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.
Someone who showed us how? The beloved 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!


No said...

yes. we are all in this together! You are my hero Jody!

Ann said...
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Ann said...

Ann said...
Cancer is such an isolating experience in and of itself. When support systems you thought you could rely on disappear, it's doubly devastating. Thank you for all that you do to empower fellow survivors.

Jody said...

That we are. Pulling each other up and through is what matters. At the end of the day if I didn't matter in someone day's then I've been wasting time!

Jody said...

You know what isolation can be like. I do so hope you can join us tonight. Your contribution would be enormous. You are my zen master:)

CancerCultureChronicles said...

How could we feel lonely with you out there ???? LOVE #BCSM xxx

Debbie said...

Dancing on tables..I love that...I'm in!
xo Deb

Jody said...

We're dancin'!

stales said...

This is AWESOME! can't wait!

Jody said...

Rachel - Alicia -
You are the awesomesauce!

Beth L. Gainer said...

Thank you, Jody, for mentioning my post. #BCSM is a great vehicle for helping us feel less alone. And I enjoy reading the blogs of all these wonderful writers.

Thanks much for all you do! I plan to be in on the discussion tonight. :) said...

We are a fabulous group, aren't we? So glad to be in your company.


Douglas Glenn Clark said...

I admire your courage and defiance. I too am a cancer survivor. I wish you every success and blessing.
Douglas Glenn Clark

The Accidental Amazon said...

What a fantastic photo of Betty Ford!!!! If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. One of these Monday nights, I will be able to join you all. Love you to bits, Roomie.

Natalie said...

Hi Jody,

Thanks for sharing this with us all--have you heard of the Breast Cancer M.A.P. Project? It’s a research initiative launched by the Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Survivorship Research and Training Institute. The aim is to understand and address the emotional and social needs that accompany a breast cancer diagnosis. Through joining our registry, women are offered a unique opportunity to help guide and inform research directed at ameliorating the breast cancer experience.

Unfortunately, evidence shows that most women experience some form of distress or depression due to their cancer, and often times feel that their emotions are misunderstand. You mentioned some of your own feelings of isolation. Any man or woman that has, at any point, been diagnosed with breast cancer and is willing to share their experience with us can make a difference.

Please consider joining us as part of a national movement of breast cancer survivors, and helping us propel our research forward in ultimately improving the lives of millions touched by cancer.

Best wishes Jody,

Jody said...


The advisory board for the Cancer Support Registry is impressive. Could you email me please for additional details about your work? I'd be happy to highlight and share but I need more information,


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing. i really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative post..