Thoughts on Covid from a Cancer Patient

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

I got diagnosed with cancer about a month into the total shutdown of C-19.

I have to say, above it all - it was a really great time to have cancer #powerofpositivity? Between April 16 and May 26, I had a biopsy, MRI, CT Scan, Pet Scan, 2 more CT Scans, met with my oncologists and started treatment. It all happened so fast, my doctors were referring me for tests and I hadn’t even met them yet. With the hospitals shut down to routine care, urgent care was far more expedited than normal and although I feel empathetic for all those living in daily discomfort with non life-threatening illness or injury, I am truly grateful for this experience being as fast as possible.

As soon as I was diagnosed, I did everything in my power to control my exposure and really shut things down. I declined visits from people who were not strictly self isolating. I had someone get my groceries, and I ordered online. I washed and disinfected everything that came out of a grocery bag, or from a store, or from outside my own home. I amped up my immune care. I had sanitizer in every purse and console of my truck. I disinfected my mail. I was never scared, but I was pretty damn cautious. When I was on treatment, I couldn’t take things like anti-oxidant supplements and high dose vitamins. I basically needed to let treatment destroy my healthy cells along with the diseased ones. I was also bed-ridding-ly ill so it was pretty easy to stay at home and reduce exposure. But despite that I did feel that it was MY responsibility to isolate MYSELF, because I was the one who was immunocompromised, and couldn’t do anything about it (*key point here for later*). Six weeks of not having any visitors besides my mom (love you mom) was a long haul, even for an introvert.

I did have to go to the cancer centre 5 days a week for treatment. I’ve been asked about C-19 symptoms so many times I will forever be able to repeat the screening questions. “In the last two weeks have you been…” I also will never forget my birthdate. I was getting really annoyed at repeating it upon check in, and again in the radiation lab… I was like… uh – who would come in here and volunteer to receive radiation… it’s really me, Adelle Stewart… Until someone actually explained to me it is a check point to ensure they are giving the right treatments to the right person. Oh. Ok. Thank You. Anyway, through it all I literally got to the point where I was totally used to wearing a mask, it was almost as comfortable as a bra (#isthatathing?) and I was fully trusting people with my life that I have never actually seen fully face-to-face.

I am now 3 weeks post cancer treatment, and… I’m really starting to wonder about this whole masking thing. I don’t and won't wear one unless it’s mandatory. I DO continue to sanitize heavily, monitor my health, check my temperature every day or two, AND support my immune system with vitamins, minerals and nutrition through many different modalities including IV vitamins.

Back to the moral of the story - Covid is getting to the point that I wonder, what’s the long-term plan on all of this. I love talking ideas and philosophy, but I equally like talking business and strategy. When someone has a new business idea, my first questions are always this:

  1. What’s first 90 days look like,

  2. What’s the 1, 3 and 5 year plan

  3. What is the exit strategy.

I’d like to ask these same questions of Covid and those running our freedom. The first 90 days have obviously been extreme action and getting results. Check. Done. Great job everyone.

Now I’d like to know, what’s the 1 year plan, and what’s the exit strategy. Is there an exit strategy? Not having an exit strategy is a really high indicator of an unsuccessful business, FYI. If there is no exit strategy (returning to a new living-with-covid normal) I then ask -- are masks in public going to be our new forever? Borders closed, forever? No more snowbirds? For the mask advocates - is that what you want? I don’t know about you, but it is really hard to hear the soft spoken waitress tell me a restaurant special when I can’t supplement her voice by also reading her lips. And I’d really like to see my oncologists’s entire face one day.

Are we waiting for a vaccine? Then will it be suddenly no mask? Or no mask for the vaccinated, and mask for the unvaccinated…? Let me give you a little tip here… the people who don’t mask… are the same ones that won’t vaccinate. So. Then what.

