Roy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, and shares his experience of isolating at home

5 May 2020

In 2014, Roy had surgery to remove his cancer followed by chemotherapy, and is now 6 years on from his diagnosis. He shares his experience of receiving a letter from the government telling him he was classed as vulnerable.

Since the outbreak my wife and I decided with our family that we should remain in isolation at home. I knew that I would be vulnerable, but it still unnerved me and reminded me that I’m not that strong post-surgery and chemotherapy – even though it was back in 2014. When I received the vulnerable letter that just confirmed my fears, but I had to continue with my isolation and try and carry on.

I miss being able to hug our family.

My wife and I managed to get some home deliveries, and our family who live locally will collect and drop off other items for us, but keep their distance and leave it on our patio table. We miss seeing our grandsons, William and Edward, of 5 and 3. We would child mind them at their house 2 full days a week to enable our daughter and son in law to work. We miss them terribly. We have family Zoom meetings and get sent photos to see them, but it’s not the same.

I also used to walk my other daughter’s very active Vizsla dog, Rufus, 4 days a week. I miss him as well as he was such fun and kept me fit and interacting with other dog owners across the woods and fields. I would collect a young man with slight learning difficulties, depression, Tourette’s and other conditions a few days a week and bring him to our house. He enjoyed the company, meals and the dog walking too.

I am managing to keep myself busy and catch up with so many jobs that I haven’t had the time or energy to do in the past. My garden has noticeably improved. I have planted new shrubs and finished fence painting. My tips are to do the jobs little and often, as we only have limited energy so do a little bit and then rest. There’s always the next day to continue.

May 2020