Monday, April 20, 2020

7777+ Days: #586 SHAZAM! This is Life Changing

7777+ Days: #586 SHAZAM! This is Life Changing: We are masked, thanks to sister Susan. It's been a while since my last post when...  Shazam ! Just like that our world was turned...

#586 SHAZAM! This is Life Changing

We are masked, thanks to sister Susan.

It's been a while since my last post when... Shazam! Just like that our world was turned upside down and blog writing became secondary. While trying to adjust to the new norm of living with Covid19,  I realized the troubling feelings I was experiencing were similar to the ones I had already agonized over after learning of my terminal diagnosis almost six years ago.

This led me to researching the five stages of grief and how it relates to both my initial emotions with cancer and the Coronavirus that is consuming everyone's lives. One of my findings was David Kessler's words describing what we may be experiencing due to the recent events even though we may not necessarily be suffering the loss of a loved one.

"The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is as unique as you are."

What makes this message so relevant to the Coronavirus and to my living with terminal cancer are the similar feelings they both have evoked.

Covid19--Maybe it isn't as bad as the news reports are stating.
My cancer--A possible misdiagnosis?  Tests can be wrong, can't they?

Covid19--I am so angry I can't see my friends and family and a return to my normal life.
My cancer--Why has this happened to me?  I want to scream and rant and rave. Life is so unfair.

Covid19--Please, higher powers, hear our prayers and requests to get rid of this menace.
My cancer--Help me, I will do anything to be able to live longer.

Covid19--Why us? I don't see any way we can recover.  It all seems hopeless for our world to survive.
My cancer--There are few treatments to keep me alive and there is no cure.  I won't see my grandchildren grow up.  I will not see ___________.  (Fill in the blank with any number of things).

Covid19--  I get it now.  Accepting a different way of living life and appreciating all I do have will make this catastrophe not feel quite so catastrophic.  Good must come from this and we will be better humans taking care of the earth and each other.
My cancer--I plan to fill my days with joy, laughter and discovery. Cancer will not define who I am.

Ruminating about these five stages is exhausting and occurs on a regular basis for me.  You see, life with a terminal disease is not always easy for others to understand...and that's okay, I get it. But perhaps those of you experiencing this coronavirus crisis and the stressful emotions involved, you may now understand what I, and many others like me, face every single day. I will keep going and so will you--one day at a time.

Thanks for reading #586 of 7777.