Archive for January, 2010
I said to myself that I would not let my blog get too focused on cancer, but I have a feeling this is just going to be a natural evolution of me for a while. I have never had a singular focus for my blog, despite every big name blogger telling me that is the key to exposure (like I care). I write about what I want, when I want, about what I want. It speaks to me. Sometimes, it speaks to you based on the emails I get. Once you do the averages, I bet there is at least one blog out there for every 3 people.
So, on occasion, I think you may read about my journey through cancer. I am not sure how not to talk about it, despite my trying for about the first month or two of knowing. I am not handling it well. Yup, in a nutshell, that is it. I know that the biggest part of this is me. I don’t know how to let go and say either a) this is good enough or b) no. This has long been an issue. Has someone above finally had enough of me not learning this lesson? I don’t know but I am learning it now mightily!
I need to let go of some things. This I know. But I don’t want to. I want to believe that I will be that rare person that can fly through chemo without it making a dent in my life; that my hair won’t fall out. Oh how I already know this is not the case. I am learning a whole new language – about cancer, but also about my body. I know that the Power Port that was implanted will be my saving grace eventually, but right now, it hurts like the dickens and we are going on a week now. I cannot sleep with it, the incisions hurt and it is still tender to the touch. Yes, all to be expected, but I think my body and I have had enough surgery in the past 6 or 7 months and we are tired of it!
I am also apparently a wimp when it comes to nausea, fatigue, constipation, fevers, throat issues, and other assorted side effects. It is amazing how much chemo can really knock you down. When I get a fever by about one degree, I am pretty much done, of course this is usually compounded with not being able to swallow and a sour belly. It’s a plethora of fun 🙂 and I am learning so much about how my body talks to me. I definitely was not a good listener before at all! I hear so many stories of folks who worked throughout the chemo and radiation (not even going to think about that part yet) and I think, wow, that is amazing. But sadly, that is not fully me. Yes, I am still working full-time and still going to school full-time. But I notice that I segment things a bit better than I have in the past and trying to find more balance. I am always learning aren’t I? For those that are able to manage things without a hitch, I really admire that in you. But as a delivering mom may need an epidural and another may not, we all must take our own path. Especially when each chemo path seems to be so individual.
I have also learned that I am not the best at asking for help, or more importantly, accepting it. It is very hard for me but have been really blessed with some wonderful people who have let me know that I am special and worth the extra effort I have asked of them in their own busy lives. I know I would do it for them so when will I learn that others would do it too?? My dad, sadly, has taken the brunt of my emotions though. He has been there every step of the way, thick and thin, and I hate that we hurt the ones we love. I know that he cares tremendously and my gosh, I know I will never be able to repay him try as I could. But to let my emotions run amok sometimes really bums me out because he certainly deserves more for all that he is doing to help me through this. Dad, I truly love you and thank you for every single thing you have done. Even sew the hole in my coat 🙂
I want to handle things better, but I will keep trying. It is definitely a transition and look forward to moving through this bumpy road to find smoother trails ahead. Hope you will join me.
How often do you look at and take a measure of your life? Do you think about or reflect on what has happened, but more importantly, where you would like to be? Do you think about the steps you need to take now to get where you want to be? How often have you said to yourself “there is so much I want to do but so little time to do it?”
I understand all of this because it has been how I reflect and move forward. It has been so for many years now. I don’t look at all that negative stuff I have done (or more likely have not) and wallow in it; so much so that I become inactive. I just keep trying to see what I can do now .. little by little.
I hope this kind of thinking, my own innate energy, and all my learning about myself will help me in my battle with Tcell Lymphoma. I was diagnosed in early December and will start chemotherapy this coming Tuesday. Radiation will follow.
How do you measure you life?
I hope you do this as a continual process in your life and not just when an event redefines things for you.
Do you have those moments where you just know, in that second, that everything has changed? Forever, irrevocably changed? The kind where you are sitting in a little room waiting for the person wearing the white lab coat to come in and give you a label. A label you will have forever.
You hear the white lab coat talking to you, but nothing really registers. The blood has rushed to your ears and it makes it so hard to hear anything but white noise. You hear but you aren’t listening. That will come later when you have to tell someone else and it will all become so real once you utter the words. But right now, the white lab coat is still talking and you just keep nodding. You think that you even smile occasionally. God knows why. The white lab coat asks you if you have questions. And all you can think is “questions? questions about what.” But instead, you say, nope, none.
You leave the office and get in your car. The realization is hitting you and then there is a crack in your world and you feel it quake. And you think, well I can manage this and will just do all I can as each day unfolds. Then a split second later you think, but this isn’t something that runs in our family so how did this happen to me?
Your world is still quaking. The aftershocks just keep coming.
Telling your family makes it real and you hear yourself saying the words the white lab coat used. Questions come at you from all directions it seems, but you have no answers. You aren’t sure if this is a dream or reality. But you know it is real, you know what your life is going to become very soon and as you hang up the phone, you wonder when your world will stop quaking.
When it stops, I will let you know.
It is a little after the fact but I think we should talk more about being resolute in the new year about things we are going to continue to do instead of what we are no longer going to do.
It may seem backward but I actually believe this is the way we should be thinking so we are focusing on the positive of our lives instead of the things we need or want to give up. It seems like a negative bias to think like that and when there is a lack it is where our focus goes. So let’s focus on the abundance.
So, here is how I will be resolute in 2010:
- I will continue to be reflective about where I have been and where I want to go. This aspect of the past few years has helped me greatly to shape my life in a way that makes me more aware of the present.
- My pursuit of learning, in all the many ways I enjoy doing this, will continue with gusto. I have learned so much from friends, family, colleagues, school, work, Twitter, journal articles, animals, music, and so many others. I am a lifelong learner and this will continue in full force.
- I will make my recent medical challenge as something less than a death sentence. What happens will happen and I all that I can do is work to move forward every day. And as an add-on, I will ask for help, support and love when I need it.
- I will continue to enjoy my wonderful professional life and all its joys and benefits.
- I will continue focusing on returning phone calls in a more timely manner!
- I will continue to tell others that I love and care about them. Later may never come. Do it now will be my motto!
- The gift of the seasons is a treasure that I will not stop appreciating.
- My saying thanks and expressing appreciation will only continue to flow. This I will never change!
I can think of many more and that is the point. I can think of so many things I would like to do more or continue doing. That is where I believe focus should be. If you are a smoker and want to stop, maybe yours might be make health a priority. If you want to lose weight, maybe yours might be to continue to cut soft drink intake or the like).
Join me, will you?!