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Thanks...and one more question


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Thanks for your thoughts on where Claire's friends disappeared to. Kasey - her friends are old enough to know better. They range from about my age (35) to one woman who I think is 42/43. Most of them are late 30s.

I fear that Peggy and others are right and that these friends are gone but I am more than prepared to make a phone call or two. As far as I can see the worst thing that could happen is that nothing will change for Claire. There may be a little side issue of an argument between me and them but first off that's irrelevant and secondly it's an argument that they really don't want to have :evil:

My only question before I do this is addressed to patients (or to others way more experienced than me). If you found out that a friend had gone behind your back and phoned other friends would you be mad? Let me make this clear - she can be cross at me all she wants but I don't want her to feel in any way betrayed by me. I don't want her to think she can't trust me - she has few enough people she can rely on as it is. I hope this makes sense.

Thanks, Dee.

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Okay, Dee, it's Kasey again. After I read Peggy's reply I thought 'SHE IS RIGHT'....those friends have left dust in the trail! I figured they were not such young things that they had no life experience.

Now to your other question. I am the patient. And I think I WOULD be upset and feel betrayed...moreso because you are not really part of that group of friends. I think MAYBE it would be different if it was actually one of THEM trying to do this. SO.....what to do???? This is a delicate matter. You will have to weigh your options keeping in mind what you know about Claire and the person/s you call.

You are such a good friend, Dee. In my early 30's my very best friend (same age as me) was terminally ill with ovarian cancer. She had friends that disappeared. I did nothing but try to take up more slack. BUT I was close by. Finally one other friend joined forces with me and we did take care of her and supported her until she had to be admitted for her final days. So I know EXACTLY your pain for Claire.

There are others on the board who just have a way of seeing things and making the correct recommendations.... not me, I guess. Just know that I see this from both sides. I love you for what you have done, are doing, and will continue to for your friend.


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Hi Dee,

I will go back to my original comment. I think a telephone call would be a waste of time. I also think it would cause hard feelings, with the friends and with your Claire.

These people know Claire has cancer and they have elected to disconnect. You and I and all the rest of us think that's cruel, but it's still their prerogative. It doesn't work to try to talk people into helping/visiting, especially if they do it out of guilt rather than desire. It also wouldn't help anybody to make them feel guilty about their lack of attention to Claire.

I know you're angry and hurt because Claire is your friend and you don't want to see her abandoned by these people, but it is what it is, and I think a phone call would hurt rather than help.

I'm glad you are there for Claire. Good friends are priceless!



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Hey nutsy..

I know that right now you are upset and rightly so..! They're a bunch of immature a#%^&$es. Sit on this for just awhile and don't yet ACT on anything. Wait until you get your emotions calmed down and you can take a more thoughtful approach to the subject rather than an emotional one.

Here are my thoughts. Yes. I would be mad if someone were to meddle with my friends behind my back.

One thing that you might want to consider is how you can put a Positive spin on all of this.

Instead of approaching her so-called friends with confrontation, try to approach with a teamwork approach. You might want to try to involve them in the care of her happiness. Try to make a list of what will make Claire's life more complete, and invite them to participate. Manipulate them into thinking it is their idea to help Claire. For example, you may want to get someone to bring a fresh bouquet of flowers to her just one day a month. Or bring a bag of fresh produce to her every other week. Get them to commit to a plan. Make a list of some little things that you would like to surprise Claire with and then get one person in the group to perform this small task. Not only will Claire feel good about these small gestures, but the friends will feel good about their reconnection with Claire. They would probably like to do something, but are too involved in themselves to think outside their little boxes.

I think that will some creativity, some good choice words, a positive spin on things that the mission can be accomplished with no ill feelings anywhere, and in fact, everyone has an opportunity to be a winner as a human being.

love, cindi o'h

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Thats a pretty good idea Cindi. Make a positive situation out of a negative.

I think that is worth a try, especially if one or more wants to reconnect, but does not know how to go about it.

Maybe we can give Dee some suggestions for the members of her group to perform.

Your flower suggestion is a great one so is the produce. Maybe we can get a friend to bring a DVD over and make popcorn, maybe once a month or a dessert...

So when you call them, you can just play dumb. You have no idea they are not communicating with her. Take it from there and see what their reactions are.

I don't know people what do you think. Anymore suggestions? :roll:


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Hello, Dee.

I didn't weigh in on the original question because Mama always said "if ya ain't got nothin' to say, keep your everlovin' mouth SHUT". Second question on the same topic and I just have to jump in here...

I feel that her friends BEING at the pub and leaving when they saw her arrive speaks volumes. Looks like you are her "Best Friend Forever" and here is what I would do. Now, before you think I'm just piling on the BS, you gotta understand, I'm a pretty "ballsy" person where my friends are involved.

