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Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by CentralAB on Nov 22, 2019 1:35 am

SpeedyStill:
CentralAB‍ 
Going back to your first post. Yes experiences are real. My wife when she told me that she was moving out said "4 years into our marraige I realized that I had made a mistake marrying you" 
What a blow to my male pride. Was our marraige just a big lie.
48 years Saint Patrick's day 2020.
I still get extremely depressed thinking about what she said.
I loved my wife and I still do. That is the hard part to deal with.
So this is the experience and feelings come with the reality.
You are a special person to commit to being a caregiver. You should be proud of this commitment. 
Trying to move the discussion forward. I am glad that so many community members have posted to this discussion.
Thank you for your posts
SpeedyStill 

 
Howdy SpeedyStill‍  Thank you for sharing your personal story here. What an enormous beating you have taken in recent years; and certainly, its understandable, that you would feel this way.  I cant imagine how it would feel to add cancer to all that as well. One thing I have noticed is you are already on the path to healing. It looks like you have lifted people's spirits here a number of times, just by participating, and encouraging where you can.That takes enormous courage, after all you have had happen, and I am sure I speak for others when I say you are appreciated here. I actually know exactly what you are talking about, from my deep/dark past. And I can tell you from experience that it wont stay that way for you. Time will heal, and you will move forward in your life too. My "trick" has been to find ways to help/encourage others, turn my pain into care for someone else who is hurting. I agree, this discussion has been a very good one and I am sure that will increase, and help others who are doing the same journey.

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by CentralAB on Nov 22, 2019 1:39 am

Aries:
I have not experienced isolation or loneliness since my diagnosis - I have been very blessed to have a great group of friends and family that have rallied around me. Family have been a huge support even though my immediate family all live in Europe; my spouses' family have rallied to take me to appointments and check in with me frequently. My family (parents and sister) communicate with me all the time. I update them with any appointment info and how I am feeling a lot. I think since my diagnosis, we communicate even more than we did. Friends have not been wary or shy to ask me how I am doing, how I am feeling etc. which makes me feel like I am still the same person - I just happen to be fighting cancer. I think my openness about it (my blog and not being uncomfortable in talking about it has helped people feel comfortable around me). I also still look the same other than my initial weight loss (from my own crazy diet) and my hair cut, I still look healthy because I have been lucky with my treatment so far so I think that also helps people feel comfortable with me.
I do wonder if in the future, if I start to look like a cancer patient if attitudes will change. I know it is hard for people to see someone they care about looking ill.
I have always been happy in my own company and do not need a lot of people around me - I like being by myself or just with my spouse for the most part.
And this community has been a wonderful addition in my life - everyone is truly lovely and while none of us want to be a member, I don't think that I would have managed so well without you all. So thank you to every single one of you - big hugs to you all! 🤗

Howdy Aries‍  Thank you for sharing your story. Its also good to hear how this forum has helped you. 😀

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by CentralAB on Nov 22, 2019 1:46 am

I have since learned that even a Mom that isn’t well has so much to contribute to her children.  Sometimes, those quiet bedside moments are the most precious, most teachable moments.  Sometimes I think the isolation and loneliness we feel is based more on the losses we feel physically, and emotionally, as well as the loss of control we may feel when our world gets spun around.🌸

 
Wow! Thank you for sharing this amazing part of your story! What a wonderful thing to be able to say to others who are going through a similar thing!

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by ACH2015 on Nov 22, 2019 7:46 am

Isolation and loneliness has occurred with me as a transitional process.

From diagnosis in 2016 to the multiple treatments, recurrence and never ending healing, isolation and loneliness has taken many forms, lengths and depths.

I missed my workplace and the people within for so long, I missed feeling well enough to function in life, I missed the interaction and feeling of accomplishment I knew for decades. I still do, but I know that part of my life is over and had to end.

Today, being officially retired, and not having my days filled with multiple (never ending) consults, treatments, occasional battles with "the system", and follow ups - I am somewhat situation ally more isolated and lonely than in the past 3 plus years.

