Waheed on loneliness and isolation

A woman called Waheed looks down at something.
A woman called Waheed looks down at something.

Despite visits from friends and family during treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, Waheed often felt as though she was going through the experience alone. 

She felt compelled to appear strong for her family, though she often didn’t feel it. The Online Community helped her connect to others who could relate to the day-to-day struggle of her illness.

Waheed's story

When I was in hospital I was alone a lot. It was the children that kept me going through all of it. Whenever I was feeling like I couldn’t cope with it I would look at my two beautiful girls who need me and I would carry on. I managed to keep a positive outlook. Without them I think I would've just curled up in a corner somewhere. When I was in hospital I tried to summon all my energy to come back and be positive for my girls and my husband, to help them cope. I knew that I would come back to hospital for my next round of chemo and that then I could cry and do anything that I wanted away from the family. I felt really alone because it wasn't practical for my husband to come to visit me in hospital in Cambridge every day. He had to keep his full-time job going. He also had to look after and reassure the girls that mummy was coming back soon. And I encouraged him to stay away because I didn’t want him to see me with all these pipes in my body and in so much discomfort. I told him I was doing fine. But I wasn't. 

I was really surprised to find that the Macmillan website gave you access to support and community forums, where you could talk to other people who were suffering from cancer and going through similar experiences. Finding the forums was really helpful to me, especially when I was in hospital. I was able to instantly chat with other people and talk about the fact that I was in hospital again, which round of chemotherapy it was, what symptoms I had, and how I was coping. It was really helpful to know that there were other people who were going through the same symptoms, and to get advice and support on how to handle those symptoms. 

I was very isolated but I kept myself busy because when you stop then your mind wanders. I wrote a book of memories for my husband. We have been together for 23 years and I knew that his help and the children, could help me keep a positive outlook. I had to think positively. I would think of the happy times together we had. That would help me not feel down. At Christmas I gave him the book as a gift. At that time we knew that the cancer was shrinking and it looked like I was going to survive.


Image of Waheed standing.

Watch: all about Waheed's experiences

Watch: all about Waheed's experiences