Life as a stage for cancer bod is tricky enough without throwing a global pandemic into the mix. For me Covid has bought with it both negatives & positives, let me explain...
Research & Trials have halted: I cannot tell you how worrying this is for people who rely on these to provide them years of life. Without new drugs being developed & trialled, the hope of more treatment lines down the road starts to fade. Hope is stronger than fear, but this fear sure as hell is having a good go at taking the lead.
Scanxiety: oh the scanxiety, now normally I would do everything in my power to keep busy & keep my mind occupied, I would see friends, go shopping but that’s just not possible in lockdown giving the noggin more time to think & in turn worry. Repeat after me, you cannot change what will be but you can change how you handle it.
Progression news: all the while the telephone appointments are ‘it’s good news, your bloods are okay & your scans are stable’ life is good, but dealing with a progression over the phone not so much. This is what happened a month ago. I have gone through progression already once before so was almost prepared with how to handle the news but it still didn’t make it any easier to hear & instead of getting the news with an immediate action plan I had to wait till it was safe to visit the hospital for a face to face. That week, knowing your cancer is growing & not doing anything about it was quite possibly the hardest weeks for me in isolation.
Efficiency: (or as my hubby likes to say, a fish in the sea) Our hospitals have had to quickly adapt to a new way of working to keep up safe, for me that meant drive by bloods & pharmacy services. Not only are these both quicker, it means not having to pay for parking and spending hours waiting on the wards, win win!
Phone appointments: I know I said that this was not ideal for results, but for standard blood results, side effects checks & reviews this has been a game changer for me. No more sitting in a waiting room while clinics run hours behind to be told your bloods are good for your next chemo. Instead I can lounge at home in the sun, maybe in my pool, with an ice cold smoothie. I know which one I prefer!
Time: not quite treatment related but one thing that I have really enjoyed about lockdown is the time. It’s really made me slow down & really take note of what’s important to me & the extra time with the hubs is just priceless. Plus I even learnt how to grow my own veg, from seed! Proud moment right there.
I am extremely grateful that my treatment hasn’t been delayed by Covid, in fact I’ve received radiotherapy half way through as emergency palliative care, which I know for some has not been the case, I don’t not take this for granted & cannot thank my NHS trust enough for everything they have done over the past 4 months.
So listen up Covid, enough now, cancer is taking back the wheel, we have work to do!