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

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  • cm2020
    cm2020 Member Posts: 530
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    Chowdog....*facepalm*. Good.Damn.Grief! This is what happens when the inmates run the asylum.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    cm2020 - This doesn't show a need for another shot for under 60 yet. We should wait for more studies.

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  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    cm2020, They just voted 18 to 0 Yes for enough data for EUA: 1) those >65 year and 2) those at high risk for severe covid, edited to add this means either with underlying conditions or with high job exposure like healthcare workers. (maybe you fall into this category)

    SerenitySTAT, the sad reality is CDC has failed to collect data. it stopped collecting breakthrough infection data unless you are hospitalized or died. we have 2 million americans who have taken the booster, yet I don't see anybody collecting safety and efficacy data from these people unless you are enrolled into one of the clinical studies.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Chowdog - I've noticed that some states don't provide much data.

  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    SerenitySTAT , I think it's well documented that U.S as a country has some serious data collection problem. from cdc to local level.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/18/c...

    even our covid dashboard is all over the place without any consistency. like my county today had to go back adjusted # of people fully vaccinated coz some boosters were counted as first dose.



  • cm2020
    cm2020 Member Posts: 530
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    Chowdog...That is wonderful! I believe all of my underlying conditions do make me a severe covid risk. I will discuss it with my primary next week, but feel hopeful that I will be able to, without it being unethical, get a 3rd dose. Given the myocarditis concern, I will have a discussion with my daughter's dr at her physical about whether she can safely get a 3rd dose even though she is also at high risk of severe covid.


  • latte123
    latte123 Member Posts: 31
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    I agree, in general the US does have some significant problems with data collection on public health issues. Public health has been poorly funded for many years (forever?) and there is also a lack of coordination across cities, counties, states and institutions. It would be a big move forward in terms of addressing health challenges (not only Covid, but also breast cancer, maternal mortality, etc.) to improve and expand data collection practices.

    On the topic of the FDA and the third booster, I honestly think that it is hard for the experts to make these decisions because so little time has elapsed since the vaccine was first deployed in the US. It is hard to assess "risk" with a short time line. This is why they often refer to preliminary Israeli research findings, which are helpful but not definitive. I am actually glad there are different opinions in the FDA panel. I don't want them to make these decisions without considering various points of view and giving the issue as much thought as possible.

  • latte123
    latte123 Member Posts: 31
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    Illimae, I am happy you were able to retire and have health insurance. Nonetheless, a stage four diagnosis at 41 is tough and I am sorry you experienced that. Younger people are less likely to have had time to build their savings accounts and the necessary years accumulated in jobs that contribute to social security.It puts them in a terrible place when health emergencies occur.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,234
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    The FDA panel did endorse Pfizer boosters for all those >65, provable immune system status notwithstanding. My only regret is that I received a full dose of Moderna--the mfr. now recommends half-doses as boosters. (Not because my side effects would likely have been milder, but because half my booster could have been given to another senior or immunocompromised person).

    cm, you received radiation only 3 months ago--it's still "cooking" from the inside out. That, plus the recent hi-dose prednisone you took, likely puts you into the immunocompromised group. You won't know till you ask--which is what I did. My melanoma MO (not my ocular onc, who got his own two shots only because he was mandated to) said I was still fully-protected, but my bc MO and PCP both said to "go for it." And I also asked at Walgreen's "consultation" window.

    Had Walgreen's not been willing to believe I'm 70 and had recent radiation (still "percolating," acc. to my ocular onc) for a tumor that can't be excised, I would absolutely not have gone to a different pharmacy and lied that I was seeking a first shot. They do check the central IDPH database and can call your bluff. However, I would not be averse to dragging a known COVIDiot in there and offering to hold them down till they got their first jab. (Not talking about those extremely few--which includes our Illimae--who have a legit medical reason for being unable to get vaccinated; there is no legit "religious" exemption because AFAIK only Christian Scientists are not allowed to be vaccinated; even Jehovah's Witnesses forbid only receiving blood products).

