Friendship Call Participant – Jean

Jean is a very shy and quietly spoken lady, she enjoys making cards and goes to a friendship group once a month. She lost her husband 3 years ago and finds it hard coping, she often gets emotional on the phone and apologises every time. Jean has recently had a cancer diagnosis and should be starting treatment soon. 

Recently her mother has become very ill and due to her own health issues, she hasn’t been able to support her as much as she normally would have done. Her brother and his wife have been looking after her mum which has caused stress for Jean as she doesn’t have a good relationship with her brother.

Jean said receiving the phone calls is a lifeline that she depends on at the moment, she has said just talking about normal things like her weekly food shop and the weather has made her feel “less like an ill person”. She speaks to one particular volunteer, and they enjoy just talking about the seemingly unimportant things in life which makes Jean feel ‘normal’.

Another issue Jean has is she needs a new hip, her surgeon won’t do the surgery until she has lost some weight. Jean has managed to lose three stone since November due to following the Slimming World Diet, she is really proud of how well she is doing. Her volunteer also gives moral support for her weight loss and makes a huge fuss every time Jean reports a loss. 

They have talked about everything from their weekly food shop to the volunteers’ children and how expensive having children is at the moment. Jean enjoys these normal chats so much; she has said it makes her feel like she is living a normal life to a degree. Jean said she is getting used to her cancer diagnosis. She is feeling a lot more positive about her situation. Her granddaughter has just been accepted into college to study law/criminology. Jean is so proud of her, and this shows with how much she speaks about her.