Kathy Shea’s journey often involves uncertainty. The long-time sun riser birder did not realize how much she loved nature until being diagnosed with cancer.
Shea’s world was shaken just as the pandemic began. Shea received her news by telephone, just like many Americans who were diagnosed during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Cancer is often lonely. But it can be lonely with cancer. I drove myself to the hospital. She recalls that there was no one to help you.”
It was difficult to manage the treatments and avoid COVID for Shea, one of the 1.8 Million Americans who were diagnosed in 2020 with cancer.
Even now, the stress level is still high.
“I would not even consider going to a concert or a football game.” Shea said that it was too frightening for her.
During the pandemic, there has been an increase in the demand for support groups for cancer.
Meg Koch is responsible for the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, Harvard, Massachusetts. There have been some seasonal changes, but nothing else. Meetings for teams still take place online. The delta variant means that everything, from group therapy sessions and yoga, must still be done online. Collecting is not safe for those with compromised immune systems.
“We are dealing with this type of rise and fall in hope, and it’s being taken away. It’s impossible to even hope. Koch explained that you keep your blinders closed and just stay there. “It’s exhausting.”
Americans who have been diagnosed with cancer for two years now, and there is an increasing need for support groups. Many people receive their COVID-19 vaccination only to discover that chemotherapy can render the vaccine ineffective for some patients.
Koch stated that “people’s needs aren’t being met as they used to be.”
This is not all bad news. Brianne Carter runs the metastatic support group. Zoom makes it possible for people to still be together, even at the most difficult times in their lives. It’s something that wasn’t possible before.
Carter stated that the pandemic had created many barriers but also created an opportunity for people to get in touch with each other.