“To have a true friendship, you have to do more than exchange Christmas cards or call each other once a year. There has to be some continued support and attention; otherwise the relationship is a sentimental attachment rather than a true friendship” – Dr. Dolores Kreisman
Friends are the people who know our history. They are the people who know when the persona we display is real or a show. Friends are the people who will laugh with you and cry with you. They are the people you want to call when good happens and when bad news is received.
Following a diagnosis you will see who your true friends are and how they support you. You’ll be surprised as to who steps up to the plate in a way you never would have imagined. You’ll also be surprised at the people who sink into the background hoping you don’t notice their absence.
This isn’t about blaming anyone. Everyone has their own pain threshold, both for themselves and when they interact with others. It’s important to know who the people are that will support you when all you need is someone to listen or to cook dinner for you and your family, or to make you laugh.
True friendship is precious and when certain friends opt-out of your life it makes way for new people to enter. We have to remember that when we are faced with a challenge like a life-altering diagnosis our growth curve is very steep. Everyone in your life will not be able to make that steep climb so you may have to leave some behind on your trek up to the summit. You will find others on the summit, or along the way…that’s the pilgrimage process.
Treasure the friends you have. Reflect on the kind of friend you have been and you are and remember there is always an opportunity for a mid-course correction.