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Tips for surviving social self isolation from a cancer thriver


I've been seeing so many posts about people freaking out about having to socially self isolate, and I'm sure people have lots of valid reasons to be scared, but for a lot of us on here with cancer, isolating ourselves from society isn't a new thing.

So, if you find yourself having to socially isolate, here are a few things, that won't break the bank, and that got me through a lot of months during chemo;

- Read. Read widely and indiscriminately. Read things that challenge you, read trash,  read about history and deep space and wild love affairs and real lives.

- Binge watch something. May I, if you've not already seen them, suggest iZombie, Schitts Creek, Community, Santa Clarita Diet.....

-  Clear out your wardrobes. And drawers. And shoes. Make charity shop or clothes swap piles for when you're able to mingle with society again.

-  Take yourself out into the wild and walk. Find somewhere open, where you're unlikely to meet many people, because self isolating doesn't mean you can't leave your house!

-  Organise your holiday photos. Don't tell me you've not had this on a mentalto do list for ever.

-  Take an online course. Loads of people offer free short courses, and I'm seeing a bunch of people moving conferences online and offering them free.

-  Start tidying up your garden. It's the right time and to be doing it and it gets you outside too.

-  Shop the house for things you can move about to redecorate with.

-  Work your way through your crafting supplies. I don't believe you don't have them. (Maybe some self isolating will be the thing that gets me silversmithing again rather than running about doing everything but creating?)

-  And stay in touch with people. Text. Video chat. Call. Email. I think it'll be easier if lots of people are having to self isolate because hopefully we'll be aware that people are on their own.

I won't lie, chemo was a very lonely time (outside a few friends), but if more people are experiencing this sort of world, I'm hoping everyone will help each other out with regards to staying in touch a bit more.
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The sadness in saying goodbye to friends. Regularly.

Right now I'm sad. I'm sad and I'm angry. I'm sick and tired of my friends dying and the world not giving a shit.


Metastatic breast cancer is the biggest killer of women under 50 and people I know, personally and through social media, are dying - week in week out - of it.

But they aren't famous. They aren't influencers. So it feels like no-one cares.

No-one starts a petition, or a hashtag, or a movement, when these women die. No-one will when I die.

Women who are doing every single thing possible to stay alive. Taking every drug they're told to. Being positive. Living their lives to the fullest.

AND THEY'RET STILL DYING.
WE'RE STILL DYING.
AND SOME DAYS ITS JUST TOO MUCH FOR ME TO TAKE!

It's hard to be positive about a long life and a cure and beating the 5 year odds when people are dying all around you.

And it'd be easy for someone on the outside of cancer to ask why I'm still making friends with people with a MBC diagnosis if it's so heartbreaking when they die, but think for a second about what that means......because having cancer is incredibly lonely. Even your closest friends on the outside of cancer can't begin to understand what it's like. And now, just think about the most stressful situation in your life, and think about it if you didn't have any friends who understood what you're going through.

So those of us, young or old, with metastatic breast cancer cling together in a common solidarity of understanding how it feels to be dying, slowly, too soon. Getting angrier and angrier, as our friends die around us. Wondering when, not if, it's going to be our time, but also hoping for a miracle before that moment comes!

And then people wonder why I'm sad and angry and unabled to forget I have incurable cancer.
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