BubblesParticipantMy dear MPIP Peeps,
- March 13, 2020 at 11:44 pm
While the world reels from the human and monetary impacts of COVID-19, often with more questions than answers, there is still hope! We are here. Together. The reality is viruses, like cancer, don’t care how much money you have, the color of your skin, the state or country you live in. They don’t look at maps and lines drawn in the sand. They don’t care who you vote for – or against. They don’t care if you are young or old. We melanoma patients know this!!! However, the data for this particular virus tells us that the older and immune-compromised among us are at greater risk for significant illness. Hoarding all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer for yourself (Soap and basic hand washing is much more effective in ridding your hands of germs – FYI!!!!) will not protect you from those who didn’t have the funds or opportunity to attain some for themselves. Conversely, keeping yourself healthy – while helping others to do the same – can protect our health, our way of life, and yes – even the world economy.
Yes, there is much concern about risk. If you are elderly, have a lung condition or heart disease of any sort, a spleen that doesn’t work properly, AIDS/HIV, recent CHEMOTHERAPY, radiation, or surgery, take medications that can cause a DECREASED immune response like prednisone or biologics like infliximab or humera (both of which may be used for folks on immunotherapy who are having significant side effects), or have an inborn or acquired disease process that decreases your immune response – then you are at increased risk. Immunotherapy in and of itself, does NOT increase your risk. Still, no matter where you fall in the risk category, you are not without options or hope. Sensible precautions (avoiding crowds, those who are ill, good handwashing) and reaching out to your doctor quickly should you experience any fever, cough, or shortness of breath when carrying out activities that do not usually cause you difficulty are within our control!
So is how we choose to live!!! Hands need more than sanitizer. I choose to use mine for good!! What I choose to do today to protect and help myself – or not – is so much more than just that!! What I do, or do not do, impacts not only my life, but those around me – strangers, friends, and family alike. Similarly, the actions you engage in – impacts not only those who love you – but my life and the lives of others you may have sat next to on a bus or never met at all. We are all venn diagrams. We are enclosed in circles that not only embrace us, but remain inextricably linked to the circles of others.
Panic never helps. It is a supreme energy suck and a huge waste of time whether inspired by melanoma or COVID-19. And while remaining calm is easy for me to advise, it is often harder to attain. However, I’d like to think here – in our special place on the interweb of life – we melanoma peeps are better prepared than most. We LIVE with risk! We eat it for breakfast and put it to bed with us at night!! It isn’t always a piece of cake, but we do it! Further, living as we do, we have learned what is really important – and likewise what is not. We are used to making dear friends here. In a place where we can share and love and cry WITH one another, though most of us have never met!!! So yes, for now, a lot of what was up is down. My daughter is to start teaching online rather than in the classroom on Monday. The bus drivers will no longer be taking children to school, but will instead be taking lunch to the students. That’s genius!! See??? We CAN do this! Using our hands for good helps others and gives us something to do – rather than panic.
So yes, our hands need more than sanitizer. They need to be busy with goodness. There will be many in need. And we can all help. Tutor a kid online. If a neighbor is laid off or in need – ad a little something extra to your grocery cart or amazon delivery order and drop it off on their porch. Make a monetary donation to your local food bank. Call a high risk or infected person who is stuck at home or in a home for the elderly that no longer allows visitors. Yep. Really pick up the phone and call – using your voice. It’s a thing. It will lift their spirits – yours too! I’m sure each of you can come up with ever so many other things.
Be well. Do good. Love and hugs. Les
jbronickiParticipantAmazing Les, hope this message goes far and wide, so beautiful AND more importantly, true. I will try to do one of these things you’ve outlined rather than focus on the craziness. I will also try to wash my hands better, I’ve always been inpatient so the Happy Birthday song seems so long to me, but I know how important it is. Hugs Celeste 🙂
- March 14, 2020 at 12:56 am
Tagged: cutaneous melanoma
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