As a cancer patient, I feel very lucky indeed. Why would I say that? I've been in stable treatment for the past 4 years and my life has been relatively easy compared to a lot of my cancer pals. There's a routine that's been established that makes daily life manageable and then Covid-19 entered all our lives.
Primary treatment and chemo brings in some small part preparation. I've done self-isolation, low immune system, sickness, being vulnerable and anxiety a go-go. And yet, I feel totally ill-prepared for life right now during this crisis.
My job is a huge part of my life. It gives me something to focus on, it's something I have control over and that I've worked hard to be good at. I'm in a bit of shock just now as Coronavirus has taken my job. For the foreseeable anyway. I find myself furloughed, like many other people, and, as an anxious person, having no job really amps up the anxiety. My work life is also my social circle. Working somewhere for 20+ years, your colleagues become your friends and I now find myself isolated from them too.
I'd also managed to reach a point in my life where I didn't spend every minute worrying about my survival or being extra careful. I had some freedom from cancer. Self isolating for the past three weeks feels like my freedom has gone too. I'm back to feeling anxious all the time. As someone who lives by themselves, I'm used to my own company, I thrive on it mostly but this Coronavirus isolation is brutal. Being cut off from your support system is very scary indeed.
I worry very much for my cancer pals and other friends who've had the '12 week isolation letter'. I worry for those relying on treatment continuing - chemo, hospital appointments, surgeries and trials. All of these things are up in the air and I know how scary that is living in this chronic illness world.
I hear this a lot, and it's very true:
We didn't survive cancer to die of Covid-19.
Hopefully, we'll all see each other on the other side of this.
Much love, Claire x