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Feeling Pale By Comparison



In a peculiar way, my cancer treatment and all has sort of gotten lost in the coronavirus talk. With so many changes to our regular lifestyle occurring on a daily basis, it feels as if nothing else matters. Granted, one's health is the most important consideration, but now the talk is about everybody's health. Nevertheless, how do I throw caution to the wind and interact with my environment when doing so might endanger the very stability I've worked over 11 years to maintain? I mean, I have to live my life, but will there be a cost to do so? I realize that the good of the many outweigh the good of the few but Spock was speaking from outer space. How do I, while in and out of treatment down here on Earth not worry about myself?

I realize life will go on for almost all of us, but will there be consequences for those unable to secure proper care? Will decisions be made about allocating resources because demand has far outstripped supply? How does life for cancer patients undergoing treatment fit into this new paradigm where so many people might need some kind of medical care? Will there even be enough health care professionals to administer the kind of life-sustaining treatment many of us seriously-diagnosed patients have come to expect and need?

Unfortunately, only time will tell, and there may very well be little of it in the interim, during which we can anticipate and plan accordingly. So many decisions will likely be made by the powers that be that might not exactly consider my set of cancer circumstances. In a way, I might be collateral damage. There simply might not be enough room and medicine and staff and all to accommodate my needs. It's nothing personal. It's just business, or rather the lack thereof. With so much of the world's population affected while going about their usual and customary routine, who, what, where and how will there be any prioritization? Moreover, what about people who are already sick and challenged by a weakened immune system (like yours truly), will the competition from newly diagnosed coronavirus patients overwhelm our health care system?

I can't assume that life will go on as it always has. That would seem to be incredibly naive. I need to proactively make the necessary arrangements and/or contingency plans. I can't presume that being a cancer patient will always get me through the door. I'd like to think I take priority. But it might not be about priority, it might be about availability and a dwindling supply not able to keep up with demand.

Still, going down this rabbit hole of fear, anxiety and worry doesn't help either. As I have since the date of original diagnosis, back in late February, 2009, I need to make the best of a bad/challenging situation. I need to roll with the punches and be prepared for any eventuality and take the good with the bad and vice versa. Normal left the building a long time ago for me. The problem is that building to which I metaphorically refer is the very building where I get my ongoing medical treatment. And though I don't anticipate being kept away from that building, the reality is that it's out of my control.

As with anticipating the results of CT scans and lab results, all in good time, or bad. I need to keep the same positive attitude as I always have because though I might be at greater risk than many of you regular readers, we are all at risk, apparently. As such, if there is indeed anything to be gained by so many people being so similarly affected, the reality is that there are strength in those numbers and even though it may feel that right now the whole world is upside down, things eventually will right themselves. They always do. I just hope I'm still smiling when the dust settles.


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