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  • Writer's pictureThe After Cancer

Cancer ghosting is real: how to make new friends as a survivor?

a cancer survivor suffering from loneliness

Cancer ghosting and friends' disappearance

Cancer can bring about significant changes in a person's life, including shifts in relationships. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for cancer survivors to experience "cancer ghosting" - a phenomenon where friends suddenly disappear or withdraw from their lives after a cancer diagnosis. This can leave you feeling isolated and unsupported during a time when you need your social network the most.

Making new friends as a cancer survivor

While the loss of friends can be disheartening, it's important to know that it is possible to make new connections and establish meaningful friendships. Here are some strategies to help you navigate the process:

  1. Join support groups: Consider joining cancer support groups or survivorship programs where you can connect with others who have experienced similar challenges. These groups provide a supportive environment and a platform to meet new people who understand your journey.

  2. Pursue interests and hobbies: Engage in activities that align with your interests and passions. Whether it's joining a book club, taking up a new sport, or participating in art classes, these settings provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and build new friendships.

  3. Volunteer: Consider volunteering for organizations that support cancer patients or other causes close to your heart. Not only will you be making a positive impact, but you may also meet individuals who share similar values and experiences.

  4. Online communities: Utilize online platforms and social media groups specifically designed for cancer survivors. These virtual communities provide a channel to connect, share stories, and form new friendships with individuals from around the world.

Getting professional mental help

Adjusting to life after cancer can be emotionally challenging, and seeking professional mental health support can be very beneficial. A therapist or counselor who specializes in working with cancer survivors can provide a safe space to process emotions, discuss challenges, and explore strategies for building new relationships. They can also assist you in developing coping mechanisms for dealing with the emotional impact of cancer ghosting.

Building new friendships takes time, and it's important to be patient with yourself. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who appreciate you for who you are, including other survivors who can empathize with your experiences. By taking proactive steps, seeking out new social connections, and prioritizing self-care, you can create a supportive network of friends who will be there for you on your journey beyond cancer.


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