Living with COVID and Cancer

I am definitely diagnosable with COVID OCD!

I asked my doctor for his suggestions on the precautions I should take with COVID lurking around every corner. He paused, looked at me and said, “For you, COVID would be fatal”.  Those words echo in my brain every time I leave the sanctuary of my home.

After years of subjecting myself to torturous treatments to extend my life, it seems incredibly foolish to take any risks. So, in turn I have developed compulsive patterns of behavior that serve to protect me, allay my fears and have obsessional thoughts about what additional behaviors I can begin to provide additional safety! 

I am secretly jealous of everyone who does not live with my fears and can walk bravely inside stores, restaurants and live their lives with a sense of normalcy. In turn, I am now the COVID police who looks at the risks people take and feels a sense of panic rage. And as I watch, most people don’t get the feared virus even with the risks they take. Where is the fairness?

I don’t want anyone to get the disease. I’d just be super happy if everyone developed my COVID OCD. Because if everyone shared my disorder with my obsessions and practiced my same compulsions, we’d all be safe and I could then live a more normal life. My risk would be reduced.

In spite of my new disorder, I do continue to focus on living a life I enjoy. Most of the time I feel really good. Everyone I know mimics my protective compulsions when they are near me to keep me safe. I seriously appreciate that. I know and am related to really good people. 

And I have a new hero…. Dr Fauci.  A friend sent me a link to an article where health professionals described how they are personally living their lives. I actually read only what my new hero was doing in his life and it seemed to match well with my COVID OCD, so it gave me guidance.

Now, when I worry about an activity I am about to engage in, to calm myself, I ask:  WWFD?

(What Would Fauci Do?) 

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This is my blog about living my life with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer—End stage. I joked about writing this imaginary blog when I spent a year on a treatment that allowed me only 10 days to feel well enough to live a fairly normal life. (Actually normal doesn’t even really exist for me anymore!) To earn those good days, I spent the previous 10 days living in post-chemo treatment physical hell – that also became normal in a perverse way. I’m also writing to honor those who are diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. You might live longer than you expect and I want you to have someone who tells you what that’s like. There aren’t many role models for people with this because, well, they’re usually gone. So, this is for you. Maybe your journey will be similar to mine. Actually, it will probably be very different because “everyone is different.” Even still, maybe this will still be a bit of a guide.

2 thoughts on “WWFD?”

  1. Hey there Kathy – that was a nice article you included and very interesting to read what others do, especially Fauci (I read only a little bit of the others). He’s my hero too! You are not alone in viewing things as if you’re the COVID police. I am right there with you. Keep up the COVID OCD actions, (as I know you obviously will) and just know that you are the smart one…. all else is way too risky. Love and big, safe hugs to you (and Bill!).

    Liked by 1 person

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