Cancer, Mental Illness and Covid

Jul 5, 2020

I finished my last entry back in March. I was so excited on being asked to speak at the symposium that the words came forth happily and easily.

Keeping busy was a bit of a challenge.  It was still winter so I didn’t have much of an outdoor life. I was still recovering from back surgery and my mobility wasn’t yet 100%. There was still ice in spots which made me quite leery of a fall. There was certainly enough going on in the political world to keep me awake in front of CNN, although my prayers that another Republican Senator would pull his hear out of the sand went unanswered. They were still playing hockey and basketball and I was no stranger at a Bruins or Celtics game. I was a very familiar face at the Yawkey Cancer Center, faithfully keeping my appointments.

Then came the coronavirus. All of a sudden, I’m not allowed to go anywhere.  My sister now does all the grocery shopping and picks up my prescriptions. A five day chess tournament at Foxwoods was cancelled. The Bruins and Celtics are postponed indefinitely and my two tickets for Opening Day will never be used.

But I have to keep my spirits up. Depression will kill me quick. With the exception of my daily walk and trips to the Mass. General, I’m basically housebound. Not too many people will tell you they look forward to chemo, but believe me, it’s been nice to get out and see people!

But I cope. My CBT skills have taught me well. I do the self-care necessities and pursue my hobbies as much as Covid will allow. There are now local and national online chess tournaments. I’m taking an online memoir writing course. But reading has been my salvation. I take my selections from the Porter Square Book Store’s Indie Bestseller’s list and I have yet to be disappointed. Small stacks of books have nearly covered my dining room table.  I enjoy reading History and Politics but a good work of fiction in an exotic setting can take me far from my living room.

But will this ever end!?! I don’t measure the rest of my life in years, I measure it in months and the insidious, baffling, mind-blowing, confounding, maddening, stupefying way this crisis is being mishandled by the president and his followers is infuriating. I have some retirement savings and I’m not planning on leaving it to anyone. I just booked a room down the Cape, ( I have no problem wearing a mask), but I would, in between treatments, would love to go back to Paris and live out a fantasy of being a writer for a couple of weeks. Only now it seems the European Union will not allow this. I don’t blame them. I would like to do the same for Florida.

So life goes on. Oh, yes it does. My scans are good. I feel great. Time will tell. Perhaps I can live out my days as an American refugee in Paris.

Danny Sullivan

My CBT skills have taught me well. I do the self-care necessities and pursue my hobbies as much as Covid will allow.

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