How COVID-19 Has Allowed Everyone to Walk in The Shoes of A Cancer Survivor


Every cancer journey is unique, and everyone's personal story is different. But COVID-19 has given many people the chance to see the world from the shoes of a cancer survivor.

Every cancer journey is unique, and everyone's personal story is different.

We have all dealt with the current COVID-19 pandemic in our own way. But we all have some shared experiences. It is difficult to ignore the similarities between being placed into an immediate and indefinite quarantine, with those of a cancer diagnosis. At least for me, anyway.

Think WAY back to before "COVID" was a term you constantly heard and thought about. Check off everything you have personally experienced, giving yourself one point for each that applies to you.

  • You have come to terms with your own mortality.
  • You have come to terms with the mortality of your loved ones.
  • You have made decisions based first around your health, instead of what would be “easy” or “fun”.
  • You were nervous that you might encounter someone who could spread something to you that you would not be able to fight off.
  • Or, you might bring that infection home to a vulnerable loved one.
  • You became a sanitization expert and now always pack hand sanitizer and constantly wash your hands.
  • You've witnessed the "good" in people when they have come out to help those less able to care for themselves.
  • You have worn a mask. Regardless of it was to protect yourself or others, you wore a mask when it was recommended.
  • You have wondered when and if life would ever return to the normal you knew before this started. And you also have wondered if it SHOULD return without changes.
  • You have wondered if and when you'd get back to work or school.
  • You have appreciated the little things in life: Such as dinner with family, talking to a friend, or watching the sunset.
  • You have wondered when the government would make rational decisions with your health as a priority.
  • You wonder about the long-term effects of your situation and condition.
  • You panicked at each new symptom you've experienced, that this is the beginning of the end.
  • You have anxiously watched or read the news, hoping a scientific breakthrough would come sooner rather than later, so people could stop suffering.
  • You were forced to put your plans on hold and rearrange your priorities.
  • Your life changed essentially overnight.

How did you do? Did you check of more than 10? What if you reviewed the list again, but specific to your cancer encounter? Not everyone is the same.

But personally, if I read through this list as it related to my cancer journey, I'd end up checking off the same points as it relates to thinking about COVID. In fact, I’d check all of them. The experiences are strikingly similar, and the lessons are the same. Appreciate the now. Be safe. Be smart. Make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. And, don't ever allow yourself to regret today.

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