Cancer is a lonely disease. Even though I was surrounded with friends and family everywhere the feeling of being alone was very real. I’ve read other people describe having this same feeling when going through this illness. I felt scared and alone. This is something only another cancer patient can understand. It may be the fear of death and maybe it’s simply the feeling of being the only one at that moment of illness knowing the pain and not knowing one’s own fate.
I lost most of my memory while I was sick but the feeling of lonliness never eludes me. I live with chronic pain. This means from day to day I never know how I am going to feel. I have eliminated most of my stress and my pain level has gone from a nine most days to a four most days. On the days I experience more pain (usually weather or stress related) the more isolate I feel. I have discovered a way to cope with these feelings.
Thank God I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ because that is the one thing that keeps that feeling from overcoming me. Most days I am upbeat and thankful to be alive. I praise God for the gift of life. This is the first and most important way of coping with the solitary feelings that linger after cancer. I listen to praise music, meditate on God’s word, and give Him praise for being alive. There is something to be cherished in a life that is appreciated.
Painting is my second love next to God. A hobby is the best way to deal with those days of inadequacy. If you don’t have a hobby find something you enjoy doing. It is most important in keeping stress levels down.
Friends are another great way to keep these solitary feelings at bay. Surround yourself with a good support group and network of family and friends. It is proven people live longer who have more friends. Enjoy and laugh with your friends. Laughter lowers stress and boosts the immune system. I have found it helps lessen my pain level, feelings of being alone, and beat depression to hang out with a positive friend once a week. Laughter is a key element! Make sure your friend is upbeat and positive. Negativity will bring you down. There is nothing worse than leaving a friend and feeling worse than when you came to see her.
Even though cancer is a lonely disease there are a few ways to fight these desolate feelings. Turn it around and live. You deserve to live. Live and enjoy the life you have been given.