Oddly alone with so much support

Just to give a little background, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer almost two years ago. Since then I've been through half a dozen surgeries and even more chemo treatments. I have been told a few times that I had not long to live but I keep surprising my doctors and persevering. Also during this time I went through the destruction of a relationship that started just a month before my diagnosis. The relationship ended up becoming serious very quickly because he offered so much emotional support. Unfortunately at some point I realized that there were a lot of gaps in our relationship and I couldn't keep him from living his life when I wasn't giving him my whole heart. The good thing is that I have an amazing family and friends who have been extremely supportive and helpful. After my break up I moved in with my parents which isn't actually that bad because I am so close to my family. In addition to my family, I have an amazing local hospital who's staff is like family. I know that I am so lucky to have the support that I have but even in a sea of loved ones I find myself feeling isolated. It's not because I broke up with my boyfriend. Honestly I felt more lonely when I was with him. I just feel like there is no one in my life who understands what I'm going through. A huge part of my problem is that I hate bringing anyone else down with my problems. So when my friends and family tell me they are there for me, it kills me to complain or tell them about my problems because I don't want them to worry about me all the time. I'm not trying to be a Marty or whatever, I just genuinely don't want to upset others by complaining and I don't want people to feel sorry for me all the time. I tried to use Tinder the other day and lasted about a day before I realized that I couldn't be honest without having dudes feel sorry for me. I feel like making new friends is impossible, let alone trying to date.


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I get where you're coming from. It's hard getting through without friends who understand what it's like to go through all the garbage that comes with cancer. I also know that having to live with cancer is not really talked about. Most of what we get from the media is about dying, not have to struggle through multiple treatments, insurance struggles, etc. What helped me was this site: http://imermanangels.org/get-support/. Also young adult cancer adventure organizations like True North Treks or First Descents are great for community building and I've found a few really great friends through that experience. Good luck, and feel free to message if you ever want to vent.
  • I completely understand where you are coming from. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship about 2 months prior to being diagnosed. I actually thought all of my symptoms were stress from that relationship. Now that I am going through a divorce and cancer treatment, my family and friends have absolutely rallied and I've just recently found myself feeling absolutely lonely in it. I do the same as you and avoid telling the truth, because most of the time I really am fine and I don't want pity. I want them to see me as myself, not as a sick person. I also jumped on dating apps (Bumble, Tinder..) because my friends thought I should try and lasted about a day, too. I also only used pics from pre-treatment. Constantly wondering what they would think if I posted my bald head... Just know you're not alone in your lonliness.
  • Hi Tori,

    This is so relevant to me too. It feels weird to be super supported and loved by those close to you, but you're still on your own? It's like you're on cancer island, party of one! I've been feeling the same a lot lately, which is why I just joined this website. I'm 23, so I don't know any young people that have had cancer. You look young, so I feel like you may be in a similar spot too.
    I feel like empathizing with your peers is really helpful in the healing processes of all sorts of things, for both parties. If you ever want to vent about anything I am here for you to hit me up! I won't talk to other people about my issues from cancer either, but if it's between other people on cancer island then it's just comparing notes!
  • Tori825Tori825 Community Member
    Hi! I am 26 so I guess I am still pretty young. I was diagnosed at 24. Before that I hadn't even graduated college so my life never really got a chance to start. I often feel like despite the amount of love I have in my life, I have very little understanding and no one to talk to about my illness. Although I feel like people around me care so much, I can't tell them how I feel because they've never experienced the amount of pain I go through and I don't want them to worry about me all the time. Although at this point I think it's pretty apparent. I have basically run out of good options. They are just throwing anything they can at me trying to keep me alive for as long as possible. I've been told by several doctors that I'm just buying time. So here I am. I 26 year old with ovarian cancer, no real hope of a future, and so much support that I feel like I'm drowning in empathy but no real friends to talk to at this point in my life.
  • mrepatomrepato Community Member
    I know how you feel. I have an amazing support system as well but no one close enough that have experience what i'm going through and it feels like i'm alone. This is why i started my own blog which really helped me to vent and this type of forums as well is helping me. I'm also using cannabis which is soooo helpful. Just so you know, you're not alone in this! please feel free to message me!!
  • juls4juls4 Community Member
    Although I was lucky enough to have early stage breast cancer that is now in remission, the months after diagnosis were shaky and I had no idea if I would survive. I can't imagine if I had to deal with that level of stress over the long term as you have. I have to say though, I found that being honest with my loved ones was such a relief for me. The way I see it, they will worry sick about you regardless of what you tell them. I know that when my sister-in-law got stomach cancer, I worried about her all the time and we weren't even close. I had no clue how to help or how to talk to her and it was such a helpless feeling. That's why I made a point to open up to my family and friends and be very candid about my experiences. It seemed to make them more comfortable and every one of them was able to handle hearing about my cancer. By sharing details about each worry I had, different people were able to come up with different solutions for me that helped me get through each day. No one cried, no one avoided me, they just listened and talked to me like a normal person. Even if they can't understand the fear and loss you deal with every day, they DO understand the fear of losing you and that's not so different. Maybe it could be a two way street. You share your fears and they share theirs. That way you're going through this together and you don't have to feel guilty. A therapist may also be helpful, particularly someone who specializes in cancer patients. They may be able to help you communicate better with people around you. Also, when you thank the people around you, it makes a world of difference. When you see the gratitude on their faces when they feel useful to you, you may not feel so guilty anymore.
  • Ajh9113Ajh9113 Community Member
    This is exactly how I am feeling. I have so much family and friend support. I am almost in two years remission but I have had about 6 different chemo treatments, a stem cell transplant, and a DLI. Pneumonia almost killed me after I relapsed with cancer that I was on a ventilator and in a coma and had to learn to walk again. All this started two months after graduating college and getting my career in teaching.

    I never even really got to start and now that I finally can it's hard and I feel depressed and like I am never going anywhere in life. No one will hire me cause they ask why I have a gap in working and I have to find a full time job with benefits or my disability health insurance will be taken Away! It makes it difficult.

    Who would of thought at age 26 I had to find a different career, need to get an egg donor or adopt to have a child, and everyone is asking me when I am going to find someone to be with :(. The pressures are on and it just makes me feel like crying all the time.

    Sounds terrible I should be happy I am healthy but I feel so alone now. People don't realize when I don't feel good or sleep all the time I am told I am fine or being lazy. Life after cancer sucks...I feel like I will never be back to the way I was.
  • hope4acurehope4acure Community Member
    edited October 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    During treatment my father-in-law told my husband that I shouldn't spend so much time in the bedroom. I was appalled when I was told this! My rectum was damaged so bad from the radiation I couldn't even sit without being in tears. How can people make such judgements when they don't know what you are going through? I am tired of defending myself when I don't feel well. I still have cancer and my body is trying to heal from months of exposure to chemo and radiation. What is wrong with people? Do they have no empathy?