In all seriousness, there are some good actual prevention practises that we can learn from covid and I believe should implement permanently:

  1. Screen all staff and record temperatures. Decline shifts to anyone with a fever or complaining of symptoms.

  2. All Humans –TAKE THE BEST CARE OF YOURSELF! More on that below. And don’t go out or to work when you’re sick! Also, don’t fake sick and take days off when you just don’t feel like going to work, because employers know, and that pisses them off, and then they don’t trust you, and don’t give you sick days, and then…. The circle ensues.

  3. Employers – make it OK for employees to be good humans, have options and flex work strategies (you know now that people can work from home)!

  4. Basically summing up 2 and 3 in one sentence – Be Decent Humans.

  5. Make permanent positions in stores for cleaning carts, wiping handles and pin pads. #whydidnoonethinkofthisyearsago

But more importantly, and now for the moral of my story - Is anyone going to talk about the responsibility of individual immunity?

Our bodies are literally MADE for this. We have tiny army's inside ourselves just WAITING to go to work. Seek and Destroy. And just like the good old farm kids licking salt blocks - we need to let our immune system struggle, and then be there for support. As the old adage goes… an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. I truly do not believe we need vaccines for everything. We need the improvement of healthy immune systems, naturally.

Guess what. You have circulating cancer cells inside your body, among many other diseases. But when our immune systems are working at capacity, they can identify and conquer those cells. I didn’t do a good enough job giving my body the opportunity to heal itself. I exercise like a cross fit champion out here on the farm, I get lots of fresh air and 9 hours of sleep. So, Why Me? I wasn't feeding my army.

#1 - I binged and purged on eating healthy, as in - if I ate a salad for supper, I was allowed to eat half a pack of sour patch kids for desert. I was “balanced.” And an idiot. And #2 – I did not deal with *all* of my personal emotional shit. Relate? #weareallatrisk

Everything we put in our body (thoughts and food) - either nourishes it, or creates work for our bodies to process (inflammation), and our organs have to focus on eliminating the excessive negativity, sugar, fats, simple carbs and booze that we pour in to them as a priority, all the while those sneaky little cancer, auto immune, and disease ridden cells are essentially playing in the theme park that is our body – unsupervised because the lifeguards are too busy unplugging a filter in the water slide that some kid (you) shoved garbage in to.

I had to get cancer before I really got my head on straight about my health and immunity. What about you? Maybe you don’t have cancer, but are you living with chronic pain, auto immune disease, infection? Or maybe you are just like I was and you’re still “healthy”? or MAYBE YOU'RE AFRAID OF GETTING COVID?!

My goal is to encourage people to take an active role in their own health care, before they face a diagnosis like me. Did you know – that ONE IN TWO women, and ONE IN THREE men – will face a cancer diagnosis once in their life? That is seriously way too many. Cancer is cured, (I’ve always believed it but you can’t say it until you’ve had it. #cancerclub), but more on that for another day. And maybe it won't be cancer, maybe your struggle is depression, anxiety, MS, ALS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, C-19, etc.

I didn’t know what nutrition was before April 16. I didn’t “need” to know, because I could eat whatever I wanted and never gained weight. Wow what an accomplishment. Skinny, but gets cancer. #winning

I don’t even know if I would have listened to someone if they had given me this same opportunity I’m advocating for now. But shit… being on this side of it I beg of you PLEASE LISTEN TO ME BEFORE YOU HAVE TO SIT IN A DOCTORS OFFICE AND LISTEN TO THEM SAY YOU HAVE A LIFE OR LIFESTYLE THREATENING DISEASE, AND/OR... COVID.

There is literally something wrong with every fad diet on the market. It’s a challenge to feed your army healthy but it’s not impossible. Our daily diets are FULL of processed food and refined sugar, and cancer (and many other disease) LOVES glucose. Did you know there are even cancer treatments in other countries that are insulin-penetrating-chemo? Where the chemo pills are covered in glucose so the cancer cells say YUM and eat them up and it’s actually poison hidden inside? Refined sugar is the devil. (says the girl who used to buy and consume 2kg bags of Costco dinosaurs, #iamrepented)

3 Costco-size berries = one week of fruit for one person

The "delicious" food we eat in restaurants AND the food in those “healthy” delivered to your door meal prep kits, are some of the cheapest and highest glycemic index products on the market aside from pure sugar. Any guesses? White rice, white flour, white pasta and potatoes. Go look at a menu. If I’m not eating a salad, I’m not eating out. Simple carbs raise your blood sugar like a MOTHER – and yes even if you are not diabetic – spikes and rollercoasters of insulin creates INFLAMMATION in your body – CUE ALL LIFEGUARDS ON DUTY! Clean up in the small intestine, kidneys and liver!

