Now that I had my diagnosis there were two tasks at hand: Telling family and friends and finding an Oncologist I trusted. Believe it or not the first seemed the most daunting.
It’s times like this that I realized just how much I hated social media. It’s so easy to get caught up in positing every little detail of your life on Facebook but the problem with that is your friends ACTUALLY READ what you post and want updates on things like Dr. appointments and such. I had made that mistake in posting about some of my tests and now people were asking if there were any updates. Uh yeah, there is an update alright. Exactly how does one post that they just received a terminal diagnosis?? “Hey Friends, thanks for all those prayers and good wishes turns out I have Stage 4 breast cancer! Woop!” To me it was like posting about a death and it turned my stomach. Yet it had to be done. The alternative was to call or reach out to everyone individually and that seemed even more horrific to me. I did not want to relive it all over and over.
After discussing with my husband we decided that one big post would suffice and in that post I asked for everyone’s understanding while we digest everything. What happened after was something I did not expect.
All of a sudden everyone was my BFF – even acquaintances. I was getting gifts sent to me, flowers, cards and most irritating of all was the requests of people who wanted to visit me. I had more Pink things than I ever had in my life. In an instant I felt like a science project on display. Everyone wanted to hang with the girl that was going to die. It was overwhelming. Most everyone had good intentions but as most things are it was all short lived. I found out quickly who were my real friends and who were my ‘Hollywood’ friends.
Real friends are those that still reach out to you after radiation and after surgery to just check in and see how you are or just to say ‘Hi’. THOSE are the friends you can count on. “Hollywood” friends are those that want to be able to say they know you and say, “I gave her a pink breast cancer bracelet” and “I gave her those pink earrings” all of which supposedly have some proceeds that go to Breast Cancer. The Hollywood friends end up forgetting about you after the ‘novelty’ wears off. They don’t call to check on you and most often you never hear from them again.
I have a small circle of REAL friends that I can count on one hand and that’s fine by me.
I know exactly what you mean, half of my friends (or so called) are gone. I had stage3b breast cancer, had a bilateral mastectomy.
My prayers go out to you and your family.