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How is the virus impacting you?

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

We've always said that this is a safe place for us to vent our frustrations and fears, so I thought that I would start a thread where we could share with each other what's going on with us because of the coronavirus. We may have to do social distancing in our immediate environment, but we still have each other to lean on to get through this.

Personally, I'm doing ok because I'm out of treatment and over three years NED. I stocked up back in February seeing where things were going and both my husband and I are retired and can hunker down pretty easily. But this is really hitting our retirement funds! :-(

I have two big worries on my mind. The biggest is that my single daughter in Hoboken has some mild symptoms, but can't get tested to be certain. She was supposed to be moving in with us after this week (while looking for her own place to buy), but now she has to self-quarantine and the situation in Hoboken is getting worse and may mean she can't get out of there for the foreseeable future. I'm more concerned about her health and ability to cope by herself than the move. She can work from home, her job is pretty safe and in fact all of this will probably keep her company very busy for the foreseeable future, so my worries are mostly about not being able to be help her and because I'm her mom, afterall, and worrying is something I'm good at. My other big worry is the supply chain as it pertains to prescriptions. I've heard rumblings that it could become an issue as time progresses and I don't see a way to be proactive preparing for that possibility. Have any of you heard any of the same?

I'm pretty upset about how this has impacted Donna Faye's treatment and I worry about all of you who are in treatment and are in such a vulnerable place right now. I'm so glad DF at least made it to being with her son and seems so calm in the face of it all. (I'll do the worrying for her.) 

So, my concerns may be minor compared to what some others may be facing, but it helps to feel like we all have each other even if we have to be isolated for the time being for our own well being. Hugs to anyone who needs one!

 

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 340
Joined: Feb 2018

The TP situation is no joke at all when you have a chronic disease causing diarrhea (microscopic colitis).

 

And I'm in the middle of trying to evaluate some weird symptoms, so that may get delayed. At least I got my MRI out of the way before things started to get restricted (more or less negative except something minor and probably incidental, thank god, but also frustrating, I'm sure you all understand that kind of feeling). I'll survive but will grumble a tiny bit :) I had to brave the lab and pharmacy today, and they were a lot less busy than usual.

 

I do have my regular gyn onc follow up 4/14, can't exactly do a pelvic exam by telemedicine, and that's already at 4 1/2 months instead of my usual 3 months, so I don't really feel like significantly delaying that.

zsazsa1
Posts: 553
Joined: Oct 2018

Lisa, try small closeout stores, also first thing in the morning at supermarkets.  There is plenty of TP being made, so the stores restock every night.  I have to admit that I overstocked us weeks beforehand, having heard that Wuhan ran out on that.  I wound up actually RETURNING about 36 4 packs to our local closeout store just before the schools closed, because I felt to guilty and overstocked!  Wish I could have shipped it to you, now!

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

I started this thread because I could see us having a need to do it somewhere without stressing our families. It's therapeutic, so we'll all grumble with you.

zsazsa1
Posts: 553
Joined: Oct 2018

I've been getting ready, stocking the house up for about a month now, so we lack for naught.  Picked up my daughter, who is on immunosuppression, from college last Thursday night, before the other parents came, so as to decrease infection exposure.  Son's last day of school was Friday, put him on a plane to his older brother out West early Sunday morning, so that they could ride it out together.  They are both low risk, so they can get it, and frankly, son cannot come home until he's immune, or until there's a vaccine.  He took his musical instruments, schoolbooks, etc with him, so he's really out there for the duration.  I doubt he'll be back before May.

I began rituximab this week, so I am very immunosuppressed, with no B cell function, and B cells are critical in fighting viral infections.  So we are totally self-isolating.  If my husband has to go into one of our rental properties (as he does this afternoon), everyone has to leave beforehand, and he goes in gloved and masked.

My biggest fear is exposure in the cancer center, when I have to go in for treatments.  I go in masked, wash hands frequently while there.

