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Frustrated, Scared, Tired | Cancer's A Bitch Blog

Dear Mr Ford

Enough is enough already. It’s time to wake up and realize that what you're doing is NOT WORKING!

I will say that at the very beginning of the pandemic, you "seemed" to be handling things better than many of us assumed you would. I'm happy to give credit where credit is due.

But that unfortunately did not last. Over the last many months, you have continuously let this province down on so many levels.

And the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that so many of your constituents are feeling now is just awful. It’s terrifying actually. And the trust that you may have garnered at the beginning, is long gone now.

You have refused to learn from your mistakes. Instead you just dig this province into a deeper and deeper hole. And what’s worse - you don’t seem to give a single shit!

Aren’t you fucking scared???

In July 2018, at 42 years of age, I was diagnosed with Stage IV terminal Breast Cancer. I completed 6 months of chemotherapy in March 2019, and with the aid of a number of different hormone therapies and immunotherapies, I have remained stable since then.

When covid first hit, I was almost paralyzed with fear for the first couple of weeks. I heard stories of Italy, where health care workers were having to choose who would and wouldn’t receive care should they contract the virus - because there were simply not enough ventilators and/or resources. And stage IV cancer patients were of that unfortunate group who would not receive special care, as they were deemed less likely to recover.

And the thing is, I had (and have) to leave my house for cancer treatment. So staying at home in my safe little solo bubble, was (and is) simply not an option.

But everyone I knew told me that that would never happen here.

Not in Canada.

Not in Ontario.

Not in Toronto.

So the fear started to subside. And I (naively) trusted that our government would look at the horrific events that happened in other countries, and learn from that. And prepare for the second and third waves that we all knew were coming. I trusted that you would have all of our backs, and not just the big corporations.

From day one I took this very seriously, and have continued to over the course of the last 13 months. I have self-isolated. In fact the only people who have been in my apartment (very minimally) are my mother and my father.

I have seen a total of five friends over the last year. And those were for socially distanced walks outside - fully masked - when permitted.

Other than that, and trips to the hospital and the occasional trip to the grocery store, I have been home alone.

A concept I'm not convinced you're entirely familiar with, as I believe you've continued to get the whole family together over holidays, yes?

As far as getting to and from all of my appointments ...

Pre-covid I used the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope volunteer service. However, that was deemed a non-essential service back in April 2020. And since then, until very recently, my mother had been driving me. Unfortunately, due to some health issues of her own, she is no longer able to drive me to my medical appointments (nor am I able to be there to help her). So I now have to take Uber/Lyft.

I take as many precautions as I can to protect myself. I double mask. I hose down the back seat of the car with Lysol. I ensure the drivers window is open a crack, and mine as well. I make sure the driver's mask is on properly. And I sanitize my hands as soon as I get in and out of the vehicle.

However, that has not been enough to protect me.

On Tuesday, April 6th I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I had to take a Lyft there and back. And that was my only outing in well over a week.

On Thursday, April 8th I started to feel a bit achy. But I chalked that up to side effects from the vaccine. By Friday evening I had what felt like the beginnings of a cold. Again though, I assumed it was symptom(s) of the vaccine. When I woke up on Saturday though, I had the flu. No question about it.

My entire body ached. My skin felt like it was pealing off. My throat felt like sandpaper. My sinuses were congested. I had a painfully dry cough, that caused shortness of breath. And I was so tired and weak, that I actually couldn’t get myself out of the bathtub on Sunday.

By Monday, April 12th I knew for sure that all of this was not a side effect of the vaccine, so I booked a covid test. The earliest date I could get was Thursday, however, after further digging I found out about a pop-up clinic nearby on Wednesday and was able to get in there. And on Friday morning, the results came back positive.

Oh, and btw, I have STILL not heard from the Ministry of Public Health or Toronto Public Health. So there has yet to be any contact tracing done on my case.

Keep in mind as well, that on Tuesday, April 13th I was supposed to go in to Princess Margaret Hospital for immunotherapy infusions, which I receive every three weeks (and will for as long as they continue to work). And those were of course postponed - understandably so.

And upon receipt of my positive covid result, my worst fear happened, and all treatments were postponed indefinitely.

These treatments are necessary to maintain the metastasis that are still on my liver. Without these treatments for a prolonged period of time, it is very likely that we will see cancer progression.

The hope is that my covid symptoms subside within the next week, and that it is safe to bring me into an isolation room for treatment. I will still be two-three weeks late on treatment, but our fingers are crossed that this break will not have been long enough to change the outcome.

And should the worst happen, and my symptoms don’t subside for another couple of weeks to a month - then treatment will be put off for that long.

Surely you can appreciate the fear and anxiety that I have because of this, yes?

I mean could you imagine if this was YOUR daughter? And she couldn’t receive life saving treatment because she had a virus that YOU didn’t do everything you could to minimize.

You would move heaven and fucking earth if this was your daughter.

Shutting down tennis courts and golf courses wouldn’t even be a blip on your radar.

I’d bet my left tit (the healthy one) that you’d finally start listening to the experts. The people who actually know what the hell they’re doing and talking about.

So Mr Ford, while I wouldn’t wish my situation on my worst enemy, I am asking you to imagine for just one moment what you would actually do if I was your daughter.

Stop and really think about the people your decisions are affecting.

Not the corporations that are making you even richer. But the actual people. Us little guys.

The immunocompromised. The healthcare workers. The frontline workers. The educators. The kids. The small businesses.

Think about people like me who are doing everything that they’ve been told because they don't want to waste any more time in isolation. People who have not seen friends and family for more than a year because they just want life to get back to normal. People who have no choice but to leave the safety of their home in order to just stay alive.

And do what you promised the people of this province you would do. Be our Premier. Make the tough calls without considering what your gravy train might think or do.

Basically, do the exact opposite of what you have been doing. And just smarten the fuck up so that you don't have any more deaths on your hands than you already do!



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