Crisis Squared: Fighting Cancer and Pushing Through COVID-19

May 2, 2020
Steve Rubin
Steve Rubin
Steve Rubin

At just thirty years old, Steve was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive bone cancer. The journey has taken him through chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and many different avenues of holistic health. An avid blogger, Steve shares his personal health regimens as well as love of music, movies and sports in his writing. Follow along his quest for wellness as he reacclimates into the world in spite of daunting statistics. You can connect with Steve on Instagram @steve_othercword, Twitter @othercword and his website, www.othercword.com.

The new normal is HARD and SCARY, even for a cancer fighter who's become all too familiar with those conditions over the years.

At first, along with the fear, panic and struggle, there was also a teeny sliver of novelty crammed inside quarantine life.

Celebrities and friends overshared and brought us inside their homes via Instagram; we all came around to the awkward concept that group video-chats were suddenly the way to socialize/conduct business meetings, and there was comfort in knowing that the entire world was in it together for once. What a wild story we'd get to tell future generations.

Then after a week or two, if you weren't already freaking out about your health, job status, and/or the greater economy, things started to get old real fast. Everything became infinitely harder, from grocery shopping to stepping out for a little sun and fresh air. The constant overanalyzing (did you wash that? don't touch your face!) has been as exhausting as it is necessary, and there still seems to be no clear end in sight.

Unfortunately, cancer fighters were already in crisis before coronavirus. I've shared how earlier struggles helped prepare me for the pandemic, but it's also incredibly stressful as many of my go-to cancer fighting resources become less and less available. The fear of messing with any part of my healing routine scares the hell out of me but that's out of our control, and my wife has been a rockstar in helping us stock up where possible.

I don't have all the answers, it doesn't seem like anyone does right now, but I've learned is what doesn't help: anxiety, stress and too much worrying. Instead, I'm focusing on what brings me joy: relationships, reading/writing, guitar, etc. I'm also trying to get outside safely and let nature work it's healing magic. And while I may have dropped the ball with exercise- it was so much easier with a set PT schedule- I'm working on getting my act together.

This new normal is HARD and SCARY, even for a couple who's become all too familiar with those conditions over the years. We're just doing the best that we can, one day at a time. Same old formula.

I recently signed up for Masterclass.com (loving, by the way) were in one of his writing lessons, Neil Gaiman described the importance of having faith in a way that also applies to survive these times:

"Faith in yourself is something that you need, because the process of writing, it's Wile E. Coyote running along a cliff and then still running. And he's fine until he stops and looks down. So as a writer, part of your job is not to stop and look down, and go 'there is nothing underneath me'. Because then, you will fall. It's a process of just continuing to run towards the place, but you have to know where you're running to."

Stay safe and healthy everyone, and keep moving forward the best you can.


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