will update you on that in a few months. I cant log in either or get emails. I have to go to the Ovacare webpage to see everything. I pointed another lady in that direction last week. I am okay now, that lady I was referring to wont change so I have to change my reaction and not take stuff personally. I agree that Cancer does change us and changes the way we look at things. Life itself changes every day, nothing remains the same. On a better note, won tickets for the concert in UCC tonight, hope the rain keeps away but will bring the brolly etc just in case. See you on Saturday.

  • Hi Suzuki. I'm sorry to be so late in replying - I'll be offline for much of the summer - but you are always so kind to respond and support others on this site - I felt it important to reply. As I read your own responses - it seems to me that you've figured this lady out for what she is and i honestly hope she doesn't occupy another moment of your thoughts. Time is precious enough - spend it with those who bring you joy. I wish you many wonderful hours in your new kitchen!! X

  • Thank you Missfitz, I hope you are doing okay. I admit I

  • am getting very lazy so have to spend more time outdoors so cutting down as well and start reading again. I hope you feel up to coming on Saturday, if not have a nice summer with the children and your family. I hope the weather will continue to be pleasant. Tonight heading to UCC for the concert, won two tickets so dragging hubby along for his sins. He will enjoy being in UCC but may get a little bored with the music

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