Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How do Cancer Patients Move?

Hey Everyone,

So it has been awhile since I made a post and I want to apologize for that. Things have been pretty busy lately as I have been working hard at finding a new job and moving forward with my career. It has basically dominated my time, but I am finding this morning that I finally have a normal day to day time frame coming together. Always good!

It is a weird spot to be in these days. I am looking at potentially moving from Vancouver and I find it puts me in another unexpected thought process. What do cancer patients do when they have to, or choose to move? It is not a simple process at all. 

I really appreciate the support and the care I have received at the BC Cancer Agency. I credit them with me still being here today. This is not to say that there is not great and amazing care out there in other places, I simply am not familiar with it. It is further complicated by the level of trust patients build up with their medical/oncological team. I trust my doctors with my life. This is not a small bond, and certainly something that is not trivial. We went to war together. They saw me at my worst, they advised me, they gave me the support I needed and they gave their all to help me. Now I am faced with the concerns of not having them there. 

You build personal relationships with your oncologist. When you see them as much as a cancer patient does, it is unavoidable. I am not saying I would ever go out for coffee with my oncologist, or that I even address them by their first name. But they know me. They know who I am. And most importantly, they know what I went through. They know my case.

It is a concern of mine that when I move, I will not have those personal relationships. It will take awhile for a new doctor to learn my case, and learn me (my file is quite large after all!). I also just don't want to get dumped on someone. My oncologist handles my every concern (she is my hero! I don't know how she does it for so many people, and she isn't the only one who does this!) Will I still be as important? Will the resources be there? Will I be able to drive down the street and get an X-ray if I need to? Among other concerns, the list grows and grows. I am sure it will all work out. But yet again, another unexpected thought process in my life thanks to what I went through.

I certainly love to travel. I love to live new places and experience new things. Unfortunately, Cancer patients and Survivors have a few extra concerns with it.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Feeling of Isolation

Some days I feel a lot more isolated then when I had cancer. Which is weird because there was many a time when I felt that way too during treatment.

When I was in the hospital it would be easy to feel isolated. I didn't have many visitors. I got very lonely during that time. Didn't get many phone calls either. I felt particularly bad for Sara who had to deal with it too, and also had no visitors for her. She had to leave for work every day and had to leave me there by myself. The feeling of isolation from the world grew. One time I actually was in "isolation" and people couldn't really visit. But that is a bit different in its own right.

When I finished treatment, and got healthier again, I still have that nagging isolated feeling. It is hard to explain to people how you feel and how you hurt in different ways. People don't understand what I went through, even the people that were right there. But that isn't their fault, I am happy none of my close friends have ever had to experience what I have. It does make me feel like some days, many days, I don't have support, even when I do. It is hard to see it some times. Again, this is no fault of the people around me who do want to help and do help, it seems to become not obvious to me.

I felt bad recently as I was complaining about this to a friend, without giving an acknowledgement to the fact that many other people, for many different reasons, feel isolated as well. It gave me a major pause, and it is something I still think about today. For me, I find it hard to trust and I think that is one of the reasons I feel that way. I can't speak for anyone else.

The feeling of isolation is a weird one. I live in one of the biggest cities in Canada and feel like there is no one in it. It has brought me a bit down lately and I have found it a bit hard. But I will continue to push through and keep remembering I am not actually alone.