How Things Change

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I thought today about how relationships can change after a cancer diagnosis.

For instance, my husband and I became closer. He was a good support for me while I underwent treatment.

On the other hand, two of my relationships changed for the worst.

One, my hair stylist. She no longer chats with me about everyday things. She leaves great silences now, and is less chatty about her own life.

Two, my dental hygienist. She has been my hygienist for over eight years now. I am a nervous person at the dental office, and only go to her for dental cleaning. She has also become silent and seems less friendly than before she learned of my diagnosis.

Do these ladies fear that they, too, will develop cancer? Do they both feel that they must distance themselves from me, in case I die of the disease?
Do they have other problems that have nothing to do with me, and are they both thinking and worrying about such problems, in silence, not feeling that they can confide in me?

Am I simply imagining things? I hope so.

It is hard enough to be a cancer survivor without feelings of rejection or withdrawal from those one has had dealings with in the past.

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Losses

I had to attend a funeral yesterday. My sister-in-law passed away at age 64. She was diagnosed with breast cancer only a few months after I was diagnosed. She had triple negative breast cancer, stage 4. After the treatment, she developed cancer of the spine, which responded to treatment, but then she developed lung cancer and was sent home without any hope of recovery.

We had the privilege of  a weekend visit with her and my brother-in-law a few months before she died. She was mostly confined to a wheelchair, due to serious hip and knee joint problems. The surgery for those problems had been cancelled once she was diagnosed with cancer.

She also suffered from fibromyalgia, and had for several years.

Despite her health issues, she was kind, and genuinely interested in others.

I will miss her terribly, even though we only visited occasionally. She was that sort of person. If you are lucky, you know someone like that, and can appreciate my loss.

My brother-in-law married her, in hospital, and less than 48 hours before she passed away. She was happy, though, and I think she died in peace.

My middle sister died 10 days later. She had had a kidney transplant many years ago, and had actually outlived the expected time. She was 73. She died from kidney failure.

My step-mother-in-law died in November, 2015 from COPD complications and malnutrition. She was a very picky eater in the last days at the senior’s lodge and I think she had anorexia associated with dementia. She died peacefully.

So….it has been a stressful and emotional time here. I hope to have brighter posts in future.