Cancer patients feel isolated during pandemic quarantine

BOSTON — The fear of contracting coronavirus can be paralyzing for people who know they're high risk.

It can also be very isolating, especially for those going through cancer treatments.

"We’re not living in a time where we can just run out and get something,” said Amanda Beauregard.

Amanda’s husband Pat is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who’s been battling stage four colon cancer for almost three years.

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Just a few weeks ago he got some bad news. Pat's clinical trial wasn’t working.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he received that news alone.

"Probably, if not one of the toughest appointments that both of us had to endure. Just to do it like that, Amanda was on the phone, it’s not exactly the same,” said Pat.

Dr. Kimmie Ng is an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and has been with Beauregard's through most of their journey. She says it’s a very isolating time now very cancer patients and it’s especially hard when they get bad news.

"Amanda has really been a primary and wonderful source of support during this entire ordeal,” said Ng, “And to not have her there when he receives such devastating news, it must have been terribly hard.”

Now, Amanda is considered high-risk. She’s expecting a baby boy this summer. Because of Pat’s compromised immune system, the coronavirus pandemic has robbed him of opportunities to see ultrasounds of his son.

"He won’t be able to come to any of the outpatient prenatal appointments for the remainder of the pregnancy,” said Amanda.

They live in South Boston where they say social distancing isn’t always taken seriously by their younger neighbors. So they spend a lot of time indoors which adds to their stress.

"A lot of the stuff you typically look to as stress relievers or outlets: seeing people, going out, just trying to take your mind off things...working out. A lot of those options aren’t available right now,” said Pat.

They say that friends and family have really stepped up during this difficult time.

"Anywhere from buying us groceries to making us meals and having a lot more FaceTime interaction with everyone to try to stay connected,” said Amanda.

Some of that face time happens when friends or family stop by just to have a conversation through the window.

Pat says he’s back on another round chemotherapy and it seems to be working.

The Beauregard’s hope social distancing will slow the coronavirus enough for things to get "back to normal" for the summer.

"The thought and anticipation of having our baby boy in July is all I really need to stay motivated,” said Pat.

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