Do COVID-19 Fears Help You to Understand a Cancer Patient’s Fears?

The world is dealing with fear and isolation with the COVID-19 pandemic and I find it bringing to my mind that perhaps this is similar, in some ways, to this cancer patient’s fears.

How could the two possibly relate?

Do you find yourself searching for news and updates, how do you diagnose symptoms, is there a cure, do I need to stay away from others and self-isolate yet? Did I just cough – is that normal or am I coming down with something? Did that person wash their hands – are they sick or healthy? Is this door handle clean or infected?  Did someone else just cough? Why? Are they sick or did the water they were drinking go down the wrong tube? How many more are ill in my region today? Do I feel warm, or is that just the effect of the coffee I just finished.  What is the latest update going to be?

So many of these fears can be similar in ways to a cancer patient. Is that pain normal? Do I need to be tested? The wait for results of a test.

It is so easy to say the words “stay positive”, but that doesn’t always allay fears, no matter how positive one is. While most of us, according to stats, have the peace of mind knowing it is likely something we will get over and through, we hear about the odd young and perceivably healthy individual that gets hit hard with the virus and that throws our minds to the “what if”, even for a moment. The fear can be within us or around us. But we can be kind to each other, and ourselves, by understanding that fears are real and natural and need to be met with loving care of ourselves and those we love. It is about allowing each other to state those fears out loud, to be human, and to gently nudge one another to a more loving world of thoughts when (or if) we begin to dwell.

For those of you that have uttered the words “I know I don’t really know what you are going through…”, maybe you have now become a little more aware and able to empathize. Yes, many of the fears from COVID-19 may be coming from external sources surrounding us as opposed to tweaks or pains or bumps within our own bodies, but it is a fear of health that is on many minds right now. It is the question of having to isolate to protect our health vs. choosing to live. It is understanding that we have a community around us, loving and supporting one another, because truly, we are in this together.

My wish for you today is that this is the closest you will ever be to “truly understanding” some of the thoughts that may swirl in a cancer patient’s mind.

With love and prayers for good health,

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