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Losing Friends During Cancer

Being a young adult is hard as it is, but then throw in a cancer diagnosis. I lost all my friends during the hardest time in my life. I thought we had living single girlfriend type of friendships, but I guess not.

The Impact on Friendships

Loss of Support System

A cancer diagnosis can be isolating. Losing our social support system makes it worse.

Friendship Breakdown

Cancer can lead to long hospital stays, canceled plans, fatigue and depression. It's often hard for people to understand.

Social Stigma

Others are afraid of cancer, making them distance themselves from the person diagnosed due to social stigma and fear of illness.

My Personal Experience

People who care

Despite the friend losses, I realized there were still people who cared for me. Family and other cancer patients became my new support system.

A journey of personal growth

The experience helped me grow as a person. It helped me be more empathetic and understanding of others going through tough times.

Discovering my true friendships

Through this journey, I also identified the people who were true friends. The ones who stood by me through thick and thin.

Reasons Why Friends May Distance Themselves

Fear of Death

People may distance themselves from someone with cancer due to their own fear of death or inability to deal with grief.

Too Close to Home

Some people may relate to the patient's situation too much, making them too uncomfortable to stay connected.

Feeling Helpless

Others might feel helpless or inadequate, unsure of how to support the patient.

Ways to Cope with Losing Friends

Find Inner Peace

Meditation, yoga or mindfulness can help you find a sense of peace and calm, reducing the need for external validation.

Meet New People

Joining a cancer support group or an organization that interests you can help you meet new people going through similar experiences.

Get Outside

Simple outdoor activities like taking a walk, gardening or bird watching can boost one's mental health and help get through tough times.

The Importance of a Support System

Reducing Stress

A support system can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, promote healing and provide a sense of acceptance and belonging.

Increased Wellbeing

Studies have shown that patients with cancer who have social support adapt better to the diagnosis and have a higher quality of life.

Motivation and Encouragement

Friends who provide motivation and words of encouragement can increase the patient's resilience and motivation to fight the disease.

Hold Tight

A cancer diagnosis can leave one feeling alone, abandoned, and heartbroken. But remember, you are not alone. While losing friends can be painful, identifying the ones that stay can help you through the journey.

Seek Support

Seeking support from a network of family, friends, healthcare providers, counselors, and support groups can provide you with the strength to overcome cancer's emotional and physical challenges.

Take Care of Yourself

Remember to take care of yourself. Take time to do things that bring you joy and make you feel good. Practice self-compassion and seek professional help if you need to.


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