Let’s Stop Calling Metastatic Breast Cancer “Chronic”! | Nancy’s Point

Let’s Stop Calling Metastatic Breast Cancer “Chronic”! | Nancy’s Point
— Read on nancyspoint.com/lets-stop-calling-metastatic-breast-cancer-chronic/

This is an important and well written post by my good friend and part of my virtual support network Nancy whose books are outstanding if you’re just diagnosed, if you’re deciding on reconstructive surgery, if you’re a carer (better word for care giver), or have any kind of cancer.

This post, although I’m quoted in it, has quotes from around the blogosphere by some of the most well respected writers you will find – not everyone but many. I consider these people my friends and like Nancy, an integral part of my support group. It’s hard enough being so isolated by those who you thought would always be here for you and disappear as though cancer were contagious. Afraid of mortality and of not knowing what to say to us, we forgive these who don’t understand the huge delta between chronic and terminal. Metastatic cancer is terminal. We will die. Inevitably. Read on and follow Nancy’spoint.com you’ll be happy you did.

The uncanny abyss: parallels of Covid19 and metastatic breast cancer

Hey, does anyone feel even busier than they normally do although we’re all supposedly so bored? I’m getting personally stir crazy. Marked by a masked run to my local craft shop to buy some wood flourishes for a cabinet I’m refurbishing and pens to continue with my #Zentangle meditative drawing practice.

On a more serious note: Unfortunately theres uncanny parallels between Covid19 and having metastatic cancer. The need for self-quarantine & social distancing leads to feeling isolated and alone, and comes with the both relatively uncharted territories.

Tangential to covid19 are the numbers of deaths associated with cancer. These most likely will not be counted in the sum total dead as a result of Covid19. Due to necessary precautions for immune suppressed populations such as my own – we will begin to see a long chain of deaths because clinical trials are postponed indefinitely and we have less access to healthcare and therapy that can only take place in the hospital. Furthermore, people who need to get checked when a mammogram isn’t considered a required procedure during this time, will have far reaching effects on our mortality – and I’m only speaking for breast cancer but do not ignore other cancer diagnostic exams.

Early detection can save lives. A few days ago the UK NHS stated that as many as 35,000 women will die as a result in the reduction of tests for breast cancer detection as well as the decline of in hospital medical oncology treatments over the course of the last four months.

Estimates haven’t gotten around to statistical analysis here in the US yet; they’ll be higher no doubt. I also cannot think the numbers will matter much, as the ostrich approach feels more comfortable than looking at people who are “anti maskers” and those who refuse to keep a safe distance or just stay put so we can all get back to life. But things do need to change, including a shift in our compassion and empathy as a society. Fighting seems to have replaced intelligent discourse and peaceful demonstrations shushed away by media covering the uglier, more newsworthy side of free speech.

However, not wearing a mask isn’t taking away anyone’s human rights but it does take the humanity out of the way we all live as a supposedly free country. I feel imprisoned due to my diagnosis and subsequent treatments, and it sucks.

I can’t speak for you, but the longer this goes on the less freedoms I have. We spiked to record numbers in Nevada and Placer counties, where I reside in California, this week. These new numbers of them diagnosed and the dead are the highest we’ve experienced and will only increase with the number of people who get tested.

Yet we aren’t testing nearly enough people. Must we continue through the next flu season and testing our country’s mettle even further as we sink deeper into this financial and mortality abyss? As a Stanford physician eloquently stated in a “Five Questions” interview on June 19th, “Wearing a mask doesn’t mean that you are weak or afraid or a coward. It’s a way to protect the vulnerable around you. It’s our duty to keep each other healthy.”

Going anywhere is a huge risk for me and others with immune suppressed systems. Stir crazy? Sure. Lonely. Very. But I’m more afraid that my five and a half years with metastatic breast cancer and all I and others like me have suffered to remain alive can be for nought if we don’t contain this virus with expeditious emphatic personal commitments to our neighbors.

#fuckcancer and #fuckcovud19

It’s Another Thing Now

I am willing to stand in gentle rain at sunset
But not to stand in a storm of sorrow and regret.

It was one thing to own all the mornings yet to come,

Before I knew the darkness would yield to the sun.

It is another thing now.

I am willing to see the sparkle in my loves blue eyes

But not to shield those dark with fear of life’s demise.

With honest hearts I will share the depths of my pain,

But with doubting minds I’ve no time left to explain.

It is another thing now.

My time is limited and the day’s run late,

And I’m too busy finding moments of joy to follow hardened dates.

There’s no time to waste on those who demand plans written in pen —
It was one thing when I had a calendar without end.

It is another thing now.