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?)