What It’s Like to Fight Cancer During a Pandemic

It feels awkward to talk about it amid Covid-19, but I have to

Skyy Hook
ZORA
Published in
5 min readJun 25, 2020

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Illustration: Nicole Xu

Is it rude to talk about fighting cancer in the middle of a pandemic that is killing people with a virus? This is the interesting dynamic taking place in these United States, and while this adverse situation is prevalent, it is not being openly discussed. This isn’t because it’s not urgent or crucial, as it is both of those things. I have, however, noticed upon speaking with others who are navigating the same illness waters as am I, that some people feel uncomfortable talking about their cancer simply because recounting any other health crisis feels somehow impolite given the terrible and immediate impacts of Covid-19.

It feels awkward, but I have to talk. There is a basic need to express my feelings on what is happening to me with a disease that takes people out within weeks and months even as people are succumbing to a mystery virus that can extirpate the victims within hours. I am aware that the virus has now killed more than 100,000 souls in the United States to date. This knowledge can even conjure up feelings of survivor’s remorse at times.

However, there are still things that many cancer fighters want to talk about publicly, but upon scrolling social media and seeing what others are encountering right now, we feel like we must employ a certain level of “this isn’t the time” or “keep it to yourself” into our social graces and we try to act accordingly. It suddenly seems our thoughts and feelings are sort of insignificant in comparison sometimes. But that’s where so many of us are and there’s a story here that is being overlooked. And it’s taking its toll on those who aren’t supposed to be stressed out in the process. Let me explain.

I had just finished up my second bout of chemotherapy and had begun three weeks of radiation for Stage 3 breast cancer at the end of February when Covid-19 started to dominate our everyday conversations. By the end of my radiation stint in mid-March, Covid was the topic on everyone’s lips.

People in my immunocompromised situation went from seeing our teams of doctors a few times a week at our local hospitals and doctor offices to not seeing anyone at all. We received calls from our medical professionals…

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Skyy Hook
ZORA
Writer for

On-Air Shade45 Sirius/XM, SkyyhookRadio EIC The Hollywood Shuffle, Former Editor AllHipHop, Former Contributing Editor InteractiveOne.