Cancer requires one to slow down and simplify their life. Predictability in ongoing routines helps me to manage an otherwise unpredictable disease. Finding peace in a time of uncertainty is the goal.
Once a month, I receive a dose of immunoglobulins. It’s a support treatment. It doesn’t kill cancer cells. Instead, it boosts my immune system, which is depleted of defenders by my blood cancer, multiple myeloma. The immunoglobulins help to protect me against bacterial and viral infections. Things like the common cold; things like Covid-19.
Due to my “sucky” immune system, I also practice preventive measures to minimize unduly exposing myself to random bugs. I was social distancing before it became a meme. I learned from nurses at the time of my stem cell transplant in 2008 that an emphasis on personal hygiene would prolong my life. It’s simple, common sense behavior. For 12 years, I’ve avoided salad bars, chosen not to fly, and washed my hands … a lot.
My health is decent, managed by a series of treatments that have not changed in some time. The plan is busy but not arduous: I take oral drugs at home and have two monthly visits to the infusatorium. One is for a dose of the aforementioned IGG cells. I receive a cancer killer drug at the other visit. After that, I get a few weeks break before doing it all over again.
In order to combat the disease, my oncologist designed a coherent plan. It’s based on science. If necessary, we adapt when the cancer develops wrinkles that need smoothing.
These days, much of the rest of my life is similar to everyone else’s. That’s assuming they are following the prevention methodologies of social distancing, personal hygiene, and mask wearing. With the coronavirus we all have immune systems jeopardized by an infectious disease.
Unfortunately, many people refuse to adhere to practical preventive measures. Why is it that there is blatant disregard for common sense? It starts with leadership. Our president refuses to model safe behavior.
Obviously, he missed his chance to lead. Mayors and governors acted decisively. They governed. The president, however, failed to articulate a clear message. He muddied the water with “gut” assessments of biology. And, his repeated contention that fewer tests will lead to fewer cases, murdered logic.
The misinformation, in conjunction with a lack of direction, led to an increase in the infection rate. More deaths followed. The economy flounders as millions of Americans cannot work. All this for want of a national plan to help control the pandemic.
It’s hard to find peace under this cloud of uncertainty. Things must change. Leadership must be found. Be sure to vote this November. Your life and that of your loved ones may depend on it.