Incidental connection: Cancer and caregiving during COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this brief article, the author describes how her husband was first diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incidental finding of routine medical testing. His first surgery was timed to the beginnings of coronavirus (COVID) lockdown. The staging of his cancer aligned with a new stage of the pandemic, and by the time of his first chemotherapy appointment, patients were no longer allowed to bring family along for outpatient visits. Although the author is an expert and educator on psychosocial care in medicine, she has found herself at a complete loss, teaching herself the ropes of how to connect with his treatment team and practicing ambiguous advo cacy. Her hus band will be in recovery for a long time; they will both be in recovery. Mesothelioma has robbed them of certainty and safety, as cancer often does, and just as COVID has done, to everyone. We are all living in the question mark, in the ambiguity-the Con nection is our loneliness, our isolation, and the uncertainty. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-166
Number of pages2
JournalFamily Systems Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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