Feeling of Isolation: Once the Dust Settles

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Feeling of Isolation – Once the Dust Settles

I want to discuss the feeling of isolation and being alone as a new survivor. After diagnosis, once the dust settles, you get that sinking feeling. You put your guard up and you do what it takes to get through all the treatment and procedures. You feel the isolation that goes on during and after you get through your final treatment, your final PET scans, you’re starting to see that you “made it” and the likelihood of a reoccurrence starts to drop each day as you carry on. 

But there’s always a little feeling of isolation that goes on.  You feel alone! Not too many people can understand and relate to how you feel. You don’t know who to talk to. You feel like you’re the only one that has gone through this experience, even though the statistics of cancer prove otherwise. The 2020 statistics in men and women are staggering. 

What can you do about it?

You’re not alone and there are some great programs out there as well.  Because of the stigma that comes along with having cancer, you feel a lot of different emotions. You feel the pity that people show towards you. That doesn’t help with making you feel normal again. Taking time to work through the isolation and the feelings of being alone as well as feeling like you’re the only one that has gone through this. 

There’s a lot of self-reflection that needs to begin. And believe me, it took me a long time and a lot of self-reflection. And honestly, a lot of just “not giving a damn” about what people say or think. As well as their reactions since a second chance have been given. I firmly believe it’s important to take the experience and do something with it. Something positive. Otherwise, you’ll continue to feel the feelings of isolation and being alone. 

Must be cautious…

That can kind of lead down some dark paths, paths of depression, anxiety, and fear. Chances are high that once those get together, chances you could slip even further are greatly increased.  Some people go into alcoholism, some start using drugs. Some use foods there escape. That doesn’t help with the situation. A simple goal is to try to better yourself and give yourself a good jumpstart. 

You might be starting from scratch, so there are some things that you can do and there’s a lot of resources out there for survivors. Even community resources that people don’t understand or know that exist. There are even numerous local support groups that can be accessed virtually. Because of the number of people that do go through cancer and do make it out, you’d be surprised by how many people are part of support groups.

My experience is that all are willing to hear your story and hear you talk about what is scaring you. But what is making it difficult for you to get out of that rut? Fear! Another thing that you really, really should do is get into some therapy and counseling. This is huge in helping understand where your place is. And helps us understand the importance of having and receiving help. This helped me just figure out my path and what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to help people. Because for me, at the end of the day, I don’t ever want people to feel and experience what I did with cancer. 

No one should ever experience CANCER!

I’ve already lost numerous friends to cancer. People that are close to me. If I can do that then that opens up another community for me to help people. This is part of the points of these posts is to give some insight into helping people find peace. You go through so many emotional experiences and so many conflicting ideas. You end up asking questions of what it is that’s keeping me here right now. Once you’re able to start working through all this isolation and feelings of being alone, you’re able to start figuring out what it is you want to do after cancer. 

Survivorship takes work!

My quest to finding peace has been so uplifting. Such a good way to just make me feel even closer to the community that I’m a part of. I hope that helps give you a little inspiration insight into some of the things that you need to do as a new survivor to help give you clarity. To help start pushing away a lot of those negative thoughts and dealing with that negative mindset to help start building some confident skin again with what you’re doing and what’s next in life.

So hang in there! This isn’t an overnight process that you’ll just snap out of and you’ll be all good. This is a lifelong process you need to continue working on. And my goal is to help shine a little light onto the path that has helped bring peace to myself and the countless others that I’ve helped with this thing called cancer survivorship! The feeling of isolation only has to be temporary!

About the Author

Todd Franzen is a Stage 4 Lymphoma Survivor. Living in Breckenridge Colorado

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