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The Next Step: Stuck

Ever get in a cycle that is comfortable and easy but not conducive to much of anything other than the repetition of that cycle. Routine is another name for it, and I don’t have any trouble with routine to some level but I am feeling trapped by routine these days. Sometimes I get myself in a really healthy routine that is really rewarding and allows me to take care of myself, handle my priorities of rest and relaxation with a solid dose of “making an impact” – which is code for work – and also get my share of “play”. However in times as these, the post-chemo and Transplant times, things get a little out of whack.

The days of planning the growth of RealTime Cancer, preparing for meetings with high school students and classroom presentations, creating a “To Do” list and tackling it, those feelings of accomplishment when completing a project or delivering an event… they give way to extra sleep, remembering to take my pills on the right schedule, Doctors appointments and blood tests, and low or no energy days. Usually making the adjustment from what I’ll call my regular lifestyle to my lifestyle when sick, that is easy for me, remaining content with my new set of activities is a far greater Challenge.

The Challenge is rarely the same for me but it often comes from much the same place. Accepting that you have Cancer and facing your own mortality, that is one major step, however in my experience that Challenge is followed by many others that cover a whole collection of other issues. I’ll give you a view into some of those other Challenges…

The physical Challenges are probably the ones that you would have most knowledge about as most everyone knows that chemotherapy is a tough road to travel. It comes with a loss of a whole bunch of things, appetite, energy, weight, hair, blood counts, and an increase in other things like physical pain from muscles cramping and digestion troubles, as well as much more sleep.

The mental and emotional Challenges are not always as obvious unless you have experience with Cancer Challenges – as a Patient, Patient Supporter or Healthcare Professional, etc – Mentally and emotionally facing the fact that you have Cancer is a big hurdle to tackle, but fortunately for me it is not something I’ve had great trouble with. I have been able to Accept my Cancer Challenges with relative ease, which I attribute to my desire to focus on the side of life that I can control as opposed to those factors that are out of my control. I can’t control whether or not I have Cancer, but I can certainly control how I react to that reality.

After that Acceptance Challenge however there are lots of Challenges that I struggle with and I think most of them relate to the duration of my type of Cancer Challenge. The word Cancer represents many different diseases, and those diseases have different treatments and while some physical and mental/emotional Challenges will be the same, each Cancer Challenge is different. I have learned that Blood Cancers – like Leukemia – often have more intense treatments, higher dose chemo and the very involved procedure of a Transplant. All these factors contribute to make my Cancer Journey a long one, and that brings different Challenges my way.

I’m sure many of you have trouble with the concept of taking a day off work, how about a week, think you could find a month to take away from the office or your studies, now try adjusting the professional side of life for a year. This is the Challenge that I am facing right now, and it is one that I have struggled with for much of my last 3 years. The real Challenge for me right now is that many days I feel pretty well yet most every day I don’t have the energy to do very much at all, usually one “field trip” a day is all I have the gas for. As a result of my energy I have developed a routine that was great in the short-term, but as the days and weeks progress some of the core of my personality has real trouble with this short-term fix. Obviously most of my days aren’t satisfying me, the desire to “make life happen” is as strong as ever but what I’m Challenged to do is find new ways within my new limitations to make that happen. And so far I haven’t had much success.

This is a real weird period for me as I don’t to want to do much that I have the ability to do, granted often my choices aren’t too exciting, but this is a struggle for me right now. And the only thing I know to do with struggles is tackle them head on, which I have been trying to do but for some reason this time the solution doesn’t seem like it will come with just effort. There seems to be more to it than that, and at present that has got me stuck.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, back soon.


Live Life. Love Life.


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