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How has the Pandemic affected you as a cancer patient/survivor

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  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
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    Hi all!

    I am new in this thread.

    I am in California being treated at COH. Today, masks are off in most places. I wear mine always. I agree about the medical offices. At COH, they took off the tape between seats in the waiting rooms that I have only known since diagnosis in July of 2021. Temperatures are not being taken either. Masks are a must. I was supposed to have my right breast removed as a precaution, but my blood clot diagnosis likely from my Feb 9th mastectomy/ovary and fallopian tube removal has postponed the surgery. Would i have needed the PCR Covid test again? Four times this last year. Once more when i was hospitalized.

    My sister, older, did not get the vaccine. She does wear masks. She also has not had the genetic test to see if she also carries BRCA2. I have the cancer; our younger sister and her daughter were tested, and they both carry the mutated gene. My older brother was just tested. His results have not come in.

    COVID. I had a student worker who used to work in my office, pass along with his father from Covid last year. Many sick. December of this 2021, i went to my older brother's daughters baby shower. I and one other were masked. It was my only holiday outing.

    2 weeks later, I was tested at COH and had Covid. Since i had been vaccinated. I mainly got a chest cold. 2 bottles and 8 days of Mucinex. I had a lot of fatigue as well, which combined with the effects of the chemo pill i had just finished in later December.

    I was hospitalized mid-January due to low blood counts. I needed a transfusion. They tested me and i was still positive. I was isolated in a "Covid Room". Released after my blood transfusion the same day. No one wants those with Covid to be staying in rooms at the COH. Nearly everyone in there is ill. I had another in a room across from me. I could only use the porta potty in my room. Everything i touched was tossed. The nurse was double masked. I did not know my door had a "Do not enter" on it. That was why my lunch was not delivered till my nurse came back from lunch. It was cold.

    As i said above, Feb 6th i was tested again and NO covid. Surgery happened.

    No trips for me except November of 2020 before diagnosis. Went to visit my younger sister in Western NY and we traveled 7 states in a Covid drive around. There was little traffic and few people. We booked our rooms on book it.com . WE had a grand time. We wore masks, sanitized and enjoyed time that would never happen like that again.

    I do pray all of you get your treatments and keep calling till they see you. COH has been fabulous. There triage team has helped me every time. I hope you have one.


  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    gladis, we went into lockdown just after I was diagnosed with mets & started treatment for stage 4. It's been a crazy ride. I live in Greater Van too....

    your neighbour waiting for the ankle surgery might consider looking at the surgical wait list site & asking for a referral to a surgeon who has a shorter list. Many are closer to 4-5 months. https://swt.hlth.gov.bc.ca/swt/

    re your seroma - geeez, poor you. In Vancouver Coastal, the ER wait times are also public so maybe see if you can find a time it's quiet & see about popping in but also, if there's no fever or sign of infection, it should eventually reabsorb anyway....

    people act like covid is over but the health care system is straining. So many staff burnt out or left or finally on overdue vacations. Everything seems behind right now.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
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    Gladis your seroma can self absorb, and can take a while to do so. As Moth said as long as no pain, redness, warmth or other signs of infection you should be ok. But I would still push to be seen and to have it drained if necessary. If you have a workout bra or a compression bra/tank that may help. Place additional padding (I used medical grade abdominal pads) over the area with the seroma to create extra compression and that can speed absorption. I had a seroma post surgery and this is what my PS instructed me to do. It resolved after about 6 weeks.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    I've had 2 Moderna and 1 Pfizer shots (4 months ago) . Quebec is allowing 2nd booster to < 60 by walk-in only. Appointments are available for immunocompromised for 12+. I'm not severely immunocompromised, so I haven't made an appointment. That and I lost my healthcare card and just got my replacement. It seems I would benefit from another booster anyway. My husband and I plan to get another booster when my MO okays a break from Ibrance. The Pfizer shot didn't trigger a rash so I'll stick with that. The positivity rate here is in the teens, so the pandemic continues.

