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Have You Experienced Cancer Ghosting?

Cheryl experienced ghosting, especially toward the end of her life. Travel because a challenge because of the pain in her back (mets on some ribs, her spine, and her right hip) made mobility and sitting upright a significant issue. If anyone needed to see her in person, they had to visit her at the hospital or during in-home hospice.

Phone calls were regular in the beginning but tapered off quickly as her health deteriorated. It hurt to watch her hurt from the lack of contact. The physical pain was challenging enough, but it really hurt her spirit to no longer receive calls. She felt she shouldn't be the one to initiate contact. I urged her to do it anyway, but she was adamant.

She had one friend from high school and college who remained in close contact with her. Brenda (not her real name) visited almost every weekend and offered to care for Cheryl while she was with her in order to give me a break.

Fear of the unknown cripples so many of us, and we shouldn't give in to it.

  1. I am so sorry to hear about Cheryl's experiencing of friendship ghosting. It can be so painful and hurtful when people slowly (or quickly) disappear after an advanced breast cancer diagnosis. And how difficult that must have been for you to watch her spirit hurt from the people who stopped contacting her. What a gift for her to have you, and those two close friends who did stay in close contact. Thank you, so much, for sharing about your and Cheryl's experience with us. -- Warmly, Christine (Team Member)

    1. Discussion about ghosting is needed to be put front and center out there so people understand how hurtful it can be. Collectively if everyone ghosts, each thinking only as an individual, it is very damaging. It is, however; understandable. Alas so. I wish people would commit to stepping up to the best of their ability. My daughter stood by me during my Stage III. She was my rock. Now with recurrence, MBC, she has mostly disappeared in between a few family occasions. She has a different lifestyle now so I try to understand. I'm not a clinger. I get out and make a life for myself. But it still hurts. Upon broaching this subject with other cancer survivors, there is quite a chorus of complaints or at least energized discussion. Reaching out? Simply can't. I get Cheryl.

      1. ghosting such a lonely place. It's a difficult situation to be in. Support from a friend is huge.

      2. , it really is lonely...such a frustrating time during a cancer journey. It is the last thing you think would occur, but sadly it occurs all too frequently. Support is critical, so know, we are here for you. - Marlena, Member

    2. I am glad the topic of ghosting and jealousy has been brought forth here - I know feelings are just feelings and they need to be felt thru not pushed down. Pushing down is primarily what I've done with these feelings for 6 years and 3 months (but whose counting LOL). I am glad because I can let myself feel the pain even if I dont have the huge cry or release . . . Something. Once I spoke my feelings out loud and my support person expressed anger right away and defensiveness, stating that I felt jealous and was also saying something bad about the life I was having and therefore that was a reflection on them (that squashed any truthful sharing of 'negative' feelings and it happened very early on in this MBC living).
      I understand that other people just don't get it and are protecting themselves or whatever - but understanding and empathy for others doesn't at all reduce the losses, the sometimes wondering if I ever meant anything to someone, wondering if they miss me, it doesn't reduce the hurt - and when you do reach out and someone can't do the work to change their behavior a bit - it hurts even more.
      Thank you for letting me have this opportunity to share and feel these feelings and cry a bit. I'm sure it's good for my mental and emotional health. I am on comfort care now and will be in hospice in the not very distant future.
      Mary, ❤️💔❤️

      1. Thank you for feeling safe and comfortable sharing your experience with us. My heart goes out to you as I'm sure this has not been easy for you. In personal experiences, I sometimes tell myself that the person reacted the way they did as their defense mechanism because they just don't know how to be or act. I had a supervisor once tell me that when someone takes something out on you, 99% of the time it truly has nothing to do with you or how they feel towards it. It's their emotions internalizing from something, a bad day or bad news, coming out on the wrong person and usually at the wrong time. Not sure if that makes any sense to anyone else, but it's something I keep in the back of my mind. I can't imagine how it was for you to try and discuss your feelings to just be shut down, it's unfair but I'm glad you were able to come here, in a safe space, and share to help get it off your chest and release it. Mary, always remember out community is here for you. We get it. Please don't hesitate to come here if you need anything, we're happy to offer an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on as you navigate through all these emotions. I'd love to give you a big hug but since I can't, I'm here sending you some air hugs and all the positive vibes I can. Please keep in touch. Talk soon! -Beth (Team Member)

    3. Thank you, Beth.

      1. Hi just wanted to pop in to see how you are doing? Again, we here for you anytime. Hugs, Jessica (Team Member)

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