Friendship and myeloma – Post 3

So I decided that I’d take a step away from talking about myeloma per se for this post and talk about my feelings about the impact that cancer has on friendship. Because like it or not, it is pretty huge, and sometimes it isn’t huge in a good way. Now, I could make the excuse that reducing my level of antidepressants is making me write this, or I could just accept the fact that it is something that I have thought about a lot over the past few years, but only now, really felt strong enough to write about it.

Friends are probably the most important thing to me in my life, other than my kids. Nick is my best friend ever. I would do anything for my friends if they needed it, because I genuinely believe that this is what friendships are about. For a long time, Nick lost out to that as I forgot that he was my best friend and deserved it as much as my other friends. But myeloma reminded me how amazing a friend he is to me and how he will give up everything for me. And reminded me that he should be the friend I put first and foremost.  I hope he thinks I do….most of the time!

But he isn’t my only friend. I am lucky and I am surrounded by lots of amazing friends. Some are long-term friends; friends that I have had since secondary school and who know me inside out. They know about the temper tantrums I used to have as a 13 year old, my introduction to the teenage years, the influence of my family on my life….and all those things that often you don’t tell newer friends about. And some are newer friends. I have some of the most amazing friends who I met in my Sixth form, at HSBC when I worked there, and a lot who have been there since I met them through the children via NCT, preschool and school.

But cancer does change things. Some people seem to run scared…they don’t know what to say and so it is easier I think to just stay away from the whole scenario. Don’t get me wrong. No-one has told me this, but I can feel it from a few people ….a few friends where I had hoped my friendship was stronger than that. I think we’ve pretended that it is just life moving different ways, but I genuinely feel like it is sometimes people just not wanting to deal with reality. And to be honest, if it isn’t that, it feels like they’ve given up at a time in my life where I would like them more than ever.

I think overall I’ve been pretty lucky. My diagnosis has really made me understand who I can rely on….who will go out of their way to help me out when I need it. I have heard other people talk about people who have literally disappeared overnight and that most definitely hasn’t happened to me.

Perhaps some of this is natural anyway. I am a different person now. Nick and the kids come first. I no longer run round trying to make sure I see everyone on a regular basis as we never had time for ourselves as a family. My good friends, I hope, understand that this is not only a necessity but that it is how things should be. So perhaps, if I’m not prepared to give up so much to ensure I see friends, I shouldn’t expect so much from them…..perhaps.

Challenge 4 – Read 40 Books

Well so far I’m doing ok on this one. I’m less than 2 months in, and I’ve currently read 4 books; The Passage, The Thread, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and currently ‘Opposed Positions’. I chose this challenge because I love reading. But over the past few years, I’ve found that with the kids, I’ve read less and less. I never seem to find the time and I spend far too much time on Facebook and doing other ‘things’. So I thought that by putting on this challenge, it would mean that I would have to find that time to do something that I have always loved. I’m hoping that I can make sure that I keep this one going and don’t have to resort to Mr Men books by the end ;-)

So, if anyone has any recommendations of books to read, please let me know, or feel free to lend me books! The library is being well used again now and so long as no-one recommends War & Peace (which I have actually read anyway!), I will hopefully be ok for timings!