    Anyway, it's good to see that vaccinations and boosters do help.

    https://twitter.com/sailorrooscout/status/1518237982083399681?s=21&t=Tw3uv55ZR21ndX5fUTDvtA

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  • jrnj
    jrnj Member Posts: 407
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    The pandemic was mostly a blessing for me. I finished chemo first week of March 2020. NJ locked down about a week later. I went to radiation every day right when the major lockdown happened. I enjoyed getting out of the house when the rest of my family was there driving me nuts. I did the shopping as my husband felt he was higher risk because he smokes and is overweight, idiot. When I went back to work in June, I was able to work from home while starting the horrible AI/lupron, ovary removal journey, which would have never happened before as a state worker. I've been struggling really bad for almost 2 years on AIs, so really need the extra sleep work from home provides. I was able to grow my hair back without seeing too many people. I was able to drive my son to soccer in August AM, because of course high school sports discriminates against working mothers. My kids liked being remote for a year and a third. But they already are socially awkward, so that was the bad part of the pandemic. But am so grateful they were 7th and 9th grade, and not in elementary or graduating in 2020. My 87 yo father and his girlfriend still socialized with us outside. We are just this year back to the office full time, but in July will implement a new partial work from home policy which would have never happened before. The other negative is haven't seen the kids' other grandfather in over 2 years. He won't leave the house or even zoom call. He lives close. Also haven't seen mother-in-law in Florida, but I don't mind that, lol.

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
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    I am having problems leaving my high-rise building, now that people are abandoning masks. Yesterday I waited for 6 elevators to pass because all of them had naked people in them. Somehow, standing in a 4×4 box with a bunch of strangers is not considered close contact by entitled people.

    I get that some people don't care. I don't go to restaurants. I minimize my time at the grocery store. I dont' go clothes shopping. Fine, go naked at your bar or at a party, but we ALL need to use the elevators, and transportation!!!!!! BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,747
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    dancemom,

    I feel for you. Unfortunately unless there is law or mandate you can’t make people be respectful. Too many have difficulty considering others.

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
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    exbrnxgrl, it funny to see who breaks the law on public transportation. Highschool boys don't wear them, Masters of the universe type don't wear them, Tourists certainly DON'T wear them (what happened to "when in Rome..." and "follow local laws"?). Most families and regular working NYers do, especially those of us with forward facing jobs. But in the residential high rises it's weird. Many younger (20-40) people feel they are already "home" and so don't wear them in the elevators.


  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Something to watch. Keep up all covid protections (premium masks, distancing, updated vaccinations, clean air, …) to prevent infections/reinfections and minimize risk of more cancer.

    https://breast-cancer-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13058-020-01360-0

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  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
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    haha, so my 7 weeks of radiation just ended, I restart ibrance in a few weeks, nyc goes to moderate covid level, (Manhattan has hovered around 50/100k cases for a while now) and now I am called for jury duty??? No way am I going into any building that doesn't require vaccinations AND masking!!!! I filled out the online questionnaire- basically I'm over 18 and not a criminal. How about I have stage 4 cancer, am on drugs that compromise my immune system,am the primary care for an 11 year old... no slots for those answers. I flat out REFUSE to go into the building to bring proof. I haven't been inside anywhere where vaccines/ masks aren't required. I don't do restaurants, stores... why would I do court houses?!

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Hope you can get out of jury duty. I’ve been called twice, and both times were right before I moved away.


  • bcincolorado
    bcincolorado Member Posts: 4,696
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    I got a doc to write me a note and got excused forever for me now since COVID. Our court took it here. We just sernt it to them and they said ok and took my name off the list. Worth a shot calling your MO office to see you can get one for you.

  • elderberry
    elderberry Member Posts: 1,058
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    dancemom: I am so with you!! There is no empty spot to put in your health issues? I got called in twice. The first time the Defense rejected me because I "looked too much like the victim" The second time it was settled out of court, or the defendant pleaded guilty. Can't recall other than I didn't have to go for jury selection. Over 65 you don't have to go. So I am free of such requests.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    I was called for jury duty earlier this year. On ours there was an online thing you could fill out & I just said I had terminal breast cancer & was on chemotherapy & would be unable to attend. I got the excusal email within hours.

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
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    the paper questionnaire had a space to write any additional info, but I was stupid and thought I'd be efficient and do the online questionnaire, which did not allow for any extra info. I did write to an email address on their site...I hope to get an answer in 5 or 10 years.

    I may send in the paper questionnaire as well, although it will probably gum up the system.