Cancer survivor / artist Emily McDowell came up with a line of greeting cards for people who don’t know what to say when a loved one gets sick. She says that one of the worst things was the total isolation she felt when friends just dropped out of her life during her illness and chemo and I know from experience that the silence was deafening. Click here to see more of her line and to read the article on Slate.com. I chose to highlight this particular card because Scott received all kinds of stupid things from well meaning people. This card reminded me of the infamous John Hopkins Cancer Update which was a total hoax that John Hopkins busted. Yet several people sent it to Scott without first checking snopes.com for its accuracy and the result is the same as saying “Dear Scott, Your cancer is your own fault.”
Not only does the cancer patient lose contact with friends and family who can’t handle it, but the caregiver has the same experience. I observed that the people I expected to be my daily or weekly support went missing but many others on the peripheral sidelines of my life, whom I never would have expected to fill the gap, did.