Long story short, my sister and my mom both have cancer right now. My mom had breast cancer, which is now in her stomach. My sister has breast cancer and she just had a double mastectomy. I have been under a lot of stress, needless to say.
So, when I told a very close friend of mine that my sister had breast cancer, her first response was "does she eat a lot of sugar?" I was shocked. I tend to not know how to respond when people say rude, insensitive things. I have learned there are many different causes of breast cancer. My sister happens to have a breast cancer gene, no not BRCA. Anyway, then recently when I told this same friend about my sister's mastectomy she asked "So does this mean she will be flat as a board??" I just said "yep!!" Then, the more I thought about what she said the more angry I became over the next few days. This friend is not in the medical field, but I think the majority of women know what a mastectomy is...don't they?? So, I chalked it up to ignorance. I discussed it with her later and she claimed she wasn't sure because I have been acting so "normal" about it all, like it isn't very serious or something. I told her I don't cry every single minute about it, but it is very serious. Then same friend asked me if my sister had missed some mammograms. Mind you, I had already told this friend about her diagnosis. The radiologist my sister had missed the cancer on a mammogram. Anyway, I just feel like this friend has pointed all fingers at my sister, like the cancer is her "fault". The "flat as a board" comment is hard to get out of my head. I have been avoiding this friend because of this. She told me she would never say anything to hurt my feelings. Well, then people really need to be careful before they open their mouths!
Then a nurse at work was talking to me about breast cancer. Her sister died from it, so you would think she would be sensitive about commenting on my sister. She actually told me "Did you know the percentage of men leaving their wives after a mastectomy is really high?" Wow. Just wow. I really have learned to be very very careful who I talk to!!
Has anyone experienced this??
One more thing....my so-called close friend was the first person I called when I found out my mom's breast cancer had spread to her stomach...which is incurable. I cried to my friend for almost 20-30 minutes. This was a few months ago. Them, just recently I mentioned to her something about my mom's stomach cancer and the friend said "your mom has stomach cancer??" OMG. My jaw literally dropped. My friend is becoming not so close anymore. This is proof she doesn't listen very well. I had told her my mom was vomiting for over a year...usually people close to you would remember something like that. Or do I just expect too much? Thanks for letting me vent. I have talked to other people with cancer who say they have lost friends because of rude comments. I think my friend isn't as much of a friend as I thought she was.