2020 | Coronavirus Chronicles

Coronavirus Chronicles: Social distancing in remission

'I am immunosuppressed. I cannot go out and fulfill the plans I made just a few months ago. A mask is not enough for me.’

The author, Cheryl Kravitz, at Sibley Memorial Hospital the day her chemotherapy port was removed

From Cheryl Kravitz

(Editor’s note: This essay is part of Bethesda Beat’s Coronavirus Chronicles personal essay series. Visit the submission page to learn more.)

It was late July last year. I would wake up every morning stomach roiling, tears streaming. I had no idea what was wrong.

I remember looking out our bedroom window, the sounds of summer wafting through the screen. I could see green treetops, our yard and flowers in bloom. It was a beautiful sight. I should not have felt anything but joy.

It was right before my birthday and we had plans to celebrate. I was due for my mammogram, but had no reason to expect cancer. I was ready for a glorious year.

And yet, tests, and more tests, revealed a malignancy. The magnificent year I had planned gave way to the root of my anxiety: breast cancer.

The treatment plan was surgery, five months of chemotherapy and 20 rounds of radiation. I was cautioned I would feel tired, might be nauseous and have other side effects.

My goal was to get through it and back to the life I had B.C. (before cancer).

In February, I had my final radiation. Family and friends celebrated with me. I was ready to get my life back. We heard about a virus on the news, but it was still a distant warning.

Then the world turned upside down.

I am immunosuppressed. I cannot go out and fulfill the plans I made just a few months ago. A mask is not enough for me.

I haven’t been out of the house, save for one car ride, since March 2.

So here I am, inside the house, once more. I look out my bedroom window some mornings. I see green treetops, our yard and flowers in bloom.

My cancer is in remission. My fervent wish is that there is a day, not too long from now, when I can be outside, savoring the greenery and hugging my friends, isolated no more.

It is my wish for all of us.

Cheryl Kravitz is a marketing and communications consultant and yoga teacher. She lives in Silver Spring.


Read other essays in the Coronavirus Chronicles series.

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