Friday, May 6, 2016

Resentment

Among all the other emotions for a cancer patient is resentment. First there is the resentment of why me? But the biggest problem is the resentment of others.

Why did X turn their back on me when I was diagnosed with cancer after all our years of friendship? This one is very common. I have lost more friends at the word cancer than I care to count. I hope they think they are better off without me and I certainly know I am better off without them. But it took a long time to get that way. There are numerous iterations of this passed around among cancer patients. We all have this happen to us.

But the bigger resentment comes when key family members, who we have relied on our whole lives for support, hide information about our diagnoses from us. Yes this happens.

I met a woman about five years ago. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 18. Her parents never told her that she was diagnosed with cancer. As a result she never had any follow up treatment after cancer and experienced numerous recurrences and their treatments for decades. Her parents were scared of the word cancer and didn't want to admit it had happened to their family.

I know another woman who was diagnosed at age 20 with cancer. Her mother never told her. Her sister never told her. Her best friend never told her. Can you believe it? And her mother since passed away before she had a chance to come to grips with this. Her friends and family did not feel she was emotionally able to cope with her diagnosis.

I know someone else who's family were with her through her cancer diagnosis but never discussed it. For decades. It was sort of put to the side and was and is the elephant in the room that is never spoken of. How does that sound? How do you face your family when they do not choose to discuss your health for decades?

This kind of resentment festers and lingers. Its a huge emotional load for a cancer patient to deal with along side of life long health issues, side effects, and emotional drain.

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