Sunday, July 16, 2017
Cancer is rude. It interrupts a person's life in a flash, turning it upside down and inside out. It sounds crazy to say, but I don't think I ever really realized that before becoming a cancer patient.
The first kind of interruption is pretty obvious. It's the changes everyone can see from the outside looking in. After a cancer diagnosis, life becomes more about doctor appointments, testing, more doctor appointments, treatments. It becomes about finding the new normal, the logistics of living with cancer, the daily changes in schedules, not only for the patient but for their support system.
The second kind of interruption is more subdued. This is the interruption that is even more obvious to me....the changes in how I am living my life. Cancer interrupts many of my plans, my goals, my ideas of things I want to get done. Cancer saps my energy and motivation, and that's challenging for me. A few weeks ago I mentioned I wanted to plan an annual 5K to raise money for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) research. Have I done anything about it since? Nope. I have a blog I want to write about IBC and the statistics surrounding it. I had someone who is very knowledgeable about IBC send me information about it, but have I read any of that information? Nope. I have planned to start exercising again, yet every day I have had to cancel those plans as I am just too tired. I know exercise will help my fatigue, yet I'm too fatigued to get moving. Ironic.
I know, I know....I need to rest and can get to this stuff later. I get that. But it gets very old very quickly.
The silver lining about all this is I can better understand how oncology patients feel. When I talk with patients at work, I have been very guilty of not remembering they are dealing with interruptions too. And some of them....the leukemia patients who are in the hospital for a month, or the cancer patients who end up in the hospital for 2 weeks fighting an infection....have greater interruptions than I (hopefully) will ever have. So being a patient will help me relate to them better, to empathize with them, and to be aware of the interruptions they are facing. And for that, I'm grateful.
But still....cancer is a rude jerk. And I can't wait until I start feeling better and can get back doing things that are me!