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Topic: Advice for Living Life?

Forum: All things COVID-19 or coronavirus —

A place to discuss the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on you and the ones you love.

Posted on: Aug 28, 2021 12:32AM

Kikomoon wrote:

Hi all. I’m so conflicted. Covid infection rates are going up a lot in my area. I am fully vaxed since March, did it during a break in chemo treatment. DH’s parents, sister, and BIL all ended up getting Covid about a month ago, they live 4 hours away. Sister and BIL ended up in the hospital. BIL is still there on a ventilator. I don’t want to end up in that situation as I have enough problems with my diagnosis. If I weren’t seeing it first-hand, I probably would be less concerned. We are supposed to go to dinner tomorrow evening at an outdoor restaurant with DH’s friend and his new lady friend. I really, really want to live my life without fear, but watching my BIL situation is making it hard right now, and I am dreading this dinner when I should be looking forward to it. And we both NEED to get out. I feel fairly safe at this particular restaurant the way it’s set up, just nervous about being so close to these people, even if they are vaxed. That doesn’t seem to matter anymore as far as spreading it, and that’s not the issue. The issue is fear vs living my life. I’ve never been a particularly fearful person until my diagnosis, and I just hate it. Any words of wisdom? Maybe the third jab would ease my mind, maybe not. Thinking about just postponing this dinner, but I can’t postpone my life.

Dx 10/16/2020, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Radiation Therapy External: Brain Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Aug 28, 2021 01:02AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

It sounds as if you have carefully evaluated the situation and from my POV, it seems like a fairly low risk situation. Ultimately you will have to decide if you can go without having major anxiety. I put off all plane travel but know I will go crazy if I don’t have a change of scenery. I am renting a cottage near a beach in the Santa Barbara area. Staring at the ocean sounds like heaven so I’ll accept the small risk. I am driving there and will bring most of my food. Yes, I have a teeny, tiny concern. One of my friends was surprised that I hadn’t canceled the trip, but on balance, I feel comfortable. Take care.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 28, 2021 01:17AM Kikomoon wrote:

Exbrnxgrl,

Thanks so much for responding. Yes I do feel it is a small risk but my anxiety is the big issue. And I’m just not far removed from seeing the “what-if” play out right now. At the moment I am leaning towards just living my life and going, but reserving my right to change my mind tomorrow. We are making an effort to get out safely as well, rented a place in the Texas hill country for a nice weekend a couple of weeks ago. Squeezed a trip to New Mexico and one to New Orleans in during that window when we thought things were getting better. DH could sure use some socialization other than me though, which is why I think tomorrow will be good. The ocean sounds lovely!

Dx 10/16/2020, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Radiation Therapy External: Brain Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Aug 28, 2021 02:29AM moth wrote:

Kikomoon, well, I wouldn't go. The more cases there are the more the risk of a breakthrough infection even for vaccinated people. And as an immunocompromised person, there's a good chance I didn't mount enough immunity from the vax.

With my lung met, I signed a dnr/dni when covid broke out. They won't put me on a vent because I'd very likely never come off. If I need more than just supplemental O2, I'll die. And I'd be super pissed at going through all this effort to buy time for my mbc, only to be taken out by covid.

Not worth it for me. It's not fear, as far as I'm concerned. It's just my risk assessment and also factors in how little I value dining in a restaurant. Take out and zoom is enough for me.

I hope you make a decision you're comfortable with!

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/13/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/18/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/8/2020 External Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 12/15/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/2/2021 External: Bone
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Aug 28, 2021 02:50AM Kikomoon wrote:

Thank you Moth. I definitely understand this perspective too.

“And I'd be super pissed at going through all this effort to buy time for my mbc, only to be taken out by covid.“ this resonates strongly.

Dx 10/16/2020, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Radiation Therapy External: Brain Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Aug 28, 2021 03:18AM - edited Aug 28, 2021 03:24AM by ShetlandPony

It's tough that we have to think so hard about things we used to take for granted. Every time there is an invitation or event or desire to go somewhere, I try to evaluate the level of risk. I do not look at this as living my life in fear, but living smart. For me it goes something like this: Safer=Outdoors rather than indoors, Other people masked or known to be vaccinated rather than unvaccinated or unknown, Spaced rather than crowded.

I have felt comfortable visiting botanic gardens where there are masked and unmasked people, because it is outdoors, not super-crowded, and I am vaccinated and masked, even if everyone there is not. I have felt comfortable visiting and eating in homes with a small circle of vaccinated family and friends. I have plans to go camping with another family that is vaccinated. I will even go to a dance class when it starts up because everyone will mask and it is only for an hour, and it will feed my soul. I shop for groceries in the morning before so many covid aerosols have had a chance to collect in the space.

On the other hand, I don't shop for fun because it seems an unnecessary risk, being indoors with so many people. I can't go back to yoga class because half the people there do not want to mask or state their vaccination status. I am not comfortable eating at restaurants, even outdoors, because I would need to be unmasked to eat, and too close to unmasked people who may not be vaccinated, who are eating, laughing, maybe talking loudly -- which is riskier than talking quietly because more likely to spew greater distances.

I take into account my own situation. I am not greatly immune-compromised, but I can't afford to get sick and have to pause my treatment. I figure the vaccine would probably keep me out of the hospital, but on the other hand, my body is sort of worn out from treatment. My current dilemma is whether I can attend an outdoor concert. Outdoors with a breeze forecast is good, but crowded is not. I would double mask. (So far I have not found an N95 that fits.) It would be really special to go with the person who invited me, but I am nervous. Thoughts, anyone?

Kikomoon, is there another way to socialize that would feel more comfortable? Like eating outdoors with these folks at home instead of at a restaurant, or visiting with them but not for a meal, so everyone could wear their mask?

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Aug 28, 2021 08:51AM - edited Aug 28, 2021 08:55AM by SerenitySTAT

Kikomoon - I like SP's suggestion of socializing outside but away from restaurants. How about takeout in a park?

SP - Does the outdoor concert require vaccinations or recent negative tests like Lollapalooza? I read the crowd was around 88% vaccinated. There were some new cases, but it was not a superspreader like Sturgis 2020 & 2021.

ETA: I stopped going to big outdoor concerts because I'm very short and don't like not being able to see where I am. If I can't see the stage, it's not worth it. The Jazz Festival in Montreal is good because there are enough outdoor stages that I can avoid packed crowds.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 28, 2021 01:42PM AliceBastable wrote:

My husband and I have tickets for an indoor concert that was cancelled last year and now has been rescheduled for late September. The venue is pretty strict about vaccines and masks, but once the lights are down, I don't see how they can see whose nose is doing a Kilroy over the top of their mask. I'm not going. I love the group, but I can listen to them on YouTube and Spotify. I'll support them by buying some stuff from their website.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 28, 2021 01:59PM Kikomoon wrote:

We loved going to concerts pre-Covid. I don’t think I could do that now mentally, even outdoors. Well we decided to cancel dinner tonight but want to plan something in the next few weeks that will be most comfortable for everyone, perhaps in our backyard with fans where we could be even more spaced out, but the backyard is a mess, so postponing a few weeks. I might be ok with more of a spread out Biergarten type place, we’ll see. DH and I have just been so miserable all morning, all knotted up that we even have to make a decision like this, so this should alleviate most of our tension today. Let the weekend begin! Thanks everyone for helping me work through this issue. It really helped

Dx 10/16/2020, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Radiation Therapy External: Brain Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)

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