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Concern About Not Receiving Hugs with Telehealth


If you began your journey with cancer before COVID-19 hit, you may have been used to receiving hugs from your oncologist. After having your doctor lay their hands on you during a medical exam, you might have received an encouraging hug for all that you were going through.


Because of the pandemic, things have changed. Due to social distancing and other precautions in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission, you may have more telehealth appointments than in-person appointments. This can add to the increasing amount of isolation you already may be experiencing.


During a telehealth appointment, you need to place your own hands on your body to check if the cancer came back. Although your doctor guides you through the process, it’s not the same as having their trained hands doing the exam. Rather than having your oncologist wrap their arms around you at the end of your appointment, you might receive a virtual smile instead. Despite your understanding that telehealth appointments are necessary to reduce the odds of spreading COVID-19, especially to someone with a compromised immune system, odds are you would rather see your oncologist in person.


Having a telehealth appointment also may cause you to focus on the changes you might be going through during the pandemic. Perhaps your weight has increased due to additional snacking, your hair is longer or turning a different shade due to not seeing a stylist or barber, or you choose not to wear makeup because you’re staying home. Maybe your computer screen shows a messy home, noisy child, or argument between family members.


Keep in mind that everyone is experiencing issues right now. Your doctor is not going to judge you because things look different. They’ll still be compassionate while helping you with your medical needs.


If you or someone you know is on a journey with cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.


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© 2019 by Nicki Odell.

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