The cancer gun and COVID snipers

Today I received my first COVID vaccination. I feel quite emotional because this really is life changing for me

I have worked out that in the last twelve months I have spent seven months in lockdown, two months able to go out a little bit more (being extra cautious) and three months voluntarily adopting shielding advice because of the number of COVID cases locally. As we reach February, I have been shielding since September – six months.

There is an analogy about what it’s like to have cancer (apologies to the originator, I have searched but can’t find where or who this originally came from), it goes like this:

“Imagine you are going about your business one day, when someone sneaks up behind you. You feel them press up against the back of your head, as someone whispers in your ear… “shhhh…don’t turn around. Just listen. I am holding a gun against the back of your head. I’m going to keep it there. I’m going to follow you around like this every day, for the rest of your life. I’m going to press a bit harder, every so often, just to remind you I’m here, but you need to try your best to ignore me, to move on with your life. Act like I’m not here, but don’t you ever forget, one day I may just pull the trigger, or maybe I won’t. Isn’t this going to be a fun game?”

This really is what it is like to have a cancer diagnosis, no matter what stage, grade or type.

But this year has been different, yes the cancer gun is still there but now I’ve got isolation and COVID to deal with. COVID is a hidden killer that could be anywhere. It could be my son, it could be in the house, on the surfaces, on the post, it’s in the air but we don’t know where!

If cancer can be described as a gun to your head, then COVID is like a hidden assassin or sniper.

Trying to live with a double dose of fear, two diseases out to kill me – it hasn’t been easy. This vaccine really is life changing. It’s as if I’ve been given my COVID chain mail(the second dose adds in the helmet). If the COVID sniper gets me, well I’m a bit more protected now. I might get hurt and get knocked down, but it might not be fatal.

My worry now is that the cancer gun is still with me, pointing at my head. If I am hit by COVID, will it come in to finish me off? I just don’t know, so for now I’m pleased to have my vaccine, but I won’t be dropping my guard just yet.

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