Other than that, it's kind of nice to be home with my husband and daughter.  I cook every day, walk the dog.  I have lots of long, pleasant talks with my daughter.  I talk on the phone with friends and relatives, and spend too much time on the internet.  So for me, it's not so bad.  But I'm very worried about our tenants.  I've reached out to every one of them, helping them with information regarding applying for unemployment, and other benefits, if they've been laid off.  I know that our finances are going to take a hit, from which we may not recover, but we're in so much better shape than many others that I don't worry about that at all.  I'm also very worried about my colleagues in medicine.  We're older adults, and those who are in direct patient contact will get the virus, no question.  Some will not survive.  I consider them all heroes, the same as firemen who knowing the danger, still rush into burning buildings to save others.  I am very afraid that it is going to be worse than Wuhan here, since we are later to recognize the risk and magnitude, and our society just cannot enforce the necessary lockdown and quarantine that China was able to brutally enforce.

MA, don't worry about the retirement funds.  I don't know when the market is going to hit bottom (although I suspect it will be about 6 weeks from now, when the ICUs are overflowing, and before social distancing has a chance to stem the tide), but the market will come roaring back eventually.  It always does.  I don't think it could be like it was after 1929, because we learned from that, when government was essentially hands off and didn't try to stimulate the economy.  Look what happened after 2008 crisis.  Look what happened after 9/11.  It will be fine.

It's good that we can still be here for each other, as long as we keep our keyboards 15 feet away from each other's!

Be safe and well, everyone!

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

You're right about the funds, but it's a bit harder to watch this time around because we are now dependent on them until we start claiming social security in a few years. And we didn't exactly retire to a state with a low cost of living. On the bright side....we're not angsting about job loss like some people are. That is truly distressing, especially with it happening so fast.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

We're hunkering down at the beach, but I'm noticing more and more people down here, especially with kids. My husband golfs but he walks and uses his pull cart. I'm concerned about my son and fiancé who are working from home in Manhattan. He refuses to come home to our base house. I have appointments scheduled the week after Easter and I can't skip them but I'm assuming Fox Chase is being highly vigilant. 

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 340
Joined: Feb 2018

When I went in today (lab/pharm inside the hospital, Kaiser in Los Angeles county) they have only one entrance/exit open, ask you questions, give you a nametag with your destination on it, collect it when you leave, make you sanitize your hands,  and are not allowing visitors. I am very thankful I'm not in treatment anymore.

Fridays Child
Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2019

They called me to postpone my scheduled appointment for port flush/lab/oncologist visit.  Said my CT last week showed "improvement" but the report isn't released where I can see it  yet.  They said they were trying to limit the number of people coming in if it wasn't necessary.  I was just glad that it wasn't necessary!  Like you, Lisa, I'm glad I'm not in chemo at this point.

Someone I know in Israel says they're asking them not to go outdoors.  I haven't heard that here, yet.  I usually walk very early in the morning and don't see more than  a handful of people out - and generally on the other side of the street.  I need to maintain my walking to protect my bone density so I'm not sure what I'll substitute if they say to stay indoors.

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 430
Joined: Jan 2017

I am in such a good place that I almost hate to say it. My guys have just treated me like a queen; meals prepared and so nutritious; long walks with them and the 3 dogs; saying Hello to neighbors who are working in their yards; talking to grandsons via zoom. Beautiful weather and spring flowers in abundance. Am feeling very good about the Megace/tamoxifen regime although have not gotten the meds as yet. CT was good so not to worry MA! 

NC is pretty much shut down. My son is at home as his college where he teaches closed. His mate still works PM shift in CT at hospital but all clinics are closed and doctors are doing virtual appts. My granddaughter who is a senior in HS is heartsick that her senior year has taken such a turn, but I tell her, this is not the worst thing to happen and she will be able to celebrate later. Another friend's daughter had to cancel her wedding and after a flood of tears, has rescheduled in June. 

Our country and our world is dealing with a very bad time, but like our forefathers, we will come out of this, hopefully stronger and wiser. Hope all of us continue to do well and stay virus free.

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

It is just so good to hear this from you. I'd feel better, too, if my daughter had only made her move just that little bit sooner! Oh well, at least she hadn't already given notice to her landlord!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2888
Joined: Mar 2013

I work in aviation.  What a mess.  This is bad for everyone though.  I am working from home right now, but only starting tomorrow.  There were very few people in the office, thankfully we had gone to giving laptops over the years vs a desktop, so the ability to get up work from home WAS an option.  I get on calls all day, have to write up notes, and it is everyday of the week.  I dont' mind, I lived through 9-11 in aviation and I truly think this is worse.  

