Ask Dr. Giles: I live alone, every decision is mine alone, it’s frightening.

Roberta writes:

I’m 77 YOF, diabetic, with liver CA due to islet cell pancreatic CA 5 yrs ago. I have CA pills to begin this week, am afraid, putting off taking them. I am alone, keep my home alone, 1 son who is out of town a lot, and without emotional support. Where can I turn, can’t afford to hire people to visit me, etc. Every decision is mine alone, it’s frightening.

Dear Roberta,

Feeling alone in the face of a significant challenge can undermine our confidence and sap our motivation. My heart goes out to you and to all those who feel alone when facing such a difficult challenge like cancer.

I am so glad you found this website and have posted a question! The truth is, Roberta, the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation was created for you. For you and for thousands of others like you who have felt alone in the battle against cancer. Those who formed this foundation also felt alone, but realized–after gathering information and trying to find answers–that they were not. In the process of trying to understand this dreaded disease, they found many others who felt the same way. They found patients, their families and friends, doctors, and researchers who were all making their own efforts, but there was no coordination and no mutual support. There was a great need for collaboration, understanding, research, and education.

Despite feeling alone, Roberta, you definitely are not. You have an entire community of people who visit this website who are instantly interested in your situation and can immediately relate to your feelings. They have experience in dealing with this disease and they are happy to share what they know. There are discussion boards, live chat, patient profiles, and many other things to help you find the information and support needed.

Besides the powerful resource of, there may be other local sources of support:

  • Your doctor/oncologist. He/she may be able to refer you to additional support available through your medical insurance or other government agencies (in the US: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration).
  • Your church or synagogue.
  • Programs and support groups offered by the clinic or hospital where you are receiving treatment.
  • The American Cancer Society (
  • Your local senior citizen center.

Please remember, Roberta, that there are many others who share your concerns and have experienced what you are now experiencing. We can and will help you. You are definitely not alone.