I used to be friends with someone. In fact, she was one of my best friends. Eventually I decided that she was not worth the effort it took to continue being her friend and I let the friendship lapse while I was in France. I was tired of listening to her complain about everything - how hard her life was, how she didn't have time for anything besides medical school, the fact that she never called. Basically, after several years of self punishment trying to be friends with someone who will always put herself first to the point of not caring about the problems of others, I realized that no friendship is worth that kind of treatment. This is someone who, while I was in the hospital getting chemotherapy when I was first diagnosed six years ago, complained to me about how hard it was for her to study for the MCATs and told me that I "had no idea what she was going through." She was right, I didn't I was far too busy fighting for my life to have time for anything as serious as the MCATs. This is someone who couldn't be bothered to call me during the next several months while I was getting treatment because she was too busy with school work. And even before I got sick, this is someone who made a big stink when I asked her to drive me to the pharmacy to pick up medication when I was so sick I could barely speak.
I don't know how I put up with her for so long. When I look back on our friendship it's a series of hurtful events that made me feel bad about myself. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. That and the fact that cutting her out of my friend group at that point would have created serious drama. Or maybe I was constantly searching for her approval, for her to break down and do something that proved she was a good friend. I honestly don't know.
Fast forward to this past spring, when a couple of friends came to visit me. They had just seen this other girl and told her that I was sick again. Her response? She already knew. She already knew, yet she had said nothing to me. No phone call, no note, no message passed through these other friends. Nothing. No acknowledgment that we had ever been friends or that she had any kind of emotion regarding my situation. Remember, this is someone who wants to be a doctor. Can you imagine having a doctor who is either so emotionally constipated or so socially awkward that they can't pass along a message of "hope you get well soon?" !?!?!?!
I really wish this didn't bother me, and that I wasn't still thinking about it and nursing these angry feelings. It makes me angry, and it also really hurts. Even though I don't want to be her friend anymore and haven't for years, it still hurts that she couldn't bring herself to say something to me. Her inability to say anything makes me wonder if she ever cared about me at all. She certainly didn't show it when we actually were friends, I wish I weren't hanging onto these feelings. It's bad for the spirit. I can't help the way I feel, but I really wish I were over it already.
The more I think about it, the more I think back on her behavior over the years, I think she's one of those people who just can't deal with cancer. She probably can't deal with mortality and illness. That, and she's completely self involved. And yet she's a doctor.
A lot of cancer patients lose friends when they get sick because they just can't handle it. The cancer makes them uncomfortable and scared because they have to confront their own mortality. I am very lucky to have wonderful friends who have stuck by me through the ins and outs of this disease over the years. I should try to concentrate on them, rather than on people I didn't even want to be friends with who ignored me when I got sick again.