9-11 was "over there" in NYC and D.C.  Not so with this.  It isn't looking for one target to hit, it is out there and I hope everyone staying home can help break the illness.  I guess time will tell.  Be careful ladies (and their lovely families/partners)

dgrdalton's picture
dgrdalton
Posts: 152
Joined: Jun 2017

My husband and I are retired and on SS and Medicare. We live in the country with woods and trails and even a river borders the land so I can walk. Our freezer is full of venison and veggies from last years garden. And the store in the nearby town is well stocked. But I can always seem to find something to worry about! I'm scheduled for a PET/CT scan this coming Monday in St. Louis. It's at Barnes S County so we don't have to go downtown. It's at 8 am and we live 200 miles away so we are driving up Sunday. My oncologist appoint meant at 11 am was confirmed in a phone call tonight. I just really want to get this scan done and find out what the next step in treatment is going to be. I do worry it will be postpone, but remind myself that it will be okay!

I too worry about my kids and grandkids, but have to pray and leave it in God's hands. Prayers for all of you sweet, kind ladies!

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 530
Joined: Jan 2019

today.  What a difficult time to be worrying about this.  But, I am still praying you will get good news.

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 530
Joined: Jan 2019

Washington State.  The first outbreak in a nursing. home has proved fatal for 30 residents there.  It is spreading here.  There is a case at the Aluminum plant my son in law works for.   He came down with fever, sore throat and cough, body aches on last Saturday.  He was tested yesterday, but I am quite sure he has the virus.  My daughter and grand daughter are self isolating. We have not seen them at our house for two weeks.  We have been staying home because we are over 60.  So we are fine.  Well stocked and retired.  My son in law will be fine.  Dong lots of emails and baking, walking, and exercising.  Alwasy visit this site several time sa day.  

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1475
Joined: Oct 2015

I called my GP yesterday morning and asked if we could just do my appointment over the phone since it was just a med check based on labs. She agreed my new diabetes medication is working great and taking me off simvastatin did not cause my cholesterol to rise.

Our 55+ community here is closed for all our social activities but we've been meeting in small groups of four or five to play cards at each other's houses. However, we use hand sanitizer upon coming in and on our way out. There are some people here who are very sick and they are self-isolating. My husband is helping out by picking up groceries and medication for those who can't leave the house. Our neighbor fell and broke his arm and my husband picked him up at the hospital this morning. After he dropped him off, he "Chloroxed" the car and anyplace else he touched as he walked into the house. He went grocery shopping and could find no bread so he's going out early tomorrow to try again since several neighbors are out. He's also taking our neighbor to see an orthopedic surgeon on Monday. The guy is a widow with no children so he's pretty much alone. 

We agreed tonight that we are lucky. Last year we took all of our savings out of the stock market and put it all in CDs - we only get 2.1% but we didn't lose a cent when the market crashed. We are relatively healthy although he has asthma and I have T2 diabetes along with this d*mn cancer. Hopefully, the precautions we are taking will keep us from getting this virus although it is here in Pinellas County and several have died. 

Our son works for Humana and is able to work from home. His wife is a teacher and after spring break will teach online. Our daughter and her husband that farm are pretty self-sufficient and her two daughters are home from college and probably will not go back this year - online classes only. Our grandson is a high school freshman and will also do the online classes. I worry most about our youngest daughter. She lost her job at the end of 2019 and has been doing temp work while looking. The temp jobs have totally dried up - nobody is hiring right now. We've been helping her out and so has my sister. Luckily, she gets a decent unemployment check each week which at least plays for rent and food. But I worry it's going to be a long time before our economy gets back to normal.

Love,

Eldri

barnyardgal
Posts: 273
Joined: Oct 2017

My husband can work from home so he has been doing that. My son had just left his job to start a new one last week but now they said not starting yet due to this virus so he is out of a job. I'm not sure he is eligible for unemployment since he resigned one position to take another but he is checking. He is home with us and worried about keeping his car but at least he listened to me and has food. I always keep a pantry so not worried but making sure we are ordering prescriptions well ahead of time so always have 90 days in stock. I have checkup scheduled beginning of April. We'll see if they cancel. Its at a large Kaiser facility so not sure I want to go there right now. 