    When I mentioned the conundrum of involuntarily unvaccinated Third World residents and the extreme difficulty--if not impossibility--of getting first doses past corrupt dictatorial leaders and into people's arms, what I meant was the current situation, which would likely cause those donated doses to spoil before they could be administered. The WHO and vax-making (relatively) wealthy nations need to get together and figure out a way to collect, transport, distribute and administer those vaccines rather than let them continue to spoil. (I agree it's high time to turn loose and donate our AstraZeneca supply before it's too late). Doctors Without Borders are helping, but there aren't enough of them--and they lack legal authority to get past the brick wall of corruption, despotism, and tribalism. (Moreover, every medical and paramedical person sent abroad for that purpose is one who can't vaccinate people or staff COVID units & ICUs in North America--S. America, even Brazil now, seems to be getting a handle on COVID).

    Alice, I've traveled extensively in SW IL, most often Randolph County, where my recording engineer works and farms his land. He & his wife (Evangelicals who "walk the walk") are nearly the only white liberals in Sparta, much less their church. That is a part of the state that ever since Costello retired, has overwhelmingly returned crazy Tea Partier-turned-Trumper Mike Bost to Congress every two years since 2010. Granted, I haven't been back since the pandemic started--but even in 2016, I don't recall seeing a single Clinton sign on my entire drive down I-55 and then country roads from Chicago to Sparta (except the outskirts of Springfield). Of course, there are majority-white NW & SW Side Chicago neighborhoods & close-in suburbs full of bigoted COVIDiots (it's how a self-declared Nazi won the GOP primary for Bill Lipinski's seat in 2018--giving Blue Dog Dem. Lipinski one final term). The latter areas are where 2 of my husband's 3 hospitals and his office are (the third hospital is in a hard-hit neighborhood of color and his union health clinic borders another).

    Wrenn, I exclude cities and college towns on both sides of the border from my assessment of prevailing political sentiments in mountain & prairie states & provinces.

    Just learned that Cuba--which makes its own vaccines--is now vaccinating toddlers as young as age 2. Despite its poverty, it is way ahead of any other N. American nation (perhaps any other country, period) when it comes to cutting edge cancer immunotherapies (note--not the "B-17' or laetrile snake oil being sold by clinics in Mexican border towns).

  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    Our governor's 2 kids just tested positive

    https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2...


  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Chowdog - Sorry to hear that. I hope his kids recover quickly.

    ChiSandy -

    Conundrum? That's no excuse. Have you heard there's a pandemic going around? Good thing smarter and more persistent people are on it.

    The Alberta healthcare system is failing because of their leadership. Years of cuts to healthcare reduced hospital capacity. Their cases were under control at the beginning of the summer before the leadership declared the pandemic over, lifted any restrictions, and didn't push vaccinations. They ignored rising cases. They ignored warnings from the hospital system. They have a higher vaccination rate than the US, but they don't have the hospital capacity to handle the cases without implementing other public health measures. Less healthcare capacity requires stricter public measures. They're applying them now.

  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    Reflecting a little bit about the FDA vaccine committee meeting today. Well, I am not happy. I haven't been happy with the whole pandemic response. We lost precious time in 2020 with the previous administration politicizing everything, from masks, to restrictions to vaccine. We had another window to do the right thing with the new administration during the spring, but the CDC chose the economy over doing the right thing by dropping the mask mandate. When I voiced my concern about CDC's mask decision in may on SMs, i was called anti science, or whatever names you can think of from both sides. Our government was too chicken $hit to even consider vaccine mandate/passport. It's embarrassing that with all the best tech companies in the world, we can't implement a reasonable digital vaccine verification system. So we let delta burn. In July, after all the evidence, CDC finally came out with some lukewarm/half hearted mask recommendation. meanwhile, we have been aware for awhile some governors have implemented anti vax/anti mask mandates, and we are finally "suing them?" So here we are, almost 1 year since EUA of covid vaccine, we are posting >150K new cases/day, almost 2K death/day, while FDA & CDC have no data to even back booster? Instead, I see a bunch scientists debating on SMs, some even weaving between pro vaccine/anti vaccine/ pro mask/anti mask lanes so they can get followers and book/podcast deals.

