This is a challenging time for everyone—but especially so for South Australians impacted by cancer. 13 11 20 is still open and taking calls from anyone impacted by cancer who is feeling vulnerable, wanting to talk to someone about their cancer journey, or needing help with coping through isolation on top of a cancer diagnosis.
People like Sam, one South Australian who is no stranger to the support on offer by Cancer Council 13 11 20. She has turned to the vital support service in the past to discuss her feelings around her stage 4 cervical cancer diagnosis and her options when telling her two young boys about her cancer.
Today, Sam lives beyond the 12-month prognosis she was given back in 2018. For her, 2020 was a year to trial a new treatment, tick items off her bucket list and make the most of every second with her young sons, family and friends. Instead, she is in self-isolation, like many other South Australians, but one difference for Sam and thousands of others just like her, is the incredibly scary and potentially fatal risk associated with COVID-19 given she is undergoing cancer treatment.
While the immunotherapy trial Sam signed up for and is currently taking part in is helping shrink one of her cancers and stabilize another, it is also putting her at greater risk when it comes to the virus that is sweeping the globe.
Sam has shared with us why, during the pandemic, she is once again so thankful for a service like 13 11 20, that she can count on to be there during the difficult times of a cancer diagnosis.
“My absence from the outside world has withdrawn my loss of enjoyment in work and my social life. I feel I am in a position to suffer depression due to loneliness, my health, along with the fear of contracting the virus.
“I feel there would be many cancer patients and carers who share my views. With Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 available, the staff can support people like me, not only with mental health support, but also providing vital information regarding the virus and how to best keep safe. It is also crucial for people to have the support from Cancer Council that have or will be diagnosed with cancer during this pandemic.”
By simply calling 13 11 20, South Australians like Sam who are impacted by cancer can speak to an experienced Cancer Nurse about a number of things, including:
- emotional support if you or someone you care about has cancer
- how to reduce your risk of cancer
- questions about early detection
- cancer diagnosis
- treatments and their side effects
- practical support and services that are available for people affected by cancer
- end of life issues
Despite the challenges we are all facing, when someone impacted by cancer calls 13 11 20, one of our Cancer Nurses will be there to answer their call.
If you, or someone you love, is impacted by cancer, has questions about COVID-19 and cancer, or simply needs someone to talk to about cancer, please remember to reach out by calling 13 11 20, Monday to Friday from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm. Because of you, Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 is still here to help.