One of the dark sides of a terminal illness is emotional withdrawal. As you read my book, I touch on emotional set backs, feelings and how some cope day to day. “People treat me like I have a contagious disease.” A very common feeling and emotion shared by Cancer Victims. This is very real. Many times victims tend to keep to themselves and their issues never revealed because of the onset of friends and relatives responses. People unconsciously tend to distant themselves or show signs of not knowing how to react or treat those who are ill.
Cancer is not contagious, and it will not affect you or anyone else around you physically. So why do people act as if it will?
It breaks down like this…
When you learn of someone who could possible die, due to an illness, we tend to get uncomfortable and find it hard to continue a normal type relationship. Why? It is even more prevalent when someone is diagnosed with Cancer. The “C” word. Oh No!!!
For those who carry the burden of this, it brings on another feeling of “are people going to accept me? Are people going to treat me differently now? Are my friends and loved ones going to distant themselves from me?” Along with that comes the thoughts of “Am I going to become a burden to my friends and family?”
All these type feelings are going on within the victims, and the onset of their treatment only escalates the emotional roller coaster. We should all be more considerate of their emotional side, and realize, the better we accept their situations and keep a normal environment, the better they can cope.
Feeling sorry for them can lead to feeling helpless. We all feel horrible when we learn someone we care about is ill, however, turning that into a positive will only help those who truly need your inspiration and support more than ever.
They do not need our sympathy, they need our support.
You may ask, “How can I show my Support?”
By staying the same. Simply just be the friend or loved one you have been. Normalcy is so important and there is where you can really help. Being a great listener and allowing them to express openly with out questions or advice is important as well. And Please, do everyone a big favor, and avoid making comments like “I Understand” you have no real knowledge of how individuals feel or cope, so making statements that you do is not true. Each person shares and feels differently. That is what makes us all so special.
Next time, and I hope and pray it never happens, but if it does, someone approaches you with their illness, just state warmly and honestly how you truly feel, and that you will be there for them as you have always been. No jumping through hoops, or going overboard just simple basic love and sharing life as before.
The sentence those have been given is already a major life changer, you can stabilize the road to recovery by keeping a straight and clear path for them.