For approximately a year now our world has turned upside down and we are living in a completely different way from how we were living before Covid-19 hit. Some people have never experienced things like having to social distance, wearing a mask, vigorously and constantly washing hands and sanitising everything you go to touch. If you are reading this today and have experienced cancer most of this stuff is nothing new to you, especially if the treatment included chemotherapy. For many of us, we have gone through some rigorous stages of treatment where we may not have been able to see those we love because of our immune system or being cytotoxic during chemotherapy, we wore masks on a daily basis and we sanitised like crazy! For me now I am still very conscious when I am out in public and still sanitise my table I sit at in a food court because it has just become second nature to me. I see many people every day complaining about the rules they have to follow to stay safe and I keep thinking back to the times where this was normal in my life. Some people have no idea that this is not unusual to some and for others, it can be their life for many years whilst undergoing treatment. If you feel annoyed or frustrated hearing these complaints from others just give them a friendly reminder that one, these rules are put in place to save our lives and keep us safe, two, for a lot of people this was their life before Covid had even begun and three, there are people who are going through treatment right now during the pandemic!
Wearing masks – For most of us, this is nothing new, wearing a mask when in public became kind of like second nature to me and a lot of others I know who experienced cancer too.
Sanitiser – Okay this one was huge during my treatment. My family and I would literally sanitise everything we touched as requested by my oncologist and somehow I was still able to get sick during chemotherapy….
1.5 Meters – During my treatment, the 1.5-meter rule we have now was not yet established however I did keep my distance from others and stayed home as much as I could which as an energetic kid was not fun.
Washing hands – This was a no brainer during my treatment and I learnt pretty quickly the most efficient way to wash your hands properly from the doctors and nurses at the hospital. It’s safe to say I think most of us have this one covered during the pandemic!
While this is a time to take the information given to us seriously and follow directions from health professionals it’s okay to have a laugh and think back to the times when this was normal to us. If you are going through cancer treatment during the pandemic I wish you the very best, while not all of us may know exactly what it is like going through cancer treatment during a pandemic but we can listen and support you through the rough days ahead.
I know I probably haven’t covered all the protocols so if you remember any of the practices or procedures you had to implement into your life during cancer treatment please feel free to share your experience with our Cancer Talk community in the comments!