• Health Dichotomy

    Asked by ImWorthIt on Saturday, January 8, 2022

    Health Dichotomy

    As we begin 2022, we start yet another year with yet another strain of COVID. It seems to be the chronic problem that will never exit our lives. Perhaps the fear of COVID is the chronic problem that will never exit our lives. I want to be sunshine and rainbows, but feel like Eeyore and black clouds. With the exception of the first couple of months of my cancer journey, it has always been "cancer and COVID." Not that I have always HAD both, but both have been significant health concerns and have played a huge role in the way I have processed my journey.
    I am very glad I have this site to process things, but I feel like dealing with cancer in isolation may have been even more difficult for some.
    Does anyone else whose cancer journey has been fully "in the time of COVID" feel like your journey might have been different if didn't have all of the added COVID precautions to think about?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I was treated for breast cancer in 2010. My husband was diagnosed with glioblastoma in July 2021. Our experiences are, of course, different to begin with but COVID definitely makes them even more different. As you said, COVID adds precautions and I feel it also makes logistics even more complicated to navigate.

      4 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      Bug, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I hope his treatment is going well. Honestly, I don't know much about his type of cancer. I have thought many times over the past almost 2 years that I am so thankful that I am not dealing with cancer treatments at this time. It has been hard enough to get appointments for check-ups.

      4 months ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Yes, less family time, which makes it so much harder to get thru some days. Miss so many milestones with the grandkids whose family won't get vaccinated. Luckily, my other son's family is all about protection. He is working 15 hr days scheduling Guardsmen in the hospitals in Ohio. Seeing less of friends, few activities outside the home. Yes, gard times, but grateful for every day I wake up. Try to contact someone every day and provide support to those newly diagnosed. I do miss having someone to spend the day with me when I see the oncologist, but lucky that I have been able to go by myself. Treatment is changing, so I'll have to see what that brings. Prayers and love to all!

      4 months ago
    • ImWorthIt's Avatar
      ImWorthIt

      Bug, oh my goodness. I can't even imagine having both partners going through cancer at the same time. You are always so upbeat and encouraging. I love to read your posts. I know that not every day is sunshine and rainbows. I pray for you and your husband all the time.
      Beachbum, I know exactly what you mean about not having to deal with cancer treatments at this time of COVID. I am so fortunate that my mastectomy left me with only having to take my Anastrozole. No radiation or chemotherapy. I really do know I am lucky.
      MLT, I have tried to be supportive to those newly diagnosed or those who are going back through the battle. I have felt isolated ever since I got cancer. Everyone I know treated me like I was contagious. It was and is very disheartening. When I had my last checkup with my doctor, I had to be honest about my mental health. It is in serious decline.

      I have such mixed thoughts and feelings on the vaccinations. It is sad to me that we have become a society that literally attacks people who have made certain health decisions based on what they believe is best for them. It is sad to me that people are calling each other terrible names just because of disagreement. People who don't want to get vaccinated call others "sheeple" and make fun of the vaccinated. People who have been vaccinated call others horrible and hateful. No-one bothers to sit down and listen to anyone else's reasons. We don't have to agree, but maybe listening to someone's reasons would help you to better understand why they have made whatever decision they have made.

      I have been vaccinated, and truthfully it is only because my father is in his 80s and not in the best of health. I want to be sure I can see him as often as possible and I know I would not be permitted around him if I wasn't vaccinated. Truth be told, I had really would prefer to have not been vaccinated. I have had pain in almost every part of my body since the vaccination. Every person I know PERSONALLY who has died of COVID is someone who was already vaccinated.

      I understand the arguments on both sides. I am not about to call someone hateful or uncaring because they either have or have not had the vaccine.

      4 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I've been triple-vaxed (all full-dose Moderna) since Aug. Perhaps my perspective is influenced by my husband being a practicing cardiologist at three hospitals, a union health plan clinic, and his office. He's been dealing with COVID since the beginning, and reports that the breakthrough infections (mostly Omicron) he's been seeing in his boostered octogenarian patients are mild or asymptomatic--they're hospitalized for heart stuff but had to be rapid-tested in triage. As soon as their heart issues are addressed they get discharged without further illness. All my boostered friends who've gotten Omicron report that their primary symptom is boredom during isolation.

      Bug, I'm so sorry to hear of your husband's GBM. Hugs and prayers for both of you.

