Today I made the drive down to Penn Medicine in Radnor. Yesterday was my last oncology appointment of 2020 and today I went in for my flu shot in the infusion suites. I have gotten it in the chemo lounge every year since I was diagnosed. Weird place to feel like a safe place for shots for me, but it just is.
First of all, I have to mention how beautiful the whole huge oncology area is. Chemo suites and infusion suites that are new and clean lined and bright even on a dismal dreary day like today.
After I checked in I walked over to my designated waiting area. I met a woman and her sister. They were waiting for a blood transfusion. You see, the woman has metastatic breast cancer and is in treatment but needed a boost from a transfusion. She was scared.
This lovely lady had come to Penn Medicine after a less than stellar experience at another hospital. It gave me pause. Breast cancer doesn’t stop for COVID19 or Christmas. No cancer does.
I smiled at the woman and told her it would be all right today. I felt that it would be. I really hope it was. She’s a lovely woman with the loveliest face. She was peaceful and hopeful and I was struck by how nerve wracking it has to be especially in 2020 to deal with treatment.
Cancer doesn’t stop for anything. So it made me think about all those people bitching about having to wear masks and socially distance because of COVID19. And to them I say get over yourselves. We’re all a long time dead. And if you lived with a compromised immune system YOU WOULD NEVER EVER COMPLAIN.
I live with a compromised immune system. So does my mother and my stepfather. So do many, many of my friends and family.
So to all of you selfish whiners out there I have a simple message: mask up and do your part and quit whining. 2020 has been hard on ALL of us. Emotionally, physically, philosophically, financially.
Recently I lost a growing up friend to a horrible renal cancer. And fortunately his family was able to see him a couple of weeks before he passed but his final months were not fun. Because of COVID19 a lot of his extensive in-patient treatment was 100% isolation from all friends and family. Not even his wife could see him. Because of COVID19 we could call and text him but none of his friends were able to see him at all.
I have another friend whose husband is battling a brain tumor. This year. Now. And had a stroke. No one can see him either. Except his wife, my friend. But because of COVID19, we can only offer support virtually and from afar.
So my perspective is very, very different. I am really sorry you can’t party like it’s 1999, but think of others. Please do your part and don’t be selfish.
#MaskUp and be safe.