When Cancer And Coronavirus Collide: Fear And Resilience

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    It’s like being in prison inside a prison. Having advanced cancer while being wary of the COVID-19 virus really sucks. I am speaking both as a doctor and as a person with cancer – since 2016, I have lived with stage 4 lung cancer. The threat of cancer hangs in the air like a gun to your head. It makes you think about risks and survival odds. It forces you to confront the fact that you may die sooner than you’d imagined. It’s a terror that the coronavirus is only making more palpable. COVID-19 is another reminder of the fragility of our lives. And even if a person with cancer manages to look away from the idea of mortality, the virus will bring it back into view. Your body is already tired from “fighting” cancer. And your mind has very little bandwidth to decide, if the question arises, which enemy is more dangerous: the cancer cells or the virus. In fact, for people with malignancies, especially those treated with chemotherapy, it is impossible to separate the two threats. They are

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