Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Cancer Ghosting – losing friends during cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer turns people’s lives upside down and to have to deal with potential ‘cancer ghosting’ – losing friends during cancer – is something no one is prepared of. From anxiety about what the future might hold to the grim day-to-day realities of being ill and going through treatment, it can be a frightening and often isolating diagnosis to live with.     At the very least, though, most of us would probably expect our friends and family to rally around, offering support at such a challenging time. But what if they don’t.

In research carried out by us here at War On Cancer 65% of our respondents said that friends or relatives had disappeared or cut contact after their diagnosis. This heartbreaking phenomenon is known as ‘cancer ghosting’. It also causes isolation and loneliness when going through a difficult experience. Read the full article, written by Refinery29 here

A phenomenon known as ‘Cancer Ghosting’

Why does this happen? Twenty-five-year-old support worker Yamour Yapici, who had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma four years ago, believes it’s sometimes a form of self-protection. “Some of my friends just didn’t know how to handle it. They felt quite afraid, so they avoided seeing me because I reminded them of death, and they thought I wasn’t going to make it,” she explains.   “They didn’t want to be emotionally traumatised by the whole process of watching me deteriorate, and some of them actually admitted that – they were scared for me because they didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. At the time I was confused and didn’t understand it, so I cut out a few friends and don’t really speak to them anymore, but it’s been four years now and I’m trying to understand why people did what they did,” she adds.

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