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COVID & Cancer & Chemo, Oh My!

Updated: May 11, 2020

Quarantined because of COVID-19? If only it could be that simple. Unfortunately it’s not for many, including myself. Quarantined and diagnosed with cancer is a little more complex.

It’s amazing how priorities can change in an instant. A few weeks ago my biggest concerns were contracting COVID from intubating patients, not having enough paid time off (PTO) to cover mandatory low needs, canceling vacations, trying to get reimbursed for those vacations, figuring out how to preserve toilet paper, spending way too much money on Emergen-c, living in the queue for free Crocs, choosing the right flavor of White Claw to match my mood, scheduling Zoom hangouts, and deciding which outfit I would dress Lou up in next (yes he is an Instagram model - well...aspiring).

You may be asking yourself, how recent was this diagnosis, or you may have given up on this blog (that’s okay I don’t blame you, E already has). I was diagnosed on 4/27 at 11am, and here’s the kicker...I was at work. First of all, I will forever dislike all odd numbered days and Mondays. You may think that’s unfair but at least 99% of Americans already hate Mondays. I don’t have a source for that statistic, but I mean who likes Mondays (you may silently raise your hand in private if you do). Secondly, I cannot thank my amazing charge CRNA and my boss enough for their forbidden COVID hugs that day. If there was a time to break social distancing, that was it. Another question you may be asking yourself, is why the “beep” is T starting a blog? Well let me tell you. The easy answer is to cope. My answer is I’m not sure what fueled this fire since I H8 writing. (Let’s bring back H8, it saves you from writing two letters and looks cool). In all honesty, it all happened one morning, I felt compelled to write, so I ran with it. I guess this will be something I can look back on to remember this time in my life. This time when I was the most shocked, the most anxious, the most brave, the most fearful, the most tearful (look mom I can rhyme), the most humbled, the most loved, the most determined, the most everything. These are just some of the million emotions I have felt in the past few weeks. I know there are more to come and I’m open to feel all the feels. Bring on the emotional roller coaster. I’ve always liked amusement parks.

As many of you know and those of you who don’t, you will soon find out (assuming I have more than just my mom and my best friend Jen reading this), I am an open person. Open to a fault at times. I should have listened to the advice “think before you speak.” But my open book quality makes me the person I am today. This is my way to share my story with you, through the good times and the bad. You may now place the ring, oh shit, sorry, wrong context. As you may have noticed, I use humor to cope as well. Another great example of this was during my appointment with my breast surgeon while discussing the fact I would need a port instead of having an IV placed during my 5 months of chemo. I said to her, “Do I really need a port? Have you seen these ropes?” Ropes is a slang term we in the medical community like to use when discussing patients with large veins. Cue laugher.

You may choose to follow my journey or not, the choice is yours. I cannot promise you perfect grammar or inspiring words of wisdom. But I will promise you great stories through the eyes of a future breast cancer survivor and practicing medical provider.

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