This stage of transition (the last I hope) is as challenging as the diagnosis and treatment stage was. It is a part of the process all of us will go through in our own unique way.

I'm still trying to figure out where I belong, fit in, and I truly feel like I am between worlds.

All I can suggest is to take that unnecessary pressure off your shoulders, decompress, and find your way in your own time.

Like everything else, it takes practice and acceptance.

Still struggling.

ACH2015


 

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by SpeedyStill on Nov 22, 2019 11:19 am

Those community members that follow my posts known a lot about my story. I am just using examples to make a point.
My first experience with Cancer was not perfect however I had a lot of support like others here.
The change in my life happened before I was diagnosed with a mass on my Kidney which may be Cancer.
Although with people my age they monitor the mass and usually do nothing. My wife leaving me, the glue that kept the family together, and the threat of Cancer, started me on my downward slide.
I found Cancerconnection December of 2018 and it brought out the hidden me who was trapped by a wall to protect my male ego and survive.
It brough out the true me who loves to read, write and help people feel good about themselves. I have tried to do this as long as I can remember.
One of my dry jokes is that I tell people that now only kids and dogs love me.
This part is true I loved playing with my granddaughter. She will be 15 in January and has a boyfriend (that I aprove of) so she has little time for me.
But that is OK, our children and grandchildren reach an age where they detach from there parent and enter into adulthood.
My grandson is 7 and I love to play with him but he thinks I am 27 and not 72. He plays hockey and wants me to be goalie. I am out in our Cresent in the cold rain/snow playing with this child who has unlimited energy. I am out there doing my best. I know that I will pay for it the next day and you dont know how true it is. Moving around the Condo is difficult.  My arthritis in my  joints will calm down with rest and medication. My whole body is actually sore. But if it was my last day I would be so happy.
I have met very few dogs that don't like me. 99% come up to me willingly for a sniff and a stroking of there heads and chin, then they want to play with me.
You never get turned down from a date with a dog you know. They are always glad to see you, to go walking, have a little love in (dry humour) with them licking your face and you stroking there body.
You can only do what you can do however nothing will stop me from living to my full potential.
Thank You Cancerconnection and all its members for being there when I needed help getting back to who I am.
My goal I will share with everyone: 
"I will work hard to be the best me that I can be"
Strategy: Have an open mind to all points of view
I could go on but this is long enough to read.
Best Wishes to everyone
SpeedyStill 

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Nov 22, 2019 12:35 pm

Thank you to those who have shared their vulnerability and trusted this community with the feelings that we all too often keep to ourselves. Hearing from both caregivers and those diagnosed is so important. While never surprised, I am always in awe at the way our members support each other., lift each other up, and share in ways that serve to help others.

Lianne

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Elsie13 on Nov 22, 2019 4:18 pm

Great to hear from you, ACH2015‍ .  Those are very wise thoughts:    "  I'm still trying to figure out where I belong, fit in, and I truly feel like I am between worlds..............

Like everything else, it takes practice and acceptance."

I'm also trying to figure out where I belong. Like so many people are experiencing, I suppose, friends of ours keep dying!  One lady was a nurse, aged 65, who seemed completely healthy and suddenly died of a heart attack.  A few years ago, a friend died in a work place accident.  He was around age 58 and also seemed perfectly healthy.  And then, massive brain trauma. So I started a blog last month;  people may as well know who I am and I won't be able to express myself once I'm dead. So my blog seems to be about searching the limits of political correctness. So I posted a link to the blog on a couple of humanist facebook pages, and some people are telling me I'm not a humanist!  I'm a paid member of those particular organizations!   However, one person said I seemed like  a militant atheist, which I think they meant as an insult.  However, if I could be an excellent writer like Christopher Hitchens was, that would be so wonderful.  

