I’ve never been very good when it comes to the act of patience. I have always set the bar high for myself and have often accomplished tasks that I was told were beyond my capabilities. It was a great feeling when I was successful and a great source of encouragement.

But even when I would fail, I never spent much time on negatives or bogged down with worry about the problem. Instead I would choose to focus my energy on finding the solution or the positive side of whatever the problem was. Perhaps I was offsetting patience with tenacity?

I have spent most of the last 2 years of my life trying to achieve the highest goal ever. The bar is very high. Cancer is throwing everything at me. There are more than enough set- backs and negative side effects to knock me down or steal my tenacity. Now I replace my patience with persistence. I have never dealt with this many ‘down days’ before. I find it very challenging.

The realities of having a chronic life-threatening disease can be enough some days to make one’s head spin. There is no cure (yet) for my cancer, but I continue to fight it with all I have. With the help of new immunotherapy treatments in clinical trials, my CLL has been knocked down to nearly undetectable amounts. The new “bar to clear” is getting my energy back and resuming life at a new normal. I know I’ll never be the same as I was before treatment, but I’m feeling like I’ve aged about 10-15 years.

I am thankful that I am alive. I survived! I fought cancer and am still alive today to talk about it! A lot of people don’t get that chance. I try to focus on this fact and not get depressed when I can’t muster the energy to go to work. But facts being facts, the financial impact of missing about 6 months of work coupled with things that my health insurance didn’t cover doesn’t go away. I need to have my strength back so I can work to pay my bills and even make some extra to get caught up. This is proving to be the tougher battle for me psychologically.

While I refuse to accept this “new normal”, I struggle to find a solution. All my Doctors can tell me is to exercise and work through it. They can’t tell me about how long this could last, or if it truly is my ‘new normal’. Imagine pushing yourself so hard physically that you became nauseated? Working when your muscles ache and everything you do takes 3 times the effort and leaves you sapped? This is how I have felt most days for the last 6 weeks! It’s a different kind of tired. My mind can be pretty alert and sharp, but my body doesn’t want to move. Believe me when I say that I have tried every homeopathic remedy there is. Oils, supplements, diet, exercise, Reiki therapy… everything.

So now I wait… (im)Patiently…

One thought on “Patience

  1. Stephen R. Payne

    Hey Pete! I can’t imagine the effects cancer is having on your energy level…but don’t forget to factor in the whole age thing as well. I’m ahead of you by a few years…and this turning 60 thing (later this year!) seems to have begun taking a toll on me. I guess that’s not a comforting thought, but just know that we all have to accept at some point that we’ll be dealing with more “down days.” Unfortunately, yours may have been accelerated by the cancer and treatments. Hang in there!


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