Week 6: A full faint & the mask debate.

3 min readJul 12, 2022


I felt pretty positive going in for my IV yesterday. Chatty, good, mouth full of Jolly Ranchers. Nope. Nope. Nope. Didn’t hurt at all but down I went. Well, I was sitting down already, but they had to lay the chair back, bring me juice and a whole bunch of ice packs. Kind of wished I’d brought dry socks and stuff. My blood pressure went down into double digits top and bottom. I couldn’t really hear anything and had full on tunnel vision. Good times.

I’ve learned it’s called Vasovagal Syncope: “Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope.

The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, causing you to briefly lose consciousness.

Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment. But it’s possible that you may injure yourself during a vasovagal syncope episode. Your doctor may recommend tests to rule out more-serious causes of fainting, such as heart disorders.” (from the Mayoclinic.org.)

I’ve actually had this since I was a kid. Every time I lost a tooth, I would pass out, even if there was no blood, I would still end up on the floor. I can tell myself over and over I’m fine, I can do all the deep breathing exercises you can imagine. But I’m still going to pass out.

One more week though.

In other news: Apparently there are people in this country who are going to the hospital for cancer treatments and NOT wearing a mask when they go! This is wild to me.

I’ve joined a couple of cancer forums in the past couple of months, some helpful, some a bit dramatic. I read two posts yesterday, one shocking and one kind of sad. The first was from a guy who is only days away from finishing up radiation treatment. And he just tested positive for Covid. He didn’t want to have to postpone the last of his treatments so he was pondering if it would be selfish of him to just put on an N95 mask and go to treatment.

I almost dropped my phone! I was flabbergasted that there would be people going for treatment someplace where you didn’t have to wear a mask. Here in Seattle, cancer or not, you are not getting into any medical facility without one. I asked him how this was possible but he hasn’t replied. (Oh, and to make it even better, dude has lung cancer and now Covid.)

The second post made me sad. Another lady in a part of the country where masks are ridiculed. She is really feeling like everyone’s response to her, and all of the rest of us immunocompromised folks is to just never leave the house again. She has lost friends because they don’t want to be seen with her if she is wearing a mask. That’s just sad. And those aren’t real friends, and I told her so. People on that post were super supportive. We all told her that her “people” are out there.

I wear a mask everywhere. Even though my oncology nurse says I have amazing bone marrow and I’m double boosted, my blood counts are still low enough that I don’t want to risk it. I had Covid two weeks before starting treatment. It sucked. I got it from a certain member of the household who went to a poker game unmasked (he felt terrible about it, but I don’t hold it against him, we thought we were free to live our lives again.)

One thing cancer teaches you, even when you have it as easy as I have had, is that you never know what someone else is going through. If you see someone at the store, or at a game or a concert wearing a mask, shut the fuck up and leave them alone. We have the right to be there the same as you. No one is impinging on your rights by choosing to wear a mask.

View du jour, it was a hot one yesterday.




Part time erotica writer, full time estate saler, cancer haver. annefryewriter.com