Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Loneliness of Cancer Treatment

Good Morning Cancer Survivors;

I was giving a session with cancer patients at a local hospital's Cancer Resource Center and a patient in the audience asked me a question that threw me for an answer until I thought about it. The question was " How do you deal with the loneliness you feel when going through cancer treatment"? During the course of life there are many occasions when you will have to do something alone and surviving cancer is one of those occasions. When you go through cancer treatment you can be supported by your caregiver, family, friends, relatives, your treatment team and oncologist, local cancer support groups and many others that can accompany you on the journey,but it's up to you to endure cancer and cancer treatment. No one can do this for you or with you . Contributing to the sense of loneliness are the feelings of fear, despair, self-pity and depression. Dwelling on the feeling of loneliness makes it worse. To remedy the feeling, begin to engage others, continue living your live and doing things you did before you were diagnosed with cancer. You had a life before cancer and you still have a life. You may not have the energy to engage life like you did before cancer but you can still engage. This will help the feeling of loneliness subside but I don't think it ever totally goes away. Don't dwell on it. You waste too much energy and attitude you need for treatment. Do something to engage yourself when you begin to feel lonely. Take a walk, call a friend, talk with your kids, go grocery shopping, do anything but don't dwell on it and the feeling will be subdued.

Bruce E Jacobs

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