Two weeks ago I had just apologised to the man in the chair next to me at the infusion centre. By some miracle I had fallen asleep, and woken myself up with my own rhinoceros-level snoring several times over. The poor guy was actually trying to run a business from his chemo chair – laptop, second screen, phone, the works. He was very kind and understanding about my snoring and we got chatting.

Both of us were raging about the current management of Covid in our state and country – how the government is relaxed about it to the point of ambivalence, no, neglect.

My new friend then said something that had been bubbling away in my subconscious for a while. “You know what really shits me?? That you and I, and everyone else in this room are considered less than. We are the ones who will be listed as having had a ‘pre-existing condition’ and are somehow less countable in the daily numbers.”

It’s as if we are sundries in a game of cricket. Those of us who are already managing health concerns are not attributable to any player’s score. Our deaths and ICU admissions are a by-product of what for many others is ‘just like a common cold’.

Lucky them.

I am isolating for a week because a much loved family member contracted Covid while we holidayed together by the beach. I may or may not get Covid and I may or may not have a lot of trouble fighting it because I have almost no white cells left after chemo. But not just that, I can’t have chemo this week because I would be putting every other patient at risk. The flow on effect of this disease in the lives of many people is huge and scary.

So I want to say thank you.

I see you. Those of you who:

  • wear a mask the way it is intended to be worn
  • distance where possible
  • don’t read the restrictions looking for the potential to cut corners and interpret them in a way which means you get to socialise indiscriminately
  • get vaccinated because you care about the health of everyone and because it is your civic responsibility
  • listen to and advocate for scientists and medical professionals
  • have booked in your booster shot
  • check-in wherever possible
  • monitor for symptoms
  • seek testing when required (and god knows it aint easy to get tested at the moment)
  • isolate when you test positive or are a close contact
  • work in health and emergency services…you must be burnt out on every level

Covid is running through my family right now like it is for many families. I know that I am probably going to get it…it seems unavoidable. But it’s worth mentioning that the thought of getting it without an active immune system (despite being triple vaxxed) is absolutely terrifying. I seem to use that word a lot lately. The thought that despite my cancer diagnosis, Covid might be the thing that ends me is real. The medical teams do not offer reassurance in this matter. They are clear. Monitor for symptoms. If your temperature is raised, try to get into hospital.

So to those of you who are tired of isolating and distancing and wearing a mask and getting tested and booking in for your latest jab…I see you. I feel seen by you and your efforts. I feel protected by you. And it gives me strength and courage.

On behalf of all of us with pre-existing conditions, who also happen to be fucking amazing, intelligent, funny, loved, contributing members of society, THANK YOU.

PS. An update on my cancer: the breast cancer is indeed a cancer but is going to be left where it is for now. It is tiny and mostly pre-cancerous in nature. Operating at this time would mean opening me up to further risk of infection and I would also require radiation which sounds like another ‘unfun’ ride I’d prefer not to join. We will monitor the Karen situation for another six months. It’s possible the current chemo cocktail may have an impact on the little bitch anyway.

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0 thoughts on “Pre-existing Condition

  1. Another excellent post and so well put. I despair of the attitude of so many people over here too, their blasé following of the rules despite Covid running rampage across the UK once again, the NHS are on their knees, we all are to be honest, and the whiny bastards who don’t want to wear a mask to go shopping shit me up good and proper. Don’t get me started on the anti-vaxxers, the selfish and often deluded fuckwits. And our government is choosing to ignore scientific advice and endanger more lives, frankly I’m ready for a revolution. Ooh it all makes me so cross and you are so right that those with an underlying condition or those who dare to be elderly or vulnerable in some other way are thrown under the Covid bus. Vaccines, masks and social-distancing are there to help us all but especially those who can’t fight the virus themselves and are the only way we are all going to move forward. I don’t think that’s a difficult concept to grasp. Thank goodness for the scientists and medical professionals, we’d all be doomed without them. I hope with all my heart that you escape Covid and can continue your treatment. Sending you much love. Xxxx

  2. Fiona Becchio says:

    It took me a while to catch on and I’ve just binge read all your posts. It’s hard to comment, I have no words. Keep kicking Alan and Karen in the Dick Gibbo. Bastards 🤬

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