Doing lots of walking, and I'm a big reader, though I'm having more trouble concentrating than usual. A little worried about the market as my husband would like to retire in near future, but hopefully once this virus is gone, things will rally quickly.

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

So sorry to hear about your son's troubles. Something similar happened to my son when he graduated from college during the 2008 housing bubble burst and a job he had accepted went bye-bye before he graduated. It seems that we all have more to worry about than just ourselves and having to do the social distancing or self-quarantine thing just makes it harder. It's killing me to not be able to go and get my daughter out of Hoboken. She had been cleaning out her food because of the move, so now she's going to have to go out fairly soon and she has no idea if she is contagious or not because she hasn't been sick enough to qualify for testing. It'll be ok if she can get delivery like she has done other times when she's had surgery or been sick, but I have no idea how that has been impacted there with all of the craziness in grocery stores just trying to keep up with restocking.

jan9wils's picture
jan9wils
Posts: 155
Joined: Mar 2017

I have been self-isolating for only a week and I'm not going to lie; it hasn't been easy. I live alone but I do have a dog so we have been taking lots of walks. My grocery pick-up order was cancelled because the store was wiped out. But my daughter brought me some things to get through the next week. For now the restaurants are allowed to offer carry-out but I haven't tried that yet. I have been talking with my son and daughter daily. My son will working from home for the next two weeks and then the company will reassess.  He and his wife are expecting their first child at the end of April and they are disappointed that the hospital will not allow him into the hospital for the birth. My daughter has a five-week old and a three year old and her husband is working from home. She said it's been a challenge keeping the little ones quiet when he's conferencing. I am continuing to recover from my surgery and staying away from people. I am a big reader and have plenty of books, digital and hard copy. I have watched a lot of Netflix. I haven't stopped showering or getting dressed for the day so that's good!Laughing I do worry for the people of Dallas. There are many who are uninsured and now unemployed. We are told not to go to the hospital if we have symptoms of Covid19 but to call PCPs. But where do the uninsured go? I'm concerned there are far more ill people than being reported. I know I'll be okay. I've battled cancer for five years and I'm not throwing in the towel now!

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

My daughter has her two cats to keep her company as she works from home and between phone calls and responding to texts, emails, and teleconferencing, I think she almost wishes she had some "me" time! Can you imagine how much harder this all would be if it happened and working from home wasn't an option for at least some? I feel so bad for your son and daughter having a baby during this, but it will make for a good "snowstorm" story for her as she grows up, if you know what I mean. I'm sorry self-isolating has you homebound without any company but your dog (if only he could play scrabble with you, eh?), but you know that you can talk with us anytime! Hang in there!

Tamlen's picture
Tamlen
Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2018

We were concerned about the government's sluggish response to this so we started slowly stocking up a month ago, adding to the emergency supplies we already keep. We've got everything we need for a couple of months and are self-isolating now, both working full-time from home. I go out every day to hike a mountain nearby, using a trail I virtually never see anyone on and that I can move off of if I do see someone. Cooking a lot, trying new recipes, watching comedies more than usual. We miss seeing our colleagues but are keeping in touch with friends and family by phone and text, talking to neighbors from 10 feet away. It's not so bad for us and financially we're stable with good health insurance. We're a lot luckier than many.

I do feel bad about being unable to go out to help others, like I usually do in emergencies. Since I have mild asthma and had lung mets, I know I'm high risk, so I'm not going anywhere. Will see my onc via telephone in a few weeks, no scans due for 6 months.

Big hug to you all. I'm glad you're there, I'm glad you're ok. Tough times ahead for a while, I think.

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 340
Joined: Feb 2018

Yay, officially 1 case in my city now (pop 50k-ish, but most all the cities are continuous in Los Angeles county). But of course they're hardly testing anyone unless you're very ill and ill in the "typical" way.

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 340
Joined: Feb 2018

And now we have to stay home by law,  punishable. Surreal times. So worried about my 82 year old mother with diabetes and severe heart disease - in a different part of the state, rural, which I hope means more safe.

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

I imagine if that's starting on the West Coast, it won't be long before NYC does similar since the numbers keep climbing there. Are there exceptions like for getting meds and groceries? 