    I just feel sick. I am grateful at least my county has mask and vaccine mandate, but that's not enough. it's just one county.

    Rant over.


  • cm2020
    cm2020 Member Posts: 530
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    chowdog....I hope your governor's kids recover quickly with no complications. As for your reflections on the pandemic, I agree completely and very much feel the same way. I had a very good cry about it last night.

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 955
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    One in every 500 Americans has died of Covid https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210915/1-in-500-....

    In the beginning, signs on the outsides of stores read "masks required." Some places, like Costco and doctors' offices and airports, enforced this pretty well.

    Early summer, when hope was rising, the signs read, "masks not required for those who are vaccinated." It meant that almost no one wore a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

    Now the signs read "mask recommended, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated." And no one's masking in public, except me and maybe 2% of the other shoppers. And Delta continues to breathe contagion through a population that has already lost one in five hundred.

    The simple, benign act of wearing a piece of cloth over the face in order to protect both the wearer and others, has become symbolic of the wretched polarization and narcissism that exists among us.

  • cm2020
    cm2020 Member Posts: 530
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    I am convinced that if the diseases of the past that we have either eradicated or come close to eradicating were to have presented themselves now OR there had been internet (and all the things fueling the anti-vaxxer movement and fake news/cures now) that the population would die out. Absolutely NOTHING would be managed disease-wise. The one sentence that keeps coming to my mind over and over is "we are so damn screwed".

  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
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    At the beginning of the pandemic when numbers were rising at an alarming rate, I made the comment to my children that Mother Nature was not happy with us and was culling the human race. I know it sounds cold but it is how I was feeling. I follow a couple of biologist who are documenting the destruction of our oceans and the impact of global warming on Antarctica. Several months after my comment they posted this https://youtu.be/2cEXfJc6_d0 and it truly opened my eyes because it so eloquently said what I was feeling. We have got to change our ways or we will be facing more pandemics of this magnitude in our future and we won't have the luxury of another 100 years. Politics needs to be taken off ofthis, but that won't happen, so I don't see this ending anytime soon and hope it ends before we get to the end of the Greek alphabet. I so want to see my grandchildren in Japan, but that's not happening anytime soon. Virtual hugs on FaceTime just aren't the same.

    Edited for spelling. I hate typing on an iPad.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    At the beginning of the pandemic when the virus was running through the senior care facilities I thought our provincial leaders were culling the elderly.

    I just read there's a large outbreak here in a daycare center. All the kids are COVID+. Daycare closed for 2 weeks. QC is allowing fully-vaccinated parents to work if they test negative. But who will care for the kids? A small percentage of kids die or have serious illness, but when you expose a lot, that small percentage is a large number. 🤬🤬🤬 Is it an emergency yet?

  • candy-678
    candy-678 Member Posts: 4,086
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    So I must be crazy. Definitely in the minority.

    I talked to a friend on the phone today. She mentioned that I was always welcome to come on one of her day jaunts with "the girls"---a group of her friends. She said she has been doing various things, mainly going to restaurants that she has not been to before. She went yesterday to Indiana-- we are in Illinois. Just up and called another lady and they drove there and ate in a good restaurant.

    Now, no she does not have cancer. She is pretty healthy. She is recently widowed and is retired so she has been staying busy to keep her mind active. I, on the other hand, have low counts from the cancer treatment so I have to be more careful, and I just changed treatments and feeling kind of icky-- nausea and fatigue. So I really do not feel up to a day trip. So I shouldn't compare us. But...

