As of today the Covid pandemic has lasted longer than my first serious relationship. We might want to try letting Covid move far away from his girlfriend and go away to college so he can realize the world is full of free beer and hot women. That seemed to be very effective in ending things quickly between me and my high school sweetheart.
The Delta variant now accounts for nearly all new Covid cases in the U.S. I’m fully vaccinated. GO TEAM PFIZER! My husband and both of my children are fully vaccinated as well. I don’t worry so much about us getting the disease and becoming seriously ill or dying. The vaccine still seems to be very effective against this particular variant.
What I do worry about, even though the odds are slim, is one of us in the house catching Covid and spreading it to others who are unable to be vaccinated. That is why we have begun wearing masks again when we do things like grocery shopping or going to a doctor’s appointment. My husband even wears one on days when he has to go into the office.
There’s been a lot of talk about the possibility of us vaccinated folks needing a booster shot at some point in the near future, maybe even yearly like the flu shot. So, you’re telling me after all we’ve done with the masks, social distancing, staying home, and getting the vaccine we still have to do more? How? Why? And when will it end?
Before I tell you what I have personally decided to do, should there be a need for a one-time or yearly Covid vaccine booster, I’d like to tell you a little story about what my life with a rare sarcoma was like between the years of 2014 -2016, give or take a few months here and there.
During that time I was on four different medications, an estrogen blocker, a high dose anti inflammatory, and two oral chemotherapies. Now, I wasn’t on all of these medications at once. And I wasn’t on any one of them for the entire two years. But even so, let’s just say, it was a hell of a ride.
In no particular order, here is a list of side effects I experienced during those two years of treatment: Insomnia, hot flashes, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, cracked and bleeding skin on hands and feet, loss of appetite, altered sense of taste, weight loss, weight gain, memory loss, elevated liver enzymes, yellowing of skin and eyes, joint pain, fatigue, and amenorrhea.
I think that’s everything. But I still have some memory loss, so I might be missing a few things. And again, not everything all at once or for the entire time, but still. That was a journey.
And in just those two years we spent close to $20,000 on doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, and medication. The most expensive medication alone was $10,000 and it nearly killed me, but did nothing to stop the growth of my tumors.
I did all that in the hope that it MIGHT do something to slow or stop growth of my tumors. And while one of the oral chemotherapies did kill my tumors, they eventually began to grow again and it is likely that I will have to repeat a course of treatment at some point in my lifetime.
When I got my first dose of the Covid vaccine, which was free, I experienced mild fatigue. My second dose, ALSO FREE, made my arm sore and I felt a little rundown for around 24 hours. Since then I have not, to the best of my knowledge, contracted Covid. I have also had no lingering side effects or health issues in these months since I’ve received the vaccine.
So the question remains, will I get a booster shot if it is recommended?
Of course I will.
Have you lost your GEEDEE mind?
I still have lingering health issues from my years on treatment for desmoid tumors, but if the day comes where I need to take chemo again I will. Of course I will. Crapping my pants and losing my hair seems to be a pretty good alternative to having my leg amputated or letting growing tumors crush my femoral artery and kill me, right? Same goes with the vaccine. Die a slow death drowning in pneumonia or have a sore arm? Hmmmmm? Which one should I choose?
And if it meant we could go back to normal life, I would get a shot every hour on the hour EVERY SINGLE DAY until I cease to have breath in my lungs, they lower my rotting corpse into the earth, and I become nothing more than the primordial ooze that brought us to the birth of humanity. If I could offset the risk created by the nearly 50% of Americans who are not vaccinated, I would take a shot IN MY ASS every day for the rest of my life.
The vaccine, whether it is Pfizer, Moderna or J&J, has been proven to be safe and effective. And damn near every single covid death, as of late, has occurred in unvaccinated people. If I could endure hemorrhoids, hair loss, and 15 other side effects in the hope that I could stop my tumors for growing for a few years, surely I can handle a sore arm once a year so I don’t end up on a ventilator.
Since selfishness and stupidity is winning and mask mandates, social distancing, and staying home have gone the way of the dodo, this pandemic will end one of two ways. Either enough of us will die or enough of us will become vaccinated. There don’t seem to be any other options. I worked really hard for those two years not to die. So, if it means another shot, I’ll be first in line. And if you had any sense you’d be right behind me.