Claire may or may not know they were in the pub when she went to take a tinkle. She may have seen them, she may not have, but YOU did. I would think, at the very least, a phone call with a "shame on you" is in order! For cryin' out loud, they coulda invited her to join them instead of sneakin' out like a bunch of kids stealing cookies out of the cookie jar!

I would make those calls, and IF it p*sses Claire off, have a heart-to-heart with her about how you wanted her to have some people closer to her to check in on her every now and then. You do NOT need to mention what happened at the pub. You also do not need to forget what happened, as these people have proven they truly are fair-weather friends. If one of them drops in to visit with Claire for a few minutes on their way to the pub, that's a good thing, but don't expect 'em to hold her hair when she pukes.

My husband had a lot of social friends prior to my diagnosis. When he needed someone to talk to, they all disappeared. This was rough on him, we are each other's best friend, and he really couldn't share all of his fears with me at the time, I was dealing with demons of my own. Of the oodles of friends he had, only one called to talk to him, and he's a friend that lives a bit away, so no one the ol' boy could just have a cup of coffee with, etc.

I believe Claire's friends are out of her life, but I also think that SOMEONE should definitely make sure the door they are closing smooshes some fingers - but that's from one life-of-the-party girl for another. Sometimes, even the clown cries.

Bottom line? CALL 'em, but don't expect fruit and the like for Claire. Who knows, maybe with a bit of well-placed guilt ONE of them will come around and be there for the buddy. Sometimes, it's easier to go with the crowd, unless your conscience is screaming that you're wrong. Rattle up some of those consciences, Dee.

Take care,


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I know I am flip flopping (call me John Kerry) but I really just don't know.

Peggy certainly makes a valid point. If they were true friends they would be there for her period!!

So it is your call, Dee. I know that is difficult decision.

Again, she is so lucky to have you as a true friend.


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Here is my two cents: The two "friends" here that I considered to be my closest friends....are tighter than ticks these days and apparently, I have ceased to exist! :roll:

OH, they'll ask me how I'm doing if they see me at the golf club...or will ask my hubby how I am, if I'm not there. But that's about it. One of them called me (this is the last call I got from her), in February when the other one heard I'd relapsed and relayed the message. At the end of that call, she said, "I cannot imagine how you feel. Is there anything I can do for you?"

I said, "Well...it would be nice to hear from you once in a while".

She said, "I will make a concerted effort to do better!"

Concerted effort? What am I....a d*mn boulder to be moved? Mind you....we'd had a similar conversation a year prior....when I was sick with a muscle disorder and she never called or showed any concern. I let her know then....and gently so...that my feelings were hurt.

Nothing changed. And now I require "a concerted effort"???

I emailed her after that and said I was going to try to accept things as they were and just enjoy my good memories. That if it took "a concerted effort" for her to be in touch with me....that we'd BOTH know it and it wouldn't work for either one of us.

I've decided there really is such a thing as a "fair weather friend"...who only wants to know you if things are fine. Let something bad happen, and you can see the dust before their rapidly retreating feet kick it up!

The other one of these two friends made it a point to call me recently to recount a trip the two of them took together....to be sure I knew "how much fun" they had together. Then, to ice the cake, she told me the two of them took another mutual friend out to lunch after she lost her mother..."because she really needed to get out of the house". I guess cancer patients don't need friends, or lunch out or getting out of the house, you know? :roll:

Yeah....I guess I'm a little bit bitter over the fact that this is not how I'd treat my friends if they were sick. In fact, Miss Concerted Effort is a 5-6 yr survivor of breast calcifications. I was one of the few people she told....and I stayed in frequent contact with her as she went thru radiation.

What goes around doesn't always come around. But you cannot "force" a true friendship. It's either there or it's not. I feel for Claire. And for your dilemma. But the odds are that no matter what you might say to these "friends"...it wouldn't really change things and any effort they did make might feel false or forced and be short-lived.

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Thanks to everyone for the views. I have no clue what I'll end up doing. Whilst I really like Cindi's and Maryanne's ideas I can't see that I'd be able to make them work. As Kasey pointed out these are not my friends. I only see them with Claire and so I can't make a casual phone call.

I love Becky's idea because that most closely matches my own personality. However, it's not about me and I think Brian nailed it because I think he's summed up what Claire would probably feel. For now I'll do nothing.

Can I just say how sorry I am to you patients and caregivers who this has happened to. I'm truly horrified that so many people seem to be abandoned by family and friends when they are most needed. I don't regard myself as anything "special" (although thanks for all the nice comments)I'm just her mate and mates do whatthey can. Or so I thought.


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