Opinion: Cancer patients like me face a dystopian nightmare amid the virus

Coronavirus: Here’s how many hospital beds are available in Florida
Coronavirus: Here’s how many hospital beds are available in Florida

(CNN)Editor's note: Sheetal Sheth is an award-winning actress, producer, children's book author and activist. She is on the advisory board of Equality Now and an ambassador for The Representation Project. The views expressed here are hers. Read more opinion on CNN.

Having cancer is harrowing -- having it in midst of a pandemic is even worse.

I'm one of the lucky ones. My prognosis is good. It has been over 15 months since my breast cancer diagnosis. I have had a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction and a year of further treatment, which included 12 rounds of chemotherapy.

I was just about to have my final treatment -- just about to put one of the worst years of my life behind me -- when the coronavirus pandemic hit and our everyday reality became a dystopian nightmare.

The weeks leading up to my final infusion were fraught with a cycle of unanswered phone calls to my doctor's office (they kept telling me to call back as they were so overwhelmed), worst-case scenarios playing out in my head and a barrage of well-intentioned friends and family giving out unsolicited advice (as if I hadn't stayed up nights thinking through every possible scenario already). When you have cancer, insomnia and "what if's" are part of your new normal.

In the search for answers, my husband even emailed one of the researchers whose work helped doctors design my treatment protocol to ask a simple question: should I stay home or should I go? She didn't know either.

Skipping or delaying the treatment wasn't advisable and neither was going to the clinic and risking possible exposure to Covid-19 -- especially in New York City, where I live. In the end, my doctor said, it was up to me. So I had to decide, which was worse: cancer or the coronavirus?

To make things worse, it was chilling to turn on the news and learn that since I have (or had) cancer (not sure what tense to use at this point since my follow-up appointments have all been postponed indefinitely), my life is considered harder to save in ways that could impact the resources allocated to my treatment. It's hard not to feel that therefore according to some measures, my life is less valuable than others if I get Covid-19.