When a person is facing cancer, sometimes a friendship is difficult to continue. Cancer creates fear in others: will I get it? I am not sure I am strong enough to see him or her in such a state. It is not just cancer, but any challenge is when we each need the help and support from a friend.
Laughter and tears?
Trust is one of the most important traits I look for in a person. I know that I can tell this person anything and it will stay strictly between us. Honesty and availability are natural parts of trust. I must feel trust from others just as I trust that God is always is here for me.
If your friend is not honest with you, then it is not a relationship you can trust. When I went through my cancer both times, I quickly found out who was being honest and genuinely caring with me, and who was not. Sometimes the truth does hurt, but for a friendship to be true and healthy then honesty must be there. One friend said to me,"You may not like what I am going to say, but...." Friendship was and still is alive and well between us. She took a risk, but I trusted her and knew she was being completely honest with me.
It was during the initial cancer diagnosis that I needed people the most, who were both good listeners and good advisors. During a crisis time the mind is more scattered and less able to make good decisions. Certain friends always helped me to think more clearly. They looked me in the eye; not distracted by their surroundings or own inner thoughts; often put a hand on me conveying love, empathy and attention.
How available is the friend? For the most part a friend will put aside other activities and make time to be there for us. Certainly that does not mean they can be physically with you 24/7, but it does mean that they will be there for you in any communication style possible.
My husband is my closest friend and I love him for having every one of those traits I have listed above. I am blessed to have several friends who also fit this criteria. And, the friendship goes both ways.
When you have a friendship there is the gifts of laughter and tears. At the right time humor is a very healthy quality. Laughter increases the endorphins, reduces stress, and it just plain feels good. When we cry we release pain, sadness, and fears. It is particularly effective when we can shed our tears with a friend. Sometimes we cry so hard we begin to laugh; and when we sometimes laugh so hard, we cry. Friendship helps to make both situations because you are doing it with someone you trust and love. Probably they will be laughing or crying right along with you. What a beautiful moment!
We each will face at least one challenge in our lives; some more serious than others. No matter what occurs, we all need friendship to face these challenges in a healthy way. As the song goes, "That's what friends are for...." You are never alone when you have a friend no matter the physical distance between you.
Reach out to others and allow the friendship to build and grown. There is nothing more beautiful between two humans than the beauty of this magical gift called friendship.
I am a retired RN with a Master's Degree in Human Development, who worked with clients in my private practice as a nurse therapist. The subject of friendship was often discussed and I tried to help each one to understand what friendship is or is not. www.outshineovariancancer.com