      Since the beginning of this (especially after COVID killed my primary care doc), I've felt as if there are snipers on rooftops but we never know where they are and whom they'll strike. At the start of the pandemic I was 4-1/2 years out from bc (lumpectomy & radiation) and on letrozole. Midway through 2020 I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, which was treated with plaque-brachytherapy (internal radiation to the eye). Ever since, I get scanxiety every 3 months (eye ultrasound) and 6-month CT/MRI. Omicron is just an extra filling in the crap-sandwich but it is what it is. Even so, as a lifelong perennial allergy sufferer, every little postnasal drip or "frog in my throat" throws me into a panic. I never go anywhere without at least a KN95 mask, and wash my hands so often that the skin is cracking. Not sure if I'll get a fourth shot if offered, unless it's a new mRNA one tailored to Delta & Omicron--it may be counterproductive to have the immune system recognize only the wild-type & Alpha variants for which the current vaccines were designed.

      4 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Oh, and everyone I know personally who died of COVID was unvaccinated--some before there were vaccines or even effective treatments; some were already severly immunocompromised and fell ill before they could get vaccinated. Everyone I know personally who had a breakthrough case came through it unscathed. Your mileage may vary, of course.

      4 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Thank you, everyone, for your support. I *really* appreciate it. ImWorthIt, fortunately, we are not being treated at the same time as my treatment ended in 2010. I did get a call back on my July 2021 mammogram, though, and am having a six month follow up pretty soon so I'm feeling a bit anxious about that.

      4 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      Bug, good luck with your scan. Let us know how it goes.

      4 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Thank you, beachbum. It’s also time for the annual MRI. Ugh. I will keep you posted.

      4 months ago
    • Lorie's Avatar
      Lorie

      Bug, sending good vibes to you and hubby. Sorry last scan has you coming back sooner but its safer that way. Do you get MRI's as follow ups in addition to Mammo's?
      ImWorthit....you sure are!!! and hope you can beat the dark cloud starting to fill your mind. I started walking and going to the gym to beat mine away. Just sick of doctors and new things happening as we age.
      As for the vaccinations, I totally agree we don't need to make life miserable because choices are different. I've had two Moderma shots but not getting booster. I had severe puritis (itching) for 8 months afterward but not sure the shot caused it.
      The only person I know that died last year was not vaccinated but I know lots of people who were not and didn't get it or had mild cases.
      In my humble opinion, less pressure on having the shots and more access to home testing and monoclonal antibodies would be better.

      4 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Thank you, Lorie. I really appreciate it. My usual schedule is an MRI in January and a mammogram in July.

      I was so upset when I got the call back in July. After I got the call back the onc's nurse told me that they're being super careful and to try not to worry. After the call back mammogram the doc felt it was probably just calcifications and she said that what she saw was so tiny that she may not even be able to get it if we did a biopsy. She recommended waiting six months. I said okay. Obviously, I don't want to have cancer again but dealing with that on top of caregiving for my husband... Well, I can hardly think about that.

      4 months ago
    • ImWorthIt's Avatar
      ImWorthIt

      Bug, I hope you get good results on your next testing and that the calcifications are nothing to be alarmed about. I can imagine it would be a very daunting situation if you had to care for your husband while undergoing treatment of your own. I hope and pray that your scans and MRI's go well.

      Chicago Sandy, you definitely have a more in depth knowledge than many of us and I certainly appreciate your perspective. Although the people I know who have died HAVE been vaccinated, I wouldn't use that as an argument to avoid vaccination at all. It just is what it is.

      Like I said before, people have their reasons for why they choose to be vaxxed and unvaxxed. I find that most people have far more sound reasons than just politics or some social justice reason. I hate that families are being torn apart by this situation, and I see it more every day. We have become a world where if people don't agree with us we put out statements about their hatred and lack of compassion and concern. I know a lot of people I don't agree with, but I usually just shake my head and keep on going. There is little worth losing friendships over to me.

      I wish the best for you all.

      4 months ago
    • Lorie's Avatar
      Lorie

      Bug when in Jan. do you go back? Also, do you still have your Furball bug?

      4 months ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Thank you, ImWorthIt.

      Lorie, the follow-up mammogram is scheduled for February 4. The annual MRI is scheduled for February 24 though I'm trying to get it moved up. Unfortunately, our precious boy passed in April of 2020. He had a disease (I forget the name now) where he rapidly went blind. The vet ophthalmologist said he could adjust to that but then he started having abscesses on his neck. The vet said the two alternatives for the abscesses were surgery or heavy duty medications - both of which would be very hard on him. We made the gut wrenching decision to let him go. Broke our hearts. We still miss him.

      4 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Bug, I wish you everything good with your exams.

      I’m double-vaxxed and boostered, as is my partner. I’ve been staying home for weeks on end, mostly because I like staying home. He’s gone out maybe once a week. I feel strongly that everyone should get fully vaccinated, to protect themselves from getting a severe case of the virus and to protect others, including the many cancer patients (and others) who are immunocompromised due to chemo. And to not fill hospital beds and stress out the hospital staff. I’m not trying to be hostile to those who aren’t getting vaccinated, especially anyone here, but I did want to say how I felt.

      4 months ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis) questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) page.