I know this question may not be so relevant for people in the midst of navigating through the challenges of illness. I was diagnosed in Feb 2021, finished treatment in May. The following 14 months or so were full of battles with fatigue, but general acceptance of illness with the intent of navigating as well as possible during recovery, and relatively good/stable mental health. The last 2-3 months I have finally seen significant change regarding physical abilities and stamina...cognitive… read more
Yes! I empathize with what you’re experiencing, though my timeline is much shorter. For me, I think that having cancer has sharpened and focused my perspective about what’s truly important in life. For many in my life, they just don’t get it and unless they go through something like this, they never will. They just live in their own little worlds and cannot see how life can change in an instant. Having material stuff is not important to me (hasn’t been for years) but that’s not the case for them. Keeping up with the Jones’s is their lifestyle. I could go on but you get the gist. I can’t relate to most anymore. Only folks who understand what life is like when “real life” hits, whether it’s cancer or addiction etc. I.e. we are not invincible and we are not here forever. Hope that helps?
Excellent, complex, well written question! I'm in my 4th year of remission. During chemo my life was on hold. After chemo, the day I walked out of the 6 months of chemo, I guess I was surprised, only I didn't know it yet. And after how many years of fatigue I felt like a new-born man. If I have my dates correct that was in the fall of 2019. And I walked spank, dab into the COVID epidemic!
Being isolated then was the very last thing I would have chosen for myself... I was excited. I survived where others didn't, like my father in 2001. But there was this thing, being immune compromised that had even cut my chemo short by one treatment, Rituxan recipients were getting COVID just being together during the chemo.
I consider it to be "forced isolation". Even though I felt like a new man the chemo had wiped me out. I couldn't do much for the first year or two anyways; but the forced isolation was pretty much worse than the epidemic until I realized both were bad. Then the depression set in along with my already feeling confused - I was very confused as the chemo has affected my brain too.
But this immune compromised issue kept plaguing me - I was going out Saturday nights, only, to a local music gathering; no masks; I get my vaccines.
A couple months ago, 4 years after, I did get COVID. Yeah I felt terrible for at least a month. I survived (I live alone, btw). My PCP decided to give me a slew of immunity tests - the whole 9 yards. Yes, certain immune cells in my body are still compromised - can't remember the details. The good news was that I was fighting the COVID like any other immunized person.
So apparently, my hyper, immune-compromised fears, are rather what? Unfounded, my being paranoid in my "forced isolation? Fact is, what's confusing to me is that I am immune-compromised. I will ikely will be the rest of my life.
Thanks for your response, Bob3. I have since come to the conclusion that the hard part is the forced, rapid change. It's one thing to grow in to changes over time, but it's another to have them occur so quickly...it then becomes a bit like grieving what things were like...and that it may never go back to how it was. That's where I find myself now, learning how to accept that.
It is very isolating! No question about that unfortunately 🥲 That’s why I’m on sites like this and looking to serve others and volunteer. I find that is the best way to beat my feelings of isolation (which I believe is just a microcosm of much of our society). Being immune compromised, as so many of us are, makes it that much harder in the Covid era. I feel like the next 4 months I’m essentially trapped. For now the fourth winter season right? But wearing a mask now people look at me like I’m from Mars or something! It’s really crazy.
Exactly Sue5!!! Has it stayed? I'm finding it to be a bit isolating...did not expect that one bit.