COVID-19 and Me

This article was written on March 24, 2020. Further developments in what we know about the coronavirus are continuously emerging.

You know if you're a prostate cancer patient like me and have been diagnosed with an aggressive case of prostate cancer (Gleason 9 stage 2) all this overload of information right now about the COVID-19 virus is scary.

To gain some sanity I've been doing a couple of things that are helping.

Staying connected in uncertain times

The first thing I did was to start looking through my contacts to see how many people I knew that I could reach out to. The biggest thing that has helped me is to connect with other people even some I have not chatted with in years.

So, whether it's family members, friends or other people who are on ProstateCancer.net just reach out. You don’t need an agenda just pick up your phone and say "Hi" and that you just wanted to chat about all this stuff we are now living with thanks to COVID-19.

We need empathy and connection now more than ever

I will say that it has been a tremendous help to me personally to reach out and just connect by voice -- forget email right now we all need one on one conversation with folks. And I think the more of this you can do rather than focusing on where you are in your fight with prostate cancer the better off you will be.

It’s so easy to focus on your condition right now especially if you think the world is collapsing outside your walls. If you only focus on how bad things are and believe life is terrible it is probably one of the worst things we can do right now. Stress just causes more issues and more inflammation which in turn does not help us fight this disease.

I would strongly suggest if you can and if it's in your wheelhouse pick up that phone and say "Hi" to someone. If you have any religious connections or are a member of a church now is the time to reach out. I think reaching out to people, talking to people and sharing feelings and fears helps you and them. Empathy is not a one-way street it benefits both giver and receiver.

Social distancing brought my wife and I closer

Basically that is my wisdom for the day. I'm going on walks with my wife and the dog a lot more. I'm actually talking with my wife a lot more too! Through this process, we are rediscovering more about ourselves and I think we've grown closer because of this particular virus. In many ways the same way we've grown closer when I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer.

My approach to this global crisis and COVID-19 is to take a deep breath and understand that this thing is going to pass.

So, keep the faith...and hang in there.

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