friendship is a choice

our eyes met and locked
we froze momentarily
both spoke together

thoughts overflow, seeking each
other’s anxious ear
♦   ♦
friendship’s common bond
deep need to share words, thoughts or
maybe just silence

I don’t think that anyone with advanced cancer would argue that having and going through treatment for metastatic cancer is stressful to say the least. It is not something that anyone would invite along in our journey through a rich life. But after it jumps on the path you are walking, it’s a companion that will stay by your side minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. We try to kick it away, but it clings tenaciously, sometimes ferociously. We comfort ourselves that we will cope with it whether the path widens or precariously narrows. We do whatever we can to follow our paths despite our constant companion.

Having another companion along the way, however, who is neither supportive or kind is nothing but intrusive, and I think that because we must focus strenuously on the path and on keeping our mind off of our 24/7 companion, we do not have time to deal with any such negative influences. Some days it is a constant struggle to find peace, and we should reward ourselves when we do in spite of the difficulties. When friends turn away or become hurtfully negative because they cannot deal with our cancer, I think it is time to let go.

While we can help some of our friends cope, I think it becomes no longer friendship when the impact of that relationship is negative rather than positive. And, more than ever it is important for us to focus on the positive aspects of our lives while avoiding negatives. Granted, with this stupid disease we face many moments that do not offer us a choice of acceptance. With friends, however, we do have a choice.

Remember that a friend is someone with whom you enjoy sharing time and someone who makes you feel better. If your friend causes you pain with actions or words that strike your heart, it might be time to re-evaluate that friendship. We already have a busy schedule of keeping ourselves focused on healing our healthy cells after cancer and cancer drugs rampage our bodies. Be kind to yourself and expect your friends to be kind as well.

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© 2004-2010 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.


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