April 11, 2020

The Secret Life of a Wonder Woman: Being Palliative Through Covid

Battling cancer for over 14 years and now “really” on lock down, has played with my anxiety and depression like nothing else has. One would assume being told you are now a palliative care patient and have 3-6 months to live, would be the biggest fear in ones life… but it isn’t!! That prognosis was given to me in the summer of 2013, and as you can see… I am still alive almost 7 years later!

I have been very careful with where I go, who comes to visit etc and then Covid-19 hit and now I am forced to stay home (with the exception of blood work or chemo) and that to me, is the most frightening thing that’s happened to me in the past 14 1/2 years because it’s out of my hands. You see, I initially had breast cancer and then it metastasized to my lungs and chest, so if I were exposed to this virus… well it would be the fight of my life! Isn’t that ironic? I have crashed through cancer 8 times in the past 14 years, through 76 chemo treatments, 2 years of home chemo, 15 radiation treatments, 6 surgeries and countless scans and MRI’s. Oh, and I even fought through a brain tumour in 2018!! So yes, I would be upset if something like a virus came to take me.

As a palliative patient, I have dealt with issues you can’t even imagine. Fighting with a respiratory company because our government only covers one year for oxygen machine rental and after that year, you are on your own! Oh yes you read that right!! Who needs to breathe right?? The stories about the things patients go through in this journey, would make you shake your head!

Today however, I will focus on spending Easter with my husband and sons. We will have a nice dinner, play some games and maybe watch a movie. Today, I will remember what life is really about… It’s about living your life to the fullest every single day. It’s about loving your family and friends but most importantly, it’s about loving yourself… just the way you are!!

I live my life one day at a time! I love whole heartedly, and I do not waste time on things that do not matter to me. So, live my friends, live with love and passion!!

Happy Easter my lovelies, may the Universe keep you healthy, happy and safe!

Sylvie van Steenoven

Message from Lee: I asked Sylvie to provide me her Go Fund Me page, her response “Lee, it’s okay, I’m so tired of asking, I’ve been given so much, and everyone is financially struggling right now.” My reply, “Sweetheart, don’t make the decision for others, I’m putting that link in there in case someone is able to help you, so there… no ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!”

If you can, please support Sylvie by donating here. And if you can’t, that’s okay too, maybe just add Sylvie to your prayers.

On our phone call just before publishing this post, I shared how proud I am to know her, and how brave and positive she is, even with all the shit she goes through. We talked about the struggles, up and down emotions, and negativity, she finished our phone call with what I think is my new favorite quote:

As long as you don’t unpack and live there, you’re allowed to go camp there every now and then.

Sylvie van Steenoven

Now those are words to live by!