    What I am getting at is, doesn't people worry about Covid?! The lower 1/3 of Illinois -- where I am-- has 0 ICU beds. The hospitals are overrun. We are in a Pandemic. A public health crisis. Yes, mainly the unvaccinated (this lady is vaccinated), but the vaccinated can get sick too. I ask her if she worried about sickness. She said "No, not really. I do not think about it". REALLY?!

    And I see on the news/sports about Busch Stadium in St. Louis--- across the State line from me-- being full of fans for a ball game. REALLY?!

    Am I just a wuss? I stay at home. I isolate.

    Weird world we live in anymore.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    You're not crazy. Not a wuss. When hospital resources are low, needing any hospital care is a comorbidity. Hope she wears a seat belt.



  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    Candy,

    you are not crazy or in the minority. Despite my county having good vaccine uptake and relatively low covid cases vs other counties in CA , I continue isolating. I have only dined outdoor 2x since March 2020, after I became fully vaccinated and before CA fully reopened on 6/15. I have been tracking CA & local covid cases since the beginning. The minute our county cases started ticking up at the end of June/beginning of July, I returned to takeout only. I haven't traveled at all, not even road trips.

    Like you, sometimes, I wonder if I am being too cautious, but at the end of the day, I am not willing to risk getting covid, not even the "mild" covid.

    It's a hard pill to swallow, when many selfish people either deny the existence of the pandemic or think the pandemic is over once they are vaccinated.


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
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    candy-678, You're smart, not a wuss. Hubby and I are in the process of trying to pass on concert tickets we've had for ages - first it was cancelled last year, then rescheduled. It's a venue that calls for vaccine proof or recent testing, plus masks for all, but the place has a bar and people will be drinking, so those masks will come off. Seating is elbow to elbow. It's a group I love, but I just won't go into crowds.

    We are finally going out of town next month, but we're staying in a state park during the week, in one of a group of cabins that are pretty far apart. There's a lodge restaurant, but even pre-Covid, the tables weren't close together. Hubby has had to work all through the pandemic (a reduced schedule for part of it) in a stressful job, so he needs a physical break. This feels like a safe option. I've refused any other suggestions.

  • cm2020
    cm2020 Member Posts: 530
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    Candy, you smart. Very very smart. We are also continuing to take as many precautions as we can.

  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
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    Chowdog, that was an interesting article. Thanks for posting it.Pfizer is really pushing the booster. I got Moderna and I’m glad I did. It’s showing a higher efficacy rate beyond a 120 days than Pfizer.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,003
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    I've tried asking this of my local health dept and they don't get back to me: We hear of vaccinated people getting Covid but have there been cases of people who had Covid, got vaccinated and then got Covid again?

    The pandemic restrictions altered the way dh and I functioned both at home and when out and about; a severe pruning back of all activities and socializing. I knew things would never go back to how they were, that you find a new normal. Once we were vaccinated, we didn't want to add everything back into our lives that we previously had. Like decluttering the Marie Kondo way, I pay attention to the people and activities that spark joy in my life and go in that direction as often as possible. It means a bit more solitude, but I'm finding out that's not a bad thing at all. It's a mixed bag, because there's a been a loss of innocence yet there are also valuable lessons learned. But I suffered loss of innocence when I received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer in 2011; the pandemic didn't top the devastating news of that year.



  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Divine - I posted a link earlier that found people with prior COVID infection and then vaccinated had superior immune response (hybrid immunity) than disease-only or vaccine-only immunity.


  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
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    That’s a good question. I haven’t heard anything regarding that scenario. I need to look into that as one of my DDs got covid in 2020 and was vaccinated this year when her age group became eligible.

  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    Divine, I recall seeing on twitter some people got covid in 2020 and got breakthrough infection in 2021, but not sure if these cases are true. You know possible bots try to discredit vaccine.