Chemo Isolation to Lockdown: the Nightmare’s Gone Global

posted in: Cancer 0

I feel compelled to watch the news but it feels like watching a disaster movie. It’s surreal. We live in a very rural area and are conscious of how lucky we are. In some respects not a lot has changed for us. We’ve been relatively isolated for years because of the cancer. Husband’s immune system has been knocked by the various treatments (removal of his spleen followed by 2 separate courses of chemo) so keeping well clear of anyone who’s unwell and having hand sanitiser is a given. But normally we do go out to get food once a week or so and he can visit friends if they’re well. Shielding in lockdown means that he isn’t supposed to go out beyond the garden – thank goodness for the garden. I can’t go anywhere either because our house is far too small to allow anything like the social distancing and hygiene practices that the government recommends! For us it would be utterly impractical – we just can’t do it. So we’re in lockdown together.

Because we live in such a remote area we’ve been able to go for walks in the fields next to our garden too because we can keep clear of people. We are so lucky. Husband in particular is getting ‘cabin fever’ and would love to be able to go further afield but he’d really suffer if he had to stay in our little house and garden. Some people are in small flats, some don’t even have windows. I can’t imagine how tough that is.

We should be good at isolating – we’ve had practice – but it’s hard. Somehow knowing that the whole world is having to isolate makes it harder. We don’t have the comfort of knowing that others can enjoy getting on with their lives and we don’t currently have a ‘normal’ life to look forward to getting back to. Chemo means that you isolate for a period but you do go to hospital and on good days you can go out to get food and have a walk, even work. But right now all of that seems a distant memory, even though it’s only a few weeks ago.

COVID seems to have changed the world forever. It’s just surreal. There is a hint of some good though. The world is starting to see how very fragile life is, how we’re all the same in some respects. I hope that we can build on that understanding to look after each other better.

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