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Seven Year Cancerversary: An Isolated Celebration

by Jennifer AnandSurvivor, Hodgkin’s LymphomaMarch 18, 2020View more posts from Jennifer Anand

Seven years. I’ve looked forward to today basically all of 2020 so far, as I do every spring.

In the dreary winter and rainy spring months, March 18th is the day that I live for, and defines the first quarter of the year for me. But I’m spending it so differently from what I had planned, as I’m sure you are.

I had plans to celebrate a friend’s upcoming wedding this weekend, was hoping to have a nice dinner with my roommate at a new restaurant we wanted to try tonight, and was excited to see if my family would drop by. But none of that will happen now.

Restaurants closed, parties cancelled, and I’m isolating from my active family. And this past weekend has been so lonely. Healthy friends have held small gatherings to celebrate Pi day, watch church on Facebook, and even offered invites to come over for dinner.

But I knew the safest thing for me was not to participate in anything. And the thought of not seeing my friends and family for countless more days is overwhelming.

I remember sitting alone in my room that morning, as I sit alone now. Then, as now, the future was uncertain. But in the midst of my sadness, I’ve been encouraged by so many people, and decided to count my blessings today.

So today, I’m thankful for…

Seven years of life, above and beyond what I expected.

Semi-manageable long-term effects.

A wonderful roommate that among other things volunteered to go get me Mitchell’s ice cream (and is now the only person I will see for the next few weeks)

A friend who called on her lunch break as she worked from home

A friend who video chatted as I was writing this

Multiple friends who have offered to buy me groceries and drop them off

Friends who have reached out to me, via messages, texts, memes

Friends who have asked if I’m staying healthy, and are worried for me

My mom who video chatted me for the better part of yesterday evening

My sister who texted me her concern for my health

This isolation isn’t new for me and other cancer peeps, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

But just as I went through cancer and was amazed by the incredible people who surrounded, supported, and encouraged me, even through COVID-19 I am seeing incredible people rise to the occasion.

Mr. Roger’s said, “Look for the helpers.”. And to the many who are reaching out and being helpers, to me and others in similar medically compromised situations, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

All of the posts written for Elephants and Tea are contributed by patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones dealing with cancer.  If you have a story or experience you would like to share with the cancer community we would love to hear from you!  Please submit your idea at

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