Every time I speak to someone who’s been through cancer, I can’t help but ask:
The people in your life – how did they support you?
The reason is some of my close friends went missing when I went through treatment, and I kept asking myself:
Is this my fault? Am I the only one who gets to go through it?
The truth, as always, is simple and outrageous.
It’s one of my early episodes of Simplify Cancer podcast, before Zoom took over our lives and I’d meet guests in person.
Today, we’re in the library, and we talk about the great turning points – the moments they tell you it’s cancer, deciding on treatment, the agonising wait for results, support
My guest is gushing about how fantastic everyone was, supportive, she could not be happier.
We wrap up, and as I’m packing the microphones away, she pauses for a moment, as if unsure and says, “You know, there are a few close people that cut me off, and it really hurt.”
“That sucks,” I say in surprise, “but why didn’t you say that before?”
Her eyes gaze off into the distance. “You know they could listen,” she said softly. “I just don’t want to upset them.”
Since then, I have spoken to hundreds of people, and their experience is often the same:
There is always a feeling of hurt from someone who’s part of their life, and a profound sense of not wanting to talk about it.
Yes, it’s painful, yes, it’s hard to put into words, but it is the struggle we share!
However, I also believe that most people want to be there for you, they want to support you – they just don’t know HOW.
It’s why we must guide them, explain what we want, so they feel that they are there for you in a meaningful way, and you get to feel the connection, the strong bond that binds.
For that, we must understand our own needs, even as they change and evolve.
If you feel that your needs might be changing, or perhaps you’re not getting support that you want, I’d love you to join me for this vital conversation on evolving support needs and what works best for you now: