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Is it normal to think your friend is faking Cancer?
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I have a friend who I have known for over 20 years, who has always been larger than life. She has always exaggerated when retelling stories and often tells lies to make her the centre of attention (ie being abused as a child, having group sex or winning large sums of cash). She has never had good health to my knowledge and often went overseas for medical treatment so her children didnt have to see her ill.
I got sick of her lies when I found out she lied to her first and second husbands about the paternity of her daughter (ends up it was one night stand) and distanced myself from her until she called me crying as she found out she has MS and was wheel chair bound. I flew up to see her and push her wheelchair around for a while as she needed help. That was eight years ago and a few years later she fully recovered from MS.(Is that even possible?)
Anyway last Christmas she claimed she had an inoperable brain cancer and was dying- I again flew up to see her (She seemed fine!)
The more I ask her about her condition the more vaguer her answers get. She starts a phone call with blurred speach but ends speaking clearly. Its now 10 months later and her story isnt checking out and she is not dead! Her family have also recently disowned her...
I feel really guilty for doubting this woman BUT IIN to think your friend is faking Cancer?
Is It Normal?
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Comments (27)
She is probably a pathological liar. They will often construct elaborate lies, seemingly with no motive, and even when challenged are unlikely to ever admit the truth... Even when there is overwhelming evidence that they are lying.

This is probably indicative of a psychological disorder, something she should address before she destroys every relationship she has. It could be that the motive is attention and sympathy (judging by the nature of her lies it seems likely), or perhaps that she genuinely believes her own lies (self delusion / false memory, rarer).

It's absolutely normal to think your friend is faking cancer, when your friend is someone who has obviously lied about serious illness in the past (nobody fully recovers from MS - you can have periods of good health with few symptoms, but its not permanent recovery).

Here's an idea. Confront her, be absolutely honest. Say to her, "I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble believing that you have an inoperable tumour because in the past you have lied to me, and there are a lot of things that don't add up. If you could show me some genuine evidence (letters from doctors / hospital, medication etc.) just to put my doubts to rest?" If she can't or refuses to, in all likelihood it's because it's a lie. If she can, she might be hurt that you doubted her, but at least then you can give your full support and trust could be restored between you. Good luck :)
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You answer really speaks to me.
She is flying down next week for more 'procedures'and I may see her then. She goes to such lengths to embellish her stories.

I feel it is something I need to discuss with her face to face.

Once again Thank You for your well thought out response.
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Why are you friends with someone who you distrust this much? If you don't have trust in a friendship, you shouldn't really be friends.
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@: dom180
I am God Father to some of her children and she constantly tells me I'm her oldest friend/best friend. She lives in another state and I really have distanced myself from her over the past 5 years- even ignoring phone calls BUT the guilt that she may be dying and Ive turned my back is too much for me to handle. I'm only there outta GUILT!
My real best friend thinks im a total fool for believing my old friend.
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It kind of seems like her story's been pretty inconsistent, so I can see why you might think she's been lying. I know what you mean too. I've had two friends who I believe have lied about cancer, and they both were the type to want pity and constant attention. Sorry you're feeling this way, I'm sure all you want is to believe her.
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Yeah I do want to believe her as I could not believe someone would lie to their children and friends, esp when she knows my father died of Cancer!
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Sounds like an attention getter to me! I know people with MS -- it's all downhill from there once you get it.
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So there is no chance that she once could not walk by herself and now can dance and run?
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Confront her on the MS thing, because that's something you just dont recover from
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Ask to see medical papers?
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How do I do that without accusing her?
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Hm, good question. Some extensive stalking/secretive investigative measures might need to be taken...
In all seriousness, I am really not sure. If she IS lying about it though, I would definitely disassociate yourself from her and tell her she needs to get professional help.
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It's possible. There are people who crave attention and sympathy to the extent that they'll make up the strangest lies and even fake illness. There was a story in the papers about a woman who falsely claimed her daughter suffered from cancer and even shaved her head just so that people would feel sorry for her as a mother.
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Dr shaved her head so the lasers could do their thing. When I researched it online the Youtube clip for the Gamma-Knife boasted that you didnt need to shave your head. When I quizzed her about it she said Öh I'll have to ask my Dr why he did it!"