I’m not even going to get into saturated fat consumption on this post – but I’ll tell you this – I’d bet you eat your daily requirement of it by breakfast. The rest of the excess you consume = inflammation, clogged waterslides, the works.

So what do I do to support a healthy immune system and get my little soilders fighting for me, you may ask? The very basis of it – is a healthy diet of moderation. I eat complex carbs, minimize saturated fat, ELIMINATED refined sugar, eat 8-10 servings per day of low glycemic fruits and vegetables (I had no idea watermelon was bad!) extremely minimize dairy (lactose is sugar), and buy everything organic I can find. It’s the old adage really – shop the outside of the grocery store. My meals come 90% out of the fridge.

My grocery bill has more than doubled.

So then. There’s that.

If you want to have the conversation that you can’t afford to eat better than you are… Please take this quiz below:

  1. Do you get your nails done? Hair? Lashes? Brows? Legs, bikini, shall I go onnnnn?

  2. Do you have a cabin, second home, boat, skidoo, quad, or other type of toy?

  3. Are you driving a nice newish vehicle, maybe even one with a payment?

  4. Do you go on vacation, staycation, to the lake, horse shows, hockey tournaments?

  5. Do 1-2 times a week do you: eat out or buy a coffee?

  6. Do 1-3 times a month do you buy: bunches of flowers, alcohol, clothes, something you don’t need, make a Homesense run, etc?

  7. Have a subscription box (or three), a spotify account, audible, Netflix, hulu, crave AND/OR cable?

If you answered yes to even ONE of those, you have zero cred to talk to me about having no budget to eat better. You don’t have a priority to eat better and improve your immunity. #mikedrop #maskup. Because I will tell you this. If you get diagnosed with any form of serious disease – NOTHING ON THOSE LISTS ABOVE MATTER when you’re faced with death. So – you’re call. I’m not here to make you make this a priority – but for those who want to know better, do better, and not wear a mask for the rest of life – that’s who I’m showing up for.

Now, I get it. Adelle, what about the people who are already sick, too sick to be cured by such fallacy.

Well, few things.

1 - What did they do for protection against the other stuff floating around like the flu, common cold, H1N1, Sars and Zika virus prior to March 2020?

2 -Maybe they have to self isolate like I did. Maybe there are pockets of places like assisted care homes where masks need to stay mandatory. But it is entirely possible, from experience, for the immunocomprimised to refrain from society like I did, whilst letting society get back to business. Too bad for me.

3 - How sick, is too sick to work on improving your immunity. Are they doing ALL they can to support their health? They eat like I've referenced, they work with their doctor, naturopath, AND integrative physician on the root cause of their illness? Got second, third opinions, tried acupuncture, IV therapy, qi gong, yoga, meditation, pilates, counselling, fresh air, exercise, supplementation, out of country options, etc?

If they haven't,... well, this may sound harsh, but 76% of all people don't take an active role in their own healthcare, and that's no one's fault but their own.

To stop society from being a society, in order to protect the few by changing the lives of the masses... seems a bit robin hood-y to me... and socialism at its finest #nothanks

I think that’s enough stirring the pot for one day, I’ll come back at ya on another day about naturopathic medicine, oral and IV therapy and more immune supporting things. I’m also working on a post diarizing my diet for a day to give you an idea of what eating “the outer 90” looks like.

And so, as usual, I digress. But if I was Queen, I’d mandate nutrition and immunity not masks. Then end.


Let’s get high!


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