In the past few years while we have been dealing with the Covid- 19 pandemic, we have all experienced a range of different feelings.
We have experienced anxiety, fear, and anger over circumstances that we have not understood or been able to control. We have also experienced the challenge of how to make life fun and interesting while we ride the roller coaster of uncertainty. We have zoomed and we have done puzzles, we have discovered new skills like cooking or art and we have rediscovered the connections that we have with our families and friends in new and creative ways. We are all in different places regarding how much we should be out in the world, how much exposure we should have with people and in public places and of course, whether we should take a vaccine or not.
Now that we are ending the Omicron wave and Spring will be with us in another month, many of us will be out in the world more than we have been.
What about people who are dealing with cancer??
People who are actively being treated for cancer have a whole different set of standards that they must use when deciding when and if they can be a part of the larger community. Being in treatment during the past two years has been very isolating for a lot of people.
“My immune system is compromised and I am worried about what will happen if I get Covid”.
“My doctor has told me not to be out in public much.”
Our social connections become smaller and we have less contact with people. Often, outside of immediate family; the trips to the hospital for medical appointments, scans and treatments are a large part of our interaction with the outside world. Life for people with cancer is not going to be able to move forward as quickly as it will for those who don’t have health issues.
So, what can we do to bridge this divide?
Be thoughtful! Be kind!
Think of someone who may need a bit more patience and assistance with figuring out how to re-enter our everyday world and offer more of your time and creativity. Maybe a walk outside if they are up for it. Maybe a meal that you can cook with them keeping you company either in person or virtually? Agree to watch a TV show and discuss it or read a book that you can talk about together. Go for a drive to nowhere just to be out and about a bit. Soon, there will be outdoor concerts in local parks that can be safe.
Most importantly, please understand that this is a very tough time to be dealing with a major illness and in our rush to get back to our “normal” lives, we need to remember to bring them along too!