I 99.99% believe she is lying as its what she does to get attention - I know she has lied to 'guilt' boyfriends into things in the past!
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Could be, but strange explanation... The reason why some cancer sufferers shave off all their hair is because most of it falls out from chemotherapy.
It sounds to me like you're looking for proof that she's lying. What would you do if you had it? Confront her? Distance yourself from her? Persuade her to get help with her issues?
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If I knew 100% that she was lying I would confront her and then say goodbye! I dont want to have a huge fight or have some ugly scene - I feel sorry for her, but would just end the friendship! I do believe she is sick, just not with Cancer, MS or any number of other illnesses she claims to have had, including bowel cancer and cervix cancer.
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sounds like she has issues and is craving attention. my aunt has ms and as far as i know it isnt curable and just gets worse as you get older :/ is there a way you could prove she is lying, like checking with a doctor or something? good luck
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I did once call the hospital where she was getting treatment and they said she was not there or booked in to come in - When I asked her about it she said that she had asked the hospital to keep your visit private! It kinda made sense... Hmmm
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Why don't you go along with her for her procedures? Just for moral support - of course ;o)

Whatever! Don't allow her to treat you like a fool.

We had a girl in the pub with terrible acne who told everyone she'd cancer of the face. The lads laughed their legs off, they thought she wanted everyone to buy her drinks.

Your friend must be getting something out of it. My sister had cancer and her hair fell out coz of chemotherapy she didn't have to shave it.
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^Sound advice from disthing. I like his idea :)
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catywompus
I had a friend like that. In the past I believed most of what she said because I know she wasn't a lier but she would embellish a bit. Then later in life she just got worse and worse then after she started doing heroin I just had to step away. Supposedly she's got ovarian cancer. I think her mom mentioned it once so maybe she does. Who knows. I can't deal with her soap opera anymore
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No is not normal to think your friend is faking cancer. AM i getting this wrong. more then 70% thinks is normal?

Listen you have some mess up friend. LOL i used to have one like that. Lies all the time. One time she upset me, she goes and pretends she was sick so i wont fight with her.

listen if a person has cancer they can last a VERY VERY long time. Like even 3 years. So your comment when you said, " Its now 10 months later and her story isnt checking out and she is not dead!" HAHAHahahah that is one fucking funy shit right there.

Listen, do what i do when very weird feelings come to me, and im not sure if im right or wrong about a friend. Just let it go, dont feel guilty and walk away, it obviously is messing up with your life (flight to see her) and you emotions (you guilty or not). YOu either decided to trust her, or like you said she lies and is not to be trusted. PICK ONE SIDE, cause what you doing is not healthy girl! If a friend puts you in that place, take yourself out. and dont feel guilty. Is her fault you miss trust her. -- so if you leave her, is not your fault entirely. --good luck.
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@: comeon
SHE IS LYING !!!! I bumped into her estranged sister who confirmed my thoughts! Her sister told me its part of a scam to get money to cover gambling debts. Even her own kids have stopped talking to her as she stole or scammed money from them!
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Ops i called you girl. You are a boy. Well you get what i mean.
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This is strange - I have recently been lied to by a person who has claimed they suffered from liver and stomach cancer and also Multiple Scleroris (MS). I am from Ireland - is the friend you speak of from Ireland? If so, it is one and the same person I am sure. It is disgusting that someone you trust - in my case, a girlfriend - could lie so blatantly. She had it all and lost it all by telling such awful lies to me and she has treated me so badly in every way possible:

-Deleted me for no reason off of facebook.
-Refused to answer phonecalls / cut me off when she saw my number / cut me off when talking to her.
-Lied to me about everything and lied to others in the same way.
-Was unpredictable meeting me.
-Took 900 Euro off me for her "illness".
-Sent some nasty text messages when all I wanted to do was help her.

This person is really mentally deranged and needs help BIGTIME! She is her own worst enemy. The person described above sounds exactly the same as my ex girlfriend. This person ruined the last 8 months of my life and I hope she pays for what she has done.
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@: pwmm
No I am from Australia! Looks like there are strange people the whole world over.
I really feel sorry for you. Wonder why your ex turned on you like that?

I ended my friendship on Christmas Eve, after a series of manipulative guilt ridden texts. She even went as far as to guilting me by sending texts from her son's phone. Her timing was terrible and she probably didn't expect me to react the way I did. Ive struggled with the decision to end it for months.

Whilst I know she is a mentally sick person who uses everyone she can and has no remorse for her actions I don't wish her bad as I believe she is her own worst enemy and has to live with herself. She knows that she is F**cked up- surely that has to be worse than anything I could say to her.
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Faking M.S? I would break both her legs in such a way so she will never walk again. Oh and no M.S is not curable and I know some one with M.S that has had it for 10 years and is still not in a wheel chair progressive M.S by the way.
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