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Friends Lost and Found

Posted 8/22/2013

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  For several years, I have written a regular column for the magazine that used to be called CR and is now named Cancer Today. It has been a pleasure to suggest topics of general interest and then try to say something useful in 500 words. This column, Friends Lost and Found, is from the summer issue that was recently published. You can see the whole magazine online and subscribe to the digital edition at


  Here is the beginning of this most recent column and then a link to read it all:

Friendships Lost and Found
Some cherished bonds break in the face of a cancer diagnosis, while other relationships can become wellsprings of comfort and support.
By Hester Hill Schnipper

The impact of cancer on friendships can be shocking. A cancer diagnosis is a litmus test for relationships, and everyone experiences surprises. We generally assume that our friends will be supportive in a crisis, but after cancer, we learn this may or may not be true. Meanwhile, people we barely know become faithful and important friends.

Everyone is afraid of cancer, and some people just can’t manage their own fears in order to support you. It is very upsetting when a dear friend never calls after learning of your diagnosis. It is distressing when someone turns away after spotting you in the market—especially if you are wearing a wig or a hat on your bald head. It is terrible when an old friend suddenly stops your regular routines.


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