Connect with us

Top News

I have cancer in the middle of a coronavirus epidemic

Published

on

I have cancer in the middle of a coronavirus epidemic
Hong Kong (CNN) – I moved to Hongkong on the day of the big protest marks Chinese National Day on October 1 and I think that might be the wildest experience I have had all year. Two months later, during Hanukkah, I learned that I had breast cancer. So, while the global coronavirus crisis is the most challenging thing that happened to almost everyone on the planet in 2020, this crisis almost didn’t make me into the top five.

I knew my life would change, but not this way. My plan consisted of taking my life that had been added to a decade in New York City and moving it to the other side of the world.

The first two months are filled with logistics – finding an apartment, finding ways to pay electricity bills, knowing which bus routes are best to get to the CNN office every day. Too tired to travel, I told myself that once I had settled in my new place I could throw myself to get to know the city in earnest.

I found the apartment. And shortly after moving on I discovered something else – a lump in my right breast. It feels like a large, flat, heavy stone had grown all night inside me.

Within a week there were many appointments – mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, results, referrals. But I knew what it was before someone told me. I know that in my deepest self, like knowing that I’m in love.

On CNN Hong Kong day holiday party, I got the news I was hoping for – stage 2B, requiring six months of chemotherapy, followed by surgery and radiation. I told my parents, the time difference was 13 hours, via email.

My sister, who had never set foot in Asia before, flew out of the US to be with me for the first two weeks of my treatment in early January. After arriving, the jet lagged behind the Raleigh – San Francisco – Tokyo – Hong Kong travel plan which took all day, he walked to my apartment and immediately cleaned up the vomit.

Before cancer, I am not one who likes inspirational quotes or get-’em-tiger speeches. After cancer, I still haven’t. But one thing my illness does is it forces me to give up some of my insecurities.

No more hiding choices when I feel self-conscious. The person I took a bath with as a toddler saw me throw up 20 times a day, and he didn’t judge me because of that. By the time I was diagnosed, it felt like a third of Hong Kong medical personnel had seen me without a breastplate. And soon my friends will see me in my most vulnerable country – with mouth sores, hemorrhoids, nausea, and muscle numbness – and still want to hang out with me.

See also  Even nations that acquired coronavirus beneath regulate are now struggling. That's deeply regarding for the rest of the planet

When I sent my sister away on the flight home, I did not know that I was racing against an invisible clock. We all exist.

Viruses outside, internal diseases

A few weeks after my treatment, we began hearing news in the office about a new virus that spread through China. Our bureau chief sent us all to work from our small high-rise flat. All public Chinese New Year events in the city are canceled.

At that time, many Hong Kong residents – including me – thought city officials were too cautious because of the very poor handling of SARS. People don’t wear masks unless they are sick, there is no mandatory temperature check, and most businesses stay open.

Some friends planned a trip to Hong Kong to visit me and help. But when the corona virus loomed and Asia began to lock itself in, each flight was canceled one by one.

My hair began to fall out two weeks into chemo, around the Lunar New Year. I decided to just bite the bullet and shave off everything. Every salon in my neighborhood was closed – I assume because of the holidays, because everyone in town had a week off – except for one salon. The barber looks confused and surprised to see a woman enter. He doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Cantonese, so we communicate through the Google Translate app on my mobile.

Writer at the Jade Market in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

With the approval of Lilit Marcus

“Bad luck cutting your hair during the New Year,” he typed again.

“I’ve had bad luck,” I replied. When he doesn’t shake his head again, I draw the character to “cancer.” He immediately nodded and began working.

Ten minutes later, I’m bald. Barbers don’t charge me.

“Sorry,” he typed. That will be one of the hundreds of times I’ve heard those words over the next six months. But what I haven’t explained is that I don’t feel sorry. I feel lucky. Lucky to have health care, have a supportive Hong Kong community – many of whom are CNN colleagues I just met – and have a good long-term prognosis. Of course, that feels real. But in 2020, everything felt unreal.

I wondered how I would explain my new look to everyone in the office, but coronavirus made it irrelevant. Our bureau decided to remain closed indefinitely when the virus spread.

This special Hong Kong tour offers tourists the chance to see one of the busiest ports in the world up close.

Travel editors who don’t travel

Even when I vomit and sleep 10 or 12 hours a day, my trip feels itchy still want to be scratched. I plan to take advantage of Hong Kong’s central location and a good airport as a way to explore more places in Asia, and as the editor of the CNN Travel section, I also hope to report from a different location. In the US, it’s normal for me to fly at least once a month. Suddenly, that was no longer an option for me – or anyone.

Another friend who just moved from the US to Hong Kong became my partner in a local adventure that we held every time I felt well enough to go out. We took the ferry to the nearby small islands, Po Toi and Cheung Chau. Even though museums and other businesses are closed, we have all of Hong Kong’s rich outdoor life to choose from. We do climbing, swimming in the sea, climbing hills, exploring temples.

Ironically, Covid-19 is the perfect place to get sick. My oncologist told me to wear a mask, use hand sanitizers and protect myself once my immune system was disrupted, and then overnight it felt like the whole city had cancer with me. No colleague of mine knows that I answer emails from my oncologist’s office, not from my desk or that my cheerful social media status is mostly smoke and mirrors. The expensive wig I choose for office clothes only occasionally appears on Zoom calls. Contact-free food delivery is normal as coronavirus continues. And sometimes, just sometimes, all day long when I forget I’m sick.

