Monday, July 11, 2011
Out of Isolation - #BCSM
Even if no (wo) man is an island it can certainly feel that way when you have cancer.
I've often wondered if the dislocation I felt during treatment was simply part of being ill in general or a side affect of cancer in particular. Certainly younger cancer survivors often experience an acute sense of isolation and loneliness since few, if any, of their peers are in the same boat. Even at 43 (old by young adult standards), I was the first of my friends to go through cancer treatment and when I was hospitalized at one point with a life-threatening infection, it felt as though I was hovering on the edge of the world.
Then last week I read a post of Beth Gainer's "Heroic Moments" where she talked about the people who helped her though treatment. Her then-husband and parents could not cope with her diagnosis. That would be a kind of lonlieness few of us can imagine.
Her post reminded me that most of us with cancer end up feeling disjointed and jarred emotionally in some way, so for tonight's second #BCSM tweetchat we'll talk about the ways we cut through that isolation. Was it a natural process? Did someone reach out to you and help you through? Did you reach out via social media or some other channel? I think these thoughts and experiences are part of the survivor's journey and as importantly - a point where intervention can help make the process easier for each other.
Betty Ford, who died this past Friday at age 93. Her down to earth honesty, grace and courage in publicly discussing breast cancer, then substance abuse/addiction resulted in significant, permanent and lasting cultural change. She was a woman of substance. She would probably scoff at that description as well. I'll leave you with this fabulous photo posted by Jamie Inman on her blog yesterday.
So let's help each other out of the trenches, then dance on tables.
Join Alicia Staley and I tonight at 9 pm ET for the weekly #BCSM - breast cancer social media - tweetchat. Look forward to talking with you!