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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. we appreciate you sharing your perspective with us. It is so hurtful when someone ghosts you, especially when you could really use their kindness and understanding. I'm sorry to hear what you have been experiencing with your daughter. Have you considered having a conversation with her about the hurt you are feeling? I truly hope you know our community is here for you anytime. Kindly, Jessica, aBC Team Member

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