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 340
Joined: Feb 2018

Oh yes. You can go out for essentials (groceries, gas, medical appointments, etc), you can go provide care for someone (but not just a social visit), and you can go walking (keeping distance). NY has more cases than we do, and they're smaller :(

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 340
Joined: Feb 2018

And now we have to stay home by law,  punishable. Surreal times. So worried about my 82 year old mother with diabetes and severe heart disease - in a different part of the state, rural, which I hope means safer.

BluebirdOne's picture
BluebirdOne
Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2018

We self isolated at the end of February, but still have had unavoidable contact with people since then. We sold our house in CO, closed today, drove to our new home, which is about two weeks away from being habitable. So we are for the second night in busy hotels, acting like the mad ocd cleaning crew with the wipes. As we spent our last few days with unavoidable contact with the movers, (one who had a cough), cleaning people, closers, workmen and now hotel staff, we are stuck in a hotel. We have been eating an odd assortment of “meals “, what was left in our pantry and fridge, at least there is plenty of pasta and jarred sauce, PB and Jelly. I refuse to eat any food not prepared by me, as any take out meals have people breathing on them. Two of my kids were laid off of their jobs, the third is stranded on a work assignment in Bali, yes, that Bali. Our furniture arrives Saturday, and we think after receiving it we might just continue back home to our summer place in Michigan to continue isolation. This was supposed to be our “year of fun’ after our house sale, after almost two years after dx and treatment, traveling, seeing old friends. Luckily, my last oncologist visit was early Feb, NED, but I worry about the next one which will fall in May. We are too busy and too exhausted from the move to make any decisions or worry, but we are coping with extremely low expectations of normalcy returning for many months. My husband is afraid to go to the store to replenish our food, but he will wearing gloves, an old mask, and armed with a bottle of hand sanitizer. We only have the food we brought with us and we are running low. We are in a Residence Inn where we can cook, very low expectations. I still have a bit of wine and a couple of pot gummies to help me sleep. (There is a God). The grocery chain that has online ordering, we pick up, is booked solid. The hotel frozen food pantry has a couple of Stouffer’s Lasagna that I am coveting. Right now, being on the road, food, and how to get fed safely is our #1 concern by far.

Denise

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

You really are in the thick of it! This has just blown up so fast into something none of us could have anticipated and in the middle of things that for many of us, just have to be done. Moving is always craziness, but what you are going through should qualify you for a prize. I just hope that they don't shut down rest stops on the interstates during all of this so that you can make it to Michigan and finally catch your breath where you can feel safe and comfortable. That's going to be a really long drive! Hang in there!

BluebirdOne's picture
BluebirdOne
Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2018

of moving during a pandemic, we were very fortunate to get a buyer after being on the market two days, with an offer over ask, before this all blew up. I doubt we would have been as lucky now. Our new house has been under going a remodel, but now workers refuse to show up to do the final finishing touches due to the virus. Almost habitable, but not enough to unpack, or sleep. My son’s family is here in Kansas, including my granddaughter whom we have not seen since Xmas, and won’t until this is over. They are expecting another baby in June, and no one knows what the virus does to pregnant women, but they think everything will be fine. I expect after the furniture is delivered we will proceed to Michigan to wait this out. Lots of anxiety, stress, and pressure, but still pales in comparison to being dx with cancer almost two years ago. So keeping everything in perspective, sure we are inconvenienced, out money, but our house got sold and we moved. I am still NED and we are all healthy.  Our main concern is food, but a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread goes a long way. Hummus and tortillas are ok. We have beer, wine and chocolate, a warm bed and a tv. Not terrible. Good luck to everyone and hope everyone remains healthy. 

 

Denise

MoeKay
Posts: 330
Joined: Feb 2004

I told my husband I'm really thankful that I like him in light of all this government-imposed togetherness!  Now dealing with the cat on a constant basis is another story.  Just kidding, the cat keeps me busy and entertained.  Since I'm over 70 and had a serious respiratory illness in 2009 that ended up with my lung being punctured when the pulmonologist was doing a biopsy, I'm erring on the side of caution.  Besides, I'm in NJ, where we're currently #4 on the list of confirmed cases, and I'm certain that the number of cases will increase dramatically in the coming days. 

Stay well and safe everyone.  Remember this too shall eventually pass.

 

MAbound
Posts: 1115
Joined: Jun 2016

Love your sense of humor! It's a must have asset, for sure!

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