It’s a high stakes waiting game when COVID-19 defers cancer care to a later date. As Kenesha, a single mom, learned that her 7-year-old son may be having a recurrence of his cancer, the Coronavirus crisis hit, and plans for his testing and treatment were put on hold until June. To compound matters, a patient who Kenesha worked directly with at her care facility was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Her son Noah had fought through cancer when he was just four years old, ringing the bell in January 2018. He was at the two-year, cancer-free mark when doctors gave her the news of a possible recurrence. When COVID-19 hit, his plans for testing and treatment were put on hold.
“They found lesions on his liver and told me they’ve been growing for the past year,” said Kenesha. “They don’t know (if it’s cancer). It’s nerve-wracking – we’re in the waiting game, but the hospital is the last place you want to be right now with everything going on.”
To compound matters, a patient who Kenesha worked directly with at her care facility was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“It was definitely scary,” she said. “I had to tell my boss ‘I have a medically fragile child and the last thing I want to do is bring the virus home to him.’ There was also a lack of personal protective gear there. My doctor gave me 14 days quarantine, and I’m past that now. I went back to work on Saturday; it’s a real nervous situation.”
Kenesha was working both a part-time and full -time job when she was laid off March 10. As the schools shut down, so did the day program for the mentally impaired where she worked. She was forced to take vacation time from her second job in order to get paid while she was in quarantine. She said the decision to go back to work puts her between a rock and a hard place, as financially she needs the income. New Day has stepped in to help the family with rent, water, electric and car payments during this time.
“It was a big help while trying to get through the rough times ahead,” she said. “It took that weight off my shoulders and helped me make accommodations for what is in front of us. I really appreciate that breathe of fresh air. I can redirect my focus to my child and not stress about money and things like that. I’m just grateful.”
“This is not the first rodeo for us,” she added. “I try to stay positive about it. We don’t know what we’re dealing with …I’m just praying for the best. It’s not as scary as last time because I have a little more knowledge this time.”