What Is Cancer Ghosting?
Last updated: September 2023
You always remember your first ghost.
What does ghosting mean?
The act of "ghosting" someone typically means someone is completely cutting off a personal relationship without notice. To the person who was ghosted, the person is never to be seen or heard from again, and the ghost leaves the other wondering what happened.
Maybe your first ghost was a person you dated. Maybe your first ghost was a friend you felt wouldn't stick around for the long haul anyway. Or perhaps a cousin who became estranged from the rest of the family.
Being ghosted while getting cancer treatment
However, nobody ever expects ghosting to occur while going through cancer treatment. That is a shocking scenario, especially for someone with cancer. Usually, family and friends support the person with cancer; ideally, everyone will band together and create that supportive "village" that people speak fondly of.
Sometimes, that's what happens. Those times are very special. An entire community of people that love and support you, all working together to ensure you are okay.
Support can change over time
It begins that way, sure. Everyone is rushing to your aid, offering support in any way possible. Friends are bringing food, someone is setting up a GoFundMe page, and your bills are paid for 3 months before you know it. Life is throwing you curve balls, and you're dodging them.
Then, it all becomes hushed. People suddenly can't make it to your house to help with your kiddo, and eventually, they stop offering delicious meals. Your friends start to distance themselves, and suddenly it is just you and your partner in your kitchen at midnight saying to each other, "We can do this; we've got this."
Friends who have been there for the birth of your child. Friends who have been there for career changes, highs and lows, and everything in between. Suddenly, they're gone in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, family members distance themselves so far they disappear entirely from your life.
Why does ghosting happen?
These things happen. They happen within the cancer community, and they happen outside of it. You could be on a date 10 years from now, really dig the person, only to have them never call you again. It happens in life, and unfortunately, it occurs in all phases of life. People could even get ghosted by their therapists!
What hurts the most in these instances is it seems to happen when you are hurting the most. People tell me they can't even fathom having a ghosting experience while getting cancer treatment.
The people who care will stay around
I'm here as living proof to tell you it happens when you least expect it to happen. It occurred to me in January 2021, right after my major surgery. It happened to me in November of 2022, right before I moved to Arizona with my family. It happened to me last month when I set a boundary with someone in my life.
Ghosting happens. People will come and go from your life. The most important thing to remember is that the people who genuinely want to be around you and have you in their lives will continue to be there. They are the ones that will support you through the darkness and beyond. For me, it has been and always will be my wife.
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