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Aries on Nov 22, 2019 9:29 pm

Elsie13‍ - Write your blog Elsie13  😀 - don't worry about being politically correct or what people say - you can't please everyone. I find most people who know you will support what you have to say. When I started my blog, I didn't know how it would be read but I got great feedback to say it is helping people learn about cancer, be more health aware and to be a patient advocate. I don't know how many people are reading it but if I reach even  person that could help them then I did my part.

Please post your blog info so I can check it out 😊

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Elsie13 on Nov 22, 2019 10:26 pm

Thanks, Aries‍ , that's so true.  You can't please everyone.  I just found your blog listed on your  ABOUT ME.  So I will take a look.  I sent you a private message, so you should get it in your email I think.  A few of my facebook friends were quite annoyed with me due to my blog, especially the one about Quebec teachers and Bill 21. 

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Aries on Nov 23, 2019 12:17 am

Elsie13‍ - I followed your blog! You are a good writer 😊
Don't worry about your friends - unless you really cross a line you don't have to worry. You were voicing your opinion just like they did. Each to their own!

Happy Blogging!

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 23, 2019 8:35 am

Elsie13‍ Yes, these tragedies seem to come in waves. The year my Mom died, FIVE of my friends also lost their mothers. In the past month, one of my former work colleagues lost a husband, another friend lost her mom, and another friend’s son may not make it until Christmas.

ACH2015‍ - good to hear from you. I’m still @ the centre every 3 weeks. Dad’s treatments are shorter now, though.

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Melanoma on Nov 23, 2019 6:43 pm

Do we really have a choice we might as well embrace what we have and deal with it 
Be a warrior 💪
 

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Char3xSurvivor on Nov 25, 2019 2:37 am

Hello,
I'm new to this idea of online support.  However, I live in the North and therefore, not only can it be isolating for a regular person; but for cancer patients it is 100 times worse, there are no supports here.  We have a chemo room at the local hospital that currently seats 6 people, 2 nurses rotate shifts.   4 "chemo" doctors that are actually GPOs that are not educated in cancer yet work with Cancer patients.  No oncologists.  Cancer room nurses are more knowledgeable about patients experiences.

Friends don't know what to say or do and pull back.  Most people don't know how to be around survivors or patients that will survive.

I've had 3 diagnosis' of Skin Cancer (stag 4 - 2007, stage 2 - 2015, stage 3 - 2019).  One in Ontario, two while living in the Yukon.

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Wendy Tea on Nov 25, 2019 5:20 pm

Char3xSurvivor‍ , just a thought...when I was recovering from surgery, sleeping, and healing, I asked everyone to contact me by email. That way they did not worry about waking me up. I also reached out by email if I needed help. This meant there were no awkward face to face interactions. I also asked if they would keep me up to date on gossip partly so they realized I had not lost my sense of humor! It is odd that as patients, we have to show people how to interact with us. This is one more problem with being sick.

Please reach out to your friends. They might be more comfortable with specific requests.

Please stay in touch.
Wendy Tea 

Re: Let's Discuss...Isolation and loneliness

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 26, 2019 11:45 am

Char3xSurvivor‍ , I’ve read some of your other posts, but wasn’t sure how to respond other than to welcome you to the site.

You’ve found this discussion thread, and you’ve also found out  pretty much how it got started. People do tend to pull away at a time such as the one you are in. I used to be one of those people - I’m not good with small talk, and pretty well didn’t know what to say. Unfortunately, that’s often the case until cancer touches our own life.

You can try to be gentle with those folks, or you can look at it as them leaving your life to make room for the new people coming into your life - your medical team, fellow cancer survivors and other people who “get it.”

You mention you have no supports in your area, so I’m going to suggest the help line - the number is at the bottom of almost every screen here on Cancer Connection. There is also a Peer Support where you can apply and be matched with someone who is in a similar situation to yours.  You might also try the Community Services Locator, https://csl.cancer.ca/en in case there IS something in your area that might be helpful to you.

As Wendy Tea‍ Says, sometimes we have to teach people how to interact with us, but if they aren’t able, it’s OK to reach out to others.

Again, welcome.