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Minerva's Breakdown: Stand By


I was diagnosed with cancer. Since that time, I've undergone surgery and chemotherapy. I'm thankful things are looking good for me. One of the hardest things to deal with is that when I shared my diagnosis, I went from having a brilliant social life, full of friends, to being almost alone. I feel like a lot of people that I considered friends disappeared when I needed them the most. How do I make peace with this and release the feelings of betrayal that I have? I've been there for so many people. I hadn't expected to be abandoned in my darkest hour.


F*** Cancer

Dear F.C.:

Cancer is a frightening diagnosis to face, even those with amazing support systems. Facing any significant health problem alone is daunting. When those closest to you were unable to rise to the challenge, that adds insult to injury. During my own recent recovery process from a difficult concussion (I'm NOT equating that to cancer at all), I feel like I have insight into this. Sometimes people don't know how to help. Their hearts hurt for you and they are scared. Some people don't realize that no one is asking them to do the fighting or healing. That's the personal battle. Anyone who has faced these challenges knows that one just needs their people to be present—not disappear. Instead of resentment, forgive them. If anything, let this tribulation make you more empathetic when life throws curve balls to others. You are now in a prime position to lead by example. Good luck to you on your continued recovery.