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Let's Discuss...Isolation and Loneliness

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Cancer can make you feel very alone. Friends and family may not phone or visit as often as you’d like. You may feel too sick to work or enjoy social activities. Even when you’re with people, you may feel that no one understands what you’re going through.

Family and caregivers can also feel lonely. They can feel as though they’ve lost their best friend or that they have no one to talk to about what they’re going through. They may feel overwhelmed by new responsibilities. They may feel like they don’t have time to see friends or do activities they enjoy. They may also feel overlooked by the healthcare team or family members and friends, who tend to focus on the person with cancer.

Have you experienced loneliness or isolation like described above?
What suggestions would you give to someone feeling isolated or alone?



Cancer can be an isolating procedure, especially when we have to be so careful to avoid crowds where we could catch things. I've been hibernating at home for two or three weeks. I didn't want to catch the cold that's so prevalent among friends right now.  I didn't want to risk have my upcoming surgery postponed after waiting seven weeks for the procedure.  Sometimes it's a bit lonely.  I do have two very close friends who have said phone any time, day or night.  I've kept myself occupied by colouring images that will eventually be turned into cards and donated to various charities.  I also signed up for Acorn TV,Britbox and Netflix, which have lots of binge-worthy series.  I've been rewatching the Call the Midwife series for the past week.  Although it is sad occasionally, it reminds me of the cycle of life as well as how many new treatments are available in 2020 that weren't options in the 1950s and 1960s.  And because the characters are like each others' family, I feel I am in the midst of a very caring group.  On Britbox, there is a hilarious series called The Last of the Summer Wine, about three old pensioners living in Yorkshire who come up with crazy ways to fill their days. I've almost finished all 8 seasons, and will miss it when it ends. Although it's a quiet life right now, and will be while I recover from surgery, there is still something to do each day, and something to look forward to. Thinking of you all, wherever you are, and wishing you well, Ginny
  • Posted Sat 04 Jan 2020 07:05 PM EST

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