See also  The last Tesla in the power quality survey J.

Even though I can’t backpack through Laos or relax on the beach in Bali, I have the gift of getting to know my new home better than I expected. One weekend, a group of us handled the famous Dragon’s Back climb in the southwestern part of Hong Kong Island. Eventually, we arrived at the beach, and even though it was March, it was warm enough to enter the water. I brought a shower cap only for this special occasion but I pulled it and jumped, bald and happy, to the sea.

This year, I learned the word joss, or luck. A colleague that I kept a secret carried some red paper printed with flowers and pineapple – to represent growth and prosperity – as a New Year gift. You should have burned it as an offering to your ancestors, but I can’t bear to do it and hang it on the wall of my apartment. It feels like I’m living in the eye of a storm. In a city of seven and a half million people, only four died from the virus. My Hong Kong bubble is full of joss.

Find joy in an unexpected place

People think that cancer makes you wise. Just look at all the thin and pale and bald and holy TV martyrs, giving life lessons before dying peacefully – Dr. Mark Greene in ER, who died gracefully on the way to the beach in his lover’s arm, was my first pop culture experience with cancer.

There is something about looking at your own mortality that should take you deeply. But the reality is that sometimes people get sick. Good people get sick and stay good. Rude people get sick and stay rude.

See also  Marvel's Loki takes the form of a very Portuguese panel.

That is one reason I am reluctant to share my diagnosis with people, especially the corona virus looming. Internet commentators debate about whether coronavirus is real, or who “deserves” it. Even though Hong Kong is relatively safe, with everyone in the mask, I still feel a little paranoid every time I leave the apartment. It’s better to be sick in secret, I thought, rather than having to live vulnerable in public.

In April, when I underwent chemo for four months, Hong Kong recorded one week in a row of zero new corona virus cases. The restrictions imposed began to lift slowly. Restaurants can fill more capacity as long as they divide dividers between tables, and the maximum crowd size changes from four to eight.

The city was built, and so am I. My hair grows back slowly, with patches – first legs, eyebrows, underarms. I watch the video cancer patients on US ringing bells to celebrate their last chemo session. But what I want to do is walk out into the light like it’s only a normal Wednesday. Sometimes it feels like all the time I have cancer is a strange dream. The world is closed, I close myself in my apartment, and everyone stands still. It’s too hot to wear a wig, so I’m getting bald in public. Sometimes people stare, but most of the time everyone treats me like I am a woman who happens to have no hair.

If you ask me a year ago what I hoped was my big step to Hong Kong, I would talk about all the cool trips I would take in Asia and the crazy adventures I would take in the city. But life, like that phrase, is what happens when you are busy making other plans.

Being sick during coronavirus, and still being able to get the best medical care and live my life, reminds me that there is excitement in everyday life. Being able to shop alone is a gift. Going for a walk is something to celebrate rather than a normal task. Cancer showed me how strange, a wonderful miracle to sleep at night and find you wake up again in the morning.

Seasons change. The sun rises and sets. My tumor shrank so much that I was scheduled for lumpectomy rather than mastectomy. The children return to school. And life, as it tends to happen, continues to move.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top News

Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Published

on

Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets Ptix.bm For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

More about

#History of Bermuda #A photo #Portuguese

Model: Everybody, Entertainment, Movies/Movies, History, News

Continue Reading

Top News

CRISTANO RONALDO CAN MAKE UP A GIANT IN CARIOCA AND PORTUGUESE TECHNICIAN SAYS ‘There will be room’

Published

on

CRISTANO RONALDO CAN MAKE UP A GIANT IN CARIOCA AND PORTUGUESE TECHNICIAN SAYS 'There will be room'

News

This is a fact or event of journalistic interest. This may be new or recent information. This also applies to the novelty of an already known situation.

Article

Mostly original text. Expresses the opinion of the author, but not necessarily the opinion of the newspaper. It can be written by journalists or specialists from different fields.

Investigative

A report that contains unknown facts or episodes with a pronounced denunciatory content. This requires special methods and resources.

Content commerce

Editorial content that offers the reader conditions for making purchases.

Analysis

This is the interpretation of the news, taking into account information that goes beyond the facts told. It uses data, brings events and scenario forecasts, as well as past contexts.

Editorial

Analytical text translating the official position of the vehicle in relation to the facts covered.

Sponsored

This is an institutional article on a topic of interest to the company sponsoring the report.

fact checking

Content that confirms the accuracy and authenticity of the disclosed information or facts.

Context

This is an article that brings subsidies, historical data and relevant information to help understand a fact or news.

special

An exciting report that details the various aspects and developments of this topic. It brings data, statistics, historical context, as well as stories of characters that are affected by or directly related to the topic in question.

Criticism

A text with detailed analysis and opinions on products, services and works of art in a wide variety of fields such as literature, music, film and visual arts.

Continue Reading

Top News

Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Published

on

Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

See also  Updates from all over the world

Continue Reading

Trending