It’s been over two months that we have been isolated and observing social distancing. We have participated in more Zoom calls in the last eleven weeks than we have in the last eleven years! We’ve organized and reorganized our closets. We’ve learned to bake bread, tried recipes we never had “the time” to prepare before and we’ve realized that carrying on conversations with our pets doesn’t make us weird….it makes us feel connected.
For months we have been so careful. Washing our hands constantly, wearing face masks and staying at least six feet apart. We have missed parties, concerts,vacations, weddings and sadly funerals. We have made big sacrifices and experienced big losses but we are making a difference. I know it’s hard. I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s lonely. I know because I have been through this before. Cancer and COVID-19 have a lot in common. They don’t care who you are, what you do, where you live, how old you are, whether you’re nice or an ass. They don’t care. They just want to destroy you.
At least with Cancer, I didn’t worry about infecting others…thankfully its not contagious. I did worry however about being exposed to things from other people. With a compromised immune system I had to be…and still am, very careful about not putting myself at risk for colds, flu etc. so I remained isolated and wary of anyone or anything that might compromise my health even more. COVID-19 has thrown a whole other hurdle into the mix. Those of us who have underlying health issues need to be extra careful these days. We are more susceptible and at bigger risk of being infected by the virus and succumbing to the virus! Yes, that is a fuc#ing scary thought! For two years I’ve dealt with breast cancer, a double mastectomy and seven surgeries in total and I’ve survived. I sure as hell am NOT going to lose the battle now to this virus!
With the summer weather now upon us I understand completely how desperate we are to get outside, socialize and move on from the last few months….BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE HEED! We have all worked so hard to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we can’t throw in the towel now. When I watch the news and see crowds of people in parks, on beaches and on streets carrying on as if nothing has changed; I want to cry. No one is infallible. And even if you aren’t showing any signs of being sick, you could be asymptomatic and spreading the virus to many others. Now, I know no one would do this intentionally but we all must be aware that we could be! When I was diagnosed with cancer, people would say things “well you don’t look sick?” True, from the outside I didn’t look any different than before…but inside I had a 16cm x 13cm tumour engulfing my left breast. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean we can ignore it!
I know how frustrated everyone is feeling. I know how taxing it is emotionally being isolated and quite frankly being scared. There is no shame in that. In fact, we need to support and look out for each other more than ever. We need to check in, reach out and listen. We need to share our feelings, our anxieties, our stresses and especially our joys. Yes, even in the time of a pandemic there is joy…and it needs to be celebrated even if its “at a distance!”
This has been a looooong few months, and it’s not over, but we are doing a good job. We are seeing the numbers decline in many areas. We are hearing that social distancing, hand washing and masks are making a difference! We all are making sacrifices and should be very proud of how we have come together to do so. Please remember that. Please stay strong. And please don’t forget that what you do affects more than you. Let’s all stay safe and